Vietnam ‘willing’ to host Trump-Kim summit

HANOI (AFP) – Vietnam’s premier has said his country is willing to host a much-anticipated second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

One of North Korea’s top generals Kim Yong Chol was expected to meet with Trump at the White House yesterday to hash out details of a second meeting with Kim, including a potential venue.

The second round of talks follow a historic summit in Singapore last year and are aimed at denuclearisation and ending decades of enmity between the two nations.

Vietnam has cropped up in the swirl of rumours and conjectures over a possible site for the meeting, with the capital Hanoi or the coastal city of Danang seemingly the most likely bases for the summit.

On Thursday Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said he would be open to hosting it.

“We don’t know the final decision. However, if it happens here we will do our best to facilitate the meeting,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

“Vietnam has cooperated well with the US in developing economic and trade relations, as well as in other areas.”

A Vietnamese government source who wished to remain anonymous told AFP “logistical preparations” were under way for a Trump-Kim summit although “no official decision” had been made.

“There is lots of work to be done, not only for Danang but some other locations for the event. The Vietnamese side is ready to host… but it is not up to us to decide.”

Like several other Southeast Asian countries, Vietnam maintains diplomatic ties with both communist-run Pyongyang and Washington and is keen to host major global events as it tries to project a more confident global profile.