The second U.S.-North Korea summit meeting will take place in Vietnam on February 27 and 28, U.S. President Donald J. Trump announced during his State of the Union address on Tuesday. Trump had announced the dates to a group of television news anchors early in the day on Tuesday. While a specific city has yet to be announced, the capital of Hanoi and the coastal city of Danang are candidates to host the second summit.
The summit will be the second between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader. It follows Trump’s first meeting with Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12 last year. At the upcoming summit, the two leaders are expected to continue talks on the objectives set out in the 2018 Singapore declaration, which committed the two sides to forge a new diplomatic relationship and build a peace regime. North Korea pledged to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
The diplomatic process between the two sides picked up in January following the North Korean leader’s New Years’ Day address, in which he called on the United States to offer concessions in return for Pyongyang’s actions in 2018. Kim’s top envoy, Kim Yong Chol, traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with Trump and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, resulting in the start of a working-level process between U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun and his North Korean counterparts.
Trump’s announcement of the dates of the upcoming summit came as Biegun traveled to Pyongyang for consultations with Kim Hyok Chol, North Korea’s working-level lead negotiator. The two envoys were likely to discuss logistics for the upcoming summit meeting as well as the specifics of any potential future denuclearization steps or U.S. concessions.
A U.S. State Department press release in anticipation of Biegun’s trip noted that the two sides would use the talks “to prepare for the President’s second summit with Chairman Kim and advance further progress on the commitments the President and Chairman Kim made in Singapore.”
“North Korea relationship is best it has ever been with U.S.,” Trump had tweeted in January. “No testing, getting remains, hostages returned. Decent chance of Denuclearization…”
Last week, U.S. intelligence chiefs offered, as part of their annual Worldwide Threat Assessment, a view that North Korea was “unlikely to give up all of its nuclear weapons and production capabilities, even as it seeks to negotiate partial denuclearization steps to obtain key US and international concession.”
“If I had not been elected President of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea with potentially millions of people killed,” Trump said on Tuesday. “Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong Un is a good one.”