This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un greeted one another as they kicked off two days of meetings in the Vietnamese capital to discuss the question of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and missile programs.
The two leaders shook hands and smiled at Hanoi’s five-star Metropole hotel on February 27, where they [were] scheduled to meet for 20 minutes before sitting down for a dinner with their aides.
Trump told reporters he thought the talks would be very successful, while he was “not walking back on denuclearization.”
“I am certain that an outcome will be achieved this time that will be welcomed by all people,” Kim said. “I will do my best to make that happen.”
Trump has sought to find a way to reach some sort of agreement with Kim, the dictator who has presided over a regime that has brutalized its population while also advancing nuclear-weapons programs.
It’s the second meeting between the two. Their historic first meeting — the first between a U.S. president and a North Korean leader — was held in June 2018 in Singapore.
Since that first meeting, however, there has been little sign of progress.
Trump flew into Hanoi on Air Force One, while Kim arrived via a specially armored train after a three-day, 3,000-kilometer journey.
Prior to leaving Washington, Trump posted on Twitter: “With complete Denuclearization, North Korea will rapidly become an Economic Powerhouse. Without it, just more of the same. Chairman Kim will make a wise decision!”
Speaking to a gathering of governors in the White House earlier on February 25, Trump predicted “a very tremendous summit.”