Spotlight: Expectation runs high over Trump-Kim's Vietnam summit

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-23 13:43:44|Editor: ZX
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BEIJING, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Four days ahead of the much-anticipated meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, the top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Vietnam is tightening security and making final preparations to ensure the summit will be a "success."

Analysts say Washington would seek concrete steps towards denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula while Pyongyang would take more open policies to reshape its foreign diplomacy through the meeting.

Vietnam would also take this opportunity to present its glamour and magnify its voices on international issues.


Negotiations after the two leaders' first meeting in Singapore last year went into a stalemate, due to differences on such key issues as the roadmap of denuclearization, U.S. lifting sanctions and whether to issue a war-ending declaration.

Trump said Tuesday that he would like to see the ultimate denuclearization of the DPRK, but at the same time noted that he was "in no particular rush" given that the sanctions remain in effect and Pyongyang has refrained from nuclear and missile testing.

A U.S. official said on Thursday that the two sides would work toward a shared understanding of what denuclearization means at the upcoming summit.

According to the U.S. government, the Hanoi summit on Feb. 27-28 would consist of a one-on-one meeting between Trump and Kim and expanded talks with their respective delegations. A joint statement is expected to be issued after the meeting.

Kyle Ferrier, analyst for the Washington-based Korea Economic Institute (KEI), said that Washington would seek concrete steps towards denuclearization and seems to be willing to declare an end to the Korean War to get it. Pyongyang would certainly welcome an end of war declaration, which is the first step in reaching a more enduring peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Given a lot of skepticism and criticism about his Singapore summit with Kim, Trump is expecting to secure some kind of concession or concrete promises from Kim to show that his engagement plan has been and is still working, said Director of Communications at KEI Jenna Gibson.

Gibson noted that Trump is having a hard time domestically due to the record-setting partial government shutdown. "Showing that he can successfully pull off a big summit meeting and come away with major concessions from Kim will be good news for Trump."

Responding to Trump's wish, Kim said in his New Year's speech that he would work to build new relations with the United States, settle a lasting peace on the peninsula and pursue a complete denuclearization on condition that the United States takes corresponding measures.


The DPRK has been making great efforts to improve its foreign relations. After China, South Korea to Singapre, Vietnam will be the fourth country for Kim to visit since a year ago.

Since March last year, Kim visited China four times and met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on each visit.

Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in three times last year, agreeing on ways to defuse military tensions and prevent accidental clashes.

A recent poll showed that the image of the DPRK among South Korean students grew positive amid the rising peace mood on the Korean Peninsula, created by the series of inter-Korean summits and the first-ever summit between the DPRK and the United States last year.

Pyongyang is also inviting its socialist allies to visit the country.

Last November, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel traveled to Pyongyang and met with Kim to discuss in depth ways to vitalize cooperation and exchanges in various fields.

Wang Junsheng, an international relations expert with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Kim's Hanoi visit shows his open attitude towards forging an open foreign policy, especially increasing communication and cooperation with socialist countries.

Analysts have pointed out that Kim would also like to take his Hanoi trip as a chance to learn from Vietnam's post-war economic transformation.

Vietnam is one of Asia's fastest growing economies and is integrating into the international community. Its economy expanded at an estimated annual rate of just above 7 percent in 2018, fueled by a double-digit increase in manufacturing output.


Many experts believe that hosting the summit will improve the image of Vietnam in the international arena and help Vietnam promote economy and tourism.

Pham Hong Thai, acting director general of Institute for Northeast Asian Studies under Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, said this summit is a very valuable opportunity for Vietnam.

"The first summit in Singapore, thousands of reporters came to Singapore, and the same will hold true with the coming summit. It is certain that during the process of covering the summit, international reporters will promote Vietnam's images widely to the world."

Some 2,600 foreign reporters have registered to cover the summit, Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung told the press on Thursday.

Trung said Vietnam has prepared infrastructure for the media center and created favorable conditions for foreign reporters to cover the event.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has recently directed ministries and sectors to do their utmost to ensure security and safety make the summit a success, Vietnam News Agency reported.

The government has called on local people to join hands to popularize Hanoi's image as a friendly and hospitable destination by complying with transport regulations as well as protecting the environment and public landscapes.

Pham said "a beautiful Vietnam and its economic success will be better known by the world, which will help attract more foreign investors to Vietnam." International media will mention Vietnam's economy, Vietnam's policies and orientations, especially economic ones, he added.

Irrespective of the outcome, Vietnam will benefit from the summit, Experts say.

"Regardless the level of its results relating to denuclearization on Korean Peninsula, it will bring about good effects and benefits to regional countries. Hosting the summit helps Vietnam strengthen ties with countries in the region, including China," Pham said.

(Xinhua correspondents Liu Pinran, Wang Di, Zhu Dongyang also contributed to the report.)