DONALD Trump tried to sweet talk his “friend” Kim Jong-un before the pair sit down to discuss North Korean nukes over a private dinner today.
The US President said he hoped “great things will happen later on” ahead of his second high-stakes summit with the North Korean dictator in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi.
EPA Donald Trump met Vietnam’s president Nguyen Phu Trong ahead of the North Korea summit
Reuters Kim Jong-un was mobbed by screaming women
Vietnam is thriving like few places on earth. North Korea would be the same, and very quickly, if it would denuclearize. The potential is AWESOME, a great opportunity, like almost none other in history, for my friend Kim Jong Un. We will know fairly soon – Very Interesting!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 27, 2019
The Democrats should stop talking about what I should do with North Korea and ask themselves instead why they didn’t do “it” during eight years of the Obama Administration?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 27, 2019
Speaking at a meeting with the president of Vietnam hours before his dinner with Kim, Trump lavished praise on the country’s economy.
He held up Vietnam as an example of what North Korea can become if it gives up its nuclear weapons.
“Vietnam is thriving like few places on earth,” Trump tweeted.
“North Korea would be the same, and very quickly, if it would denuclearize.
“The potential is AWESOME, a great opportunity, like almost none other in history, for my friend Kim Jong-un.
“We will know fairly soon – Very Interesting!”
TAKES SHOT AT CRITICS
He couldn’t resist taking a shot at his critics who fear Trump may make concessions and leave without any concrete steps towards denuclearisation.
“The Democrats should stop talking about what I should do with North Korea and ask themselves instead why they didn’t do ‘it’ during eight years of the Obama Administration?” Trump tweeted.
Trump told Vietnam’s president: “We both felt very good about having this very important summit in Vietnam because you really are an example as to what can happen, with good thinking.”
The Vietnamese leader says his country has “been making all necessary preparations to ensure the best conditions for the success of this very special meeting.”
PRIVATE DINNER WITH KIM
Kim is expected to take in some sights today before the leaders open their second nuclear summit with a one-on-one meeting and private social dinner.
Trump and Kim first met last June in Singapore, a summit that was long on historic pageantry but short on any enforceable agreements for North Korea to give up its nuclear arsenal.
The US President touched down in Hanoi late on Tuesday night ahead of the crunch talks he hopes will lead to the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
A red carpet was rolled out by the steps of the plane, and soldiers stood to attention as Trump walked down to shake the hands of the officials there to greet him on the runway.
Trump’s motorcade then sailed through the empty Hanoi streets, crossing a bridge decorated with flags from the United States, North Korea and Vietnam.
But as he drew near the city centre, crowds were gathered on the streets with many holding up phones as he drove by.
Others looked out from second and third storey windows to catch a glimpse of the world leader.
His arrival – at 9pm local time – came after despot Kim Jong-un reached Vietnam in the early hours of this morning having travelled to the city by train.
Grinning broadly, the dictator stepped off an armoured carriage before being driven to the capital, Hanoi, in a bulletproof Mercedes limo for crunch talks with Trump.
However, his green-and-yellow train had to back up after overshooting the red carpet prepared at Vietnam’s Dong Dang station.
‘VERY PRODUCTIVE’ SUMMIT
Trump has predicted it will be a “very productive summit” which will kick off with a private dinner on Wednesday.
He tweeted earlier: “Heading over to Vietnam for my meeting with Kim Jong Un. Looking forward to a very productive Summit.”
Trump has praised Pyongyang for ceasing middle tests and has appeared to ease up on demanding a timeline for disarmament.
Kim is expected to ask for relief from crushing US sanctions.
China is now urging North Korea and the US to “meet each other halfway” in talks between Kim and President Trump starting Wednesday.
Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China hopes that the talks will achieve denuclearisation and lasting peace and stability on the Peninsula and in northeast Asia.
He said to achieve those goals, North Korea and the US should fully understand each other’s legitimate concerns and “meet each other halfway.”
‘Legitimate concerns” is a reference to North Korea’s call for security guarantees from the US
Following a historic first meeting in Singapore in June, the world will be looking for concrete progress in stopping North Korea’s nuclear programme.
While the first meeting was all about breaking the ice after decades of war and bitter animosity between their countries, this time there will be pressure to agree to moves towards denuclearisation.
Trump’s criticshave warned him against cutting a deal that would do little to curb North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, urging specific, verifiable North Korean action to abandon the nuclear weapons that threaten the US
In return, Kim would expect significant US concessions such as relief from punishing sanctions and a declaration that the 1950-53 Korean War is at last formally over.
Trump reasserted his hopes for complete denuclearisation ahead of the summit.
“I think we’ll have a very tremendous summit,” he told the nation’s governors during their meeting at the White House on Monday morning.
“We want denuclearization, and I think he’ll have a country that will set a lot of records for speed in terms of an economy.”
The US president dangled the carrot of economic progress for North Korea if it gives up its nuclear programme.
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“With complete Denuclearization, North Korea will rapidly become an Economic Powerhouse,” tweeted Trump.
“Without it, just more of the same. Chairman Kim will make a wise decision!”
Relations between the two leaders have undergone a dramatic turnaround, from flinging personal insults and threats of destruction to Trump declaring he had fallen “in love” with Kim after their Singapore get-together.
Reuters Trump lavished praise on Vietnam’s economy
Reuters Trump was seen waving Vietnam’s flag
AP:Associated Press Trump held up Vietnam as an example of what North Korea can become if it gives up its nuclear weapons
EPA The US President said he hoped ‘great things will happen later on’
Reuters Trump is expected to have a private dinner with Kim later today
EPA Kim was greeted with bunches of flowers
AFP or licensors The US president looked grim-faced after touching down in Hanoi
AFP or licensors North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un arrives in Vietnam on an armoured train
AFP or licensors Trump disembarks from Air Force One at Noi Bai International Airport
AFP or licensors Vietnamese soldiers stand guard for the world leader as he steps off the aircraft
AP:Associated Press Kim Yo-jong, right, sister of the North Korean leader, arrives at the Dong Dang railway station
EPA A car carrying the North Korean leader leaves Vietnam’s Dong Dang station ahead of the US-North Korea summit hosted in Hanoi
AP:Associated Press Trump was seen boarding Air Force One ahead of the crunch talks with Kim
EPA Trump shakes hands with dignitaries on the red carpet at Hanoi
EPA The leader grins as he walks along a red carpet in Hanoi
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