Kim Jong-un’s overseas travel plans are routinely kept secret but according to the earlier announcement, the North Korean leader will spend two days in Hanoi. The second Trump-Kim meeting will take place in Vietnam’s capital for Wednesday and Thursday. The Vietnamese railway road operator was instruct in to clean the highway stretch and suspend road works, among other things, from 24-28 February as “a political task”.
Hanoi is preparing for the diplomatic event of the international scale, streets around Metropole hotel, a summit venue, have been decorated with flowers and the flags of North Korea, the US and Vietnam. Workers were also putting final touches on the International Media Centre, another building, which will host the Trump-Kim meeting.
Kim’s journey by train could take more than two days to travel thousands of miles through China to Vietnam where the NK leader is expected to seek a US commitment for improved bilateral relations and partial sanctions relief while trying to minimise any concessions on his nuclear facilities and weapons.
The first summit last June, Mr Trump reached a vague agreement on Pyongyang’s denuclearisation, but little tangible progress has been made since.
Hanoi has been gearing up for the summit with heightened security. Officials say the colonial-era government guest house in central Hanoi is expected to be the venue for the Trump-Kim meeting, with the nearby Metropole hotel as a backup.
Despite the relationship between American and North Korean leaders have been tumultuous, Trump and Kim have found a common language. The US president once labelled his North Korean counterpart “little rocket man” as nuclear tensions rose – but in a rally last September, he said Kim Jong-un “wrote me beautiful letters and they’re great letters. We fell in love”.