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Trump announces summit with Kim will take place in Hanoi

09 February 2019

State Department spokesman Robert Palladino told a news briefing that US Special Representative for NKorea Stephen Biegun was in Pyongyang to prepare the 27-28 February Summit and seeking progress on commitments made at the 1st meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore in June.

Ahead of his visit to the Koreas, Bigeun said last week that Kim had committed to "the dismantlement and destruction of North Korea's plutonium and uranium enrichment facilities" during a September summit with Moon and at a meeting with the USA secretary of state in October.

Mr Trump said his representatives had a "productive meeting" and that he was looking forward to advancing peace.

Trump announced the exact location on Twitter- only the country, Vietnam, was previously known- for the follow-on to the leaders' summit in Singapore a year ago as he hailed "very productive" preparatory talks between diplomats from the two countries.

Just weeks ahead of the planned summit the two sides have at times appeared far from bridging significant gaps over how and if the North will relinquish its nuclear weapons program. A foreign ministry official told reporters that the USA envoy has promised to brief the South Korean government first, on the details of what was discussed in Pyeongyang.

On Wednesday, Stephen Biegun, U.S. special representative for North Korea, arrived in Pyongyang for talks about the envisioned summit.

The U.S. insists on concrete denuclearization steps, such as inspections into the North's Yongbyon nuclear facility and shutting it down.

Some experts say North Korea is trying to use the negotiations to weaken the sanctions and buy time to flawless its weapons program.

The confidential report, a copy of which was seen by news agencies, also said North Korea was routinely breaking global sanctions.

"Vietnam is ready to make active contributions to and cooperate with relevant sides to ensure the success for the second U.S. -DPRK summit, thus helping realize the above-mentioned goal", she added. The U.S. leader and top officials have repeatedly stressed the economic benefits for North Korea if it gives up its nuclear weapons program. He may surprise some but he won't surprise me, because I have gotten to know him & fully understand how capable he is.

Some media have been reporting the likely venue of the summit as the central Vietnamese city of Danang, which hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders meeting in 2017. "North Korea will become a different kind of Rocket - an Economic one!"

Trump announces summit with Kim will take place in Hanoi