WASHINGTON, February 2, 2019 — US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had their first-ever historic meeting last June in Singapore. A second one is on the cards and the tentative venue could be Vietnam. The first meeting was an effort to assess each other and was more of a photo ops event. There were some decisions taken on the burning issue of denuclearization but it is difficult to ascertain the extent of implementation by Kim’s regime. The second one is a follow-up of the first.
It could result in action that is more positive by the hermit kingdom on issues that relate to the disposal of nuclear arsenal and facilities.
In fact, the venue could be in the Vietnamese coastal city of Da Nang. There is no clarity on Donald Trump’s agenda for the second summit as yet but sources say he is not likely to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The source adds, “Xi is very supportive of the summit.”
Officials in the State Department have dropped hints that the US could formally end the Korean War. That is one of the sensitive issues and the Koreans want to settle it. Steve Biegun said in a speech at Stanford, “President Trump is ready to end this war.” He added America does not want to invade the country or topple the regime.
Steve Biegun is the State Department’s top envoy on North Korea. Assurances of this nature could pay dividends. However, there are doubts in certain quarters that the US might extend the goodwill gesture by agreeing to the withdrawal of troops from South Korea.
CNN says in the first summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Singapore, there was a commitment from the North Korean leader on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula but there is no indication about progress on that front. Incidentally, earlier this month, Trump expressed satisfaction that North Korea had not sent up any more rockets.
According to USA Today, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is cautious about announcing the venue of the second summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. Pompeo says his team is going “someplace in Asia” and the next summit will be by the end of February.
While interacting with a section of the media he admitted that his team would lay the foundations for the summit that will lead to the ultimate objective of denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula. He also said that such a line of action would ensure a brighter future for the North Koreans.
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