See More on Facebook

Diplomacy

US-NK summit to be held Feb. 27-28 in Vietnam

Trump said that much work remains to be done in his state-of-union address.


Written by

Updated: February 7, 2019

US President Donald Trump reaffirmed his commitment to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and confirmed the second summit between Pyongyang and Washington will take place in Vietnam on Feb. 27 and 28 during his State of the Union address Wednesday.

“As part of a bold new diplomacy, we continue our historic push for peace on the Korean Peninsula,” he said during the speech, which focused on the country’s foreign policy and economic status.

Trump highlighted his achievements in ongoing nuclear diplomacy with North Korea. “Our hostages have come home, nuclear testing has stopped, and there has not been a missile launch in more than 15 months,” he said.

Although he described his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as “a good one,” he said “much work remains to be done.”

Trump, however, did not specify whether the meeting would be held in Danang or Hanoi, two cities that have been mentioned as potential venues.

His remarks come as Trump and Kim are expected to discuss a concrete plan for how the North will implement steps to give up its nuclear weapons program and what the US will offer as incentives to encourage such actions.

South Korea’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae welcomed Trump’s official announcement on the two-day summit.

“The two leaders have taken their first step to clear out 70 years of hostile relations in Singapore. We expect that they will take more detailed and substantial steps of progress in Vietnam,” presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said.

A series of working-level talks aimed at preparing for the upcoming summit has been held between the two countries in recent weeks.

On Wednesday, US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun traveled to Pyongyang to meet Kim Huok-chol, a former ambassador to Spain, in preparation for the US-North Korea summit and to make progress on the commitments Kim and Trump made at their first summit in Singapore in June last year, which included “complete denuclearization, transforming relations of the two countries and building a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.”

Biegun and his counterpart Kim Huok-chol have met each other before. Kim accompanied North Korea’s top nuclear negotiator Kim Yong-chol when he visited Washington on Jan. 18 for talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Before heading to the North Korean capital, Biegun, who arrived in Seoul on Sunday, met with national security adviser Chung Eui-yong at Cheong Wa Dae on Monday.

During the 40-minute meeting, Chung and Biegun exchanged views on what Seoul and Washington have to do together going forward, ahead of working-level talks between the US and the North. The US envoy also met with Lee Do-hoon, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs.

As US-North Korea talks were revived in January following slow progress since their Singapore summit, concessions from the two sides that will bring denuclearization negotiations to the next level have been drawing keen attention from the international community.

On Jan. 31, Biegun said the North Korean leader has committed to “the dismantlement and destruction of North Korea’s plutonium and uranium enrichment facilities,” in a speech at Stanford University.

The North has been demanding the US lift economic sanctions, as it halted nuclear and missile tests, dismantled its nuclear test site and parts of its rocket launch facility and released US detainees in 2018.

Sanctions imposed by the United Nations and the US have struck a major blow to North Korea’s economy by limiting exports, leading to a sharp drop in the nation’s foreign currency reserves, which enable the country to import essential products.

Experts say that North Korea will likely seek to offer the demolition of its Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center — North Korea’s major nuclear site that houses a uranium enrichment facility and reactors — in exchange for a US promise to formally declare an end to the 1950-53 Korean War and to open a liaison office in Pyongyang.

“If the US hopes to reach an agreement, a denuclearization road map that goes beyond the Yongbyon nuclear complex, it needs to show more flexibility in sanctions relief for the North’s active engagement in making progress in denuclearization measures,” said Cheong Seong-Chang, a senior researcher at the Sejong Institute.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Korea Herald
About the Author: The Korea Herald is the nation’s largest English-language daily and the country’s sole member of the Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy

Japan, Russia to not discuss sensitive territorial issue at G20

Japan, Russia likely to skip agreement on travel to northern territories at G20. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin are unlikely to agree on a framework to facilitate travel to the northern territories at their bilateral meeting to be held as early as Saturday on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit, according to Japanese government sources. Since April, the two governments have been studying a system to grant people traveling between the two countries and the northern territories special passport and visa treatment. The system would enable joint economic activities without harming the legal positions of Japan and Russia, which both claim sovereignty over the four islands. Japan had been considering a Russian proposal to allow short-term visa exemptions for travel between Hokkaido and Sakhalin in the Russian Far East, with the aim of reaching an


By The Japan News
June 26, 2019

Diplomacy

Vietnam, EU to sign free trade agreement

The agreement will be signed in Hanoi on June 30. The European Council announced on Tuesday that it has approved the European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU – Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), and assigned the EU to sign the deals with Vietnam on June 30 in Hanoi The EVFTA and EVIPA are the most ambitious agreements concluded between the EU and a developing country. Once the EVFTA takes effect, over 99 per cent of tariff on goods from both sides will be lifted. Vietnam will remove 65 per cent of import tariff on goods from the EU. Remaining tariffs will be removed in the next decade. Besides offering significant economic opportunities, the trade agreement ensures that trade, investment and sustainable development go hand in hand, by setting the highest standards of labour, safety, environmental and consumer protection. Meanwhile, the EVITA will h


By Viet Nam News
June 26, 2019

Diplomacy

US should stop forcing nations to take sides

China state media says US should stop pursuing its polarising diplomacy programs. When then US president Barack Obama launched his Pivot to Asia strategy in 2012, trying to drive a wedge between China and its neighbors, the Southeast Asian nations’ response was loud and clear: They did not want to be forced to choose between China and the United States. The US has been a security ally for some ASEAN nations, while China has been their largest trade partner. So maintaining good relations with both makes perfect sense. European nations also resisted US pressure in 2015 by joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Luxembourg will host the AIIB’s first annual meeting outside Asia next month. After labeling China a revisionist power and a strategic competitor in its 2018 national security strategy, the US has intensified its efforts to curtail the rise of China. Instead of l


By China Daily
June 26, 2019

Diplomacy

Pakistan’s Iran conundrum

It’s hard to identify any country that benefits from relentless US efforts to tighten the screws on Iran. On November 21, 1979, Pakistani protesters stormed the United States embassy in Islamabad. They smashed windows and set fire to the building. By the time the Pakistani military had quelled the violence, the embassy had sustained extensive damage and several people — both Americans and Pakistanis — had died. The attack came at a tense moment for US-Pakistan relations. Several months earlier, Washington


By Dawn
June 26, 2019

Diplomacy

US, China must compromise to reach deal: Chinese official

Both sides must come together in good faith for any progress to be made. Both China and the United States must be willing to compromise if they are to reach a deal when presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump meet at the G-20 Summit this week, a Chinese trade official has said. Vice-Minister for Commerce Wang Shouwen said at a news briefing yesterday that trade teams from both sides are in talks. He did not elaborate, but stressed that China negotiates on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. “An agreement reached has to be beneficial for both sides, and meeting each other halfway means both sides must be willing to compromise – not just one side giving way,” said Mr Wang, who is part of China’s negotiating team.


By The Straits Times
June 26, 2019

Diplomacy

Pakistan to get $3bn in deposits, direct investments from Qatar

Pakistan has recently received loans from the World Bank and investments from the Saudis. Qatar is making $3 billion dollars worth of new investments in Pakistan, in the form of deposits and direct investments, said Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Monday. The economic partnership between Qatar and Pakistan will reach $9 billion, Qatar News Agency quoted foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani as saying. “The Qatari-Pakistani economic partnership will amount to $9 billion. Qatar affirms


By Dawn
June 25, 2019