Just eight months since the first historic meeting between the heads of state, the pair hope to advance the process of North Korea’s denuclearization during next week’s two-day session.
Vietnam’s president and general secretary of the ruling Communist Party, Nguyen Phu Trong, will meet Kim ahead of a planned trip by Trong to neighboring Laos, one of the sources with direct knowledge told Reuters.
During his stay in Vietnam, Kim Jong-un will visit the industrial zone of Bac Ninh and the port city of Hai Phong, a source said.
Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump met for the first time on June 12 in Singapore
Since then, North Korea has taken steps towards fulfilling its compromise, namely dismantling its only known nuclear testing siteand a key missile engine facility.
There have also been reports of continued activity at North Korea’s nuclear and missile facilities based on satellite images.
“They started out by asking for everything, as you always do in negotiations. Now it’s about give and take. That’s a change in the right direction,” former U.S. diplomat Joel S. Wit told the Los Angeles Times.
During his New Year’s address, Kim reiterated his commitment to working to denuclearize the North Korean peninsula and to keep up talks with Trump in efforts to achieve this goal, but warned that he could be forced to take a “new path” if the North American nation continued to impose sanctions on his regime.
Kim noted his willingness to talk to Donald Trump “at any time” and that he was interested in a result that “would be welcomed by the international community.”
However, these remarks came with a warning that North Korea sees “no option but to explore a new path in order to protect our sovereignty...[if Washington D.C.] continues to break its promises and misjudges our patience by unilaterally demanding certain things and pushes ahead with sanctions and pressure. Without keeping a promise it made in front of the world.”