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Kim, Trump meet in Vietnam

February 28, 2019

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have begun their second summit in Vietnam. The leaders met for the first time in Singapore in June 2018.

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sit down for a dinner during the second U.S.-North Korea summit at the Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam February 27, 2019
Image: Reuters/L. Millis

US President Donald Trump said he had a "very good dialogue" with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as they kicked off their second summit in Vietnam on Wednesday.

"A lot of things are going to be solved I hope," Trump said at a dinner with Kim. "I think it will lead to a wonderful, really a wonderful situation long-term."

Kim said that his country had been "misunderstood" and viewed with "distrust."

"There have been efforts, whether out of hostility or not, to block the path that we intend to take," he said.

"But we have overcome all these and walked toward each other again and we've now reached Hanoi after 261 days," referring to their first meeting in Singapore. "I am confident that we can achieve great results that everyone welcomes."

The two leaders are expected to hold a "joint agreement signing ceremony" on Thursday, according to a White House itinerary. The details of these agreements are not yet known.

North Korea's 'awesome' potential

Ahead of talks, Trump expressed his belief that there was "awesome" potential and a "great opportunity" for North Korea if it committed to denuclearization.

"Vietnam is thriving like few places on earth. North Korea would be the same, and very quickly, if it would denuclearize," Trump wrote on Twitter.

"The potential is awesome, a great opportunity, like almost none other in history, for my friend Kim Jong Un," Trump continued, adding that "we will know very soon."

Trump is traveling with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.

Kim brought Kim Yong Chol, his chief interlocutor with the US, and North Korea's Minister of Foreign Affairs Ri Yong Ho.

Little progress made

The president is trying to use economic incentives to convince North Korea to follow through on its denuclearization pledge.

But so far, Trump has made little progress in getting North Korea to agree to get rid of its weapons programs.

Read more: Stakes are high for US to show progress on North Korea

Trump said late last year that he and Kim "fell in love," and on the eve of his departure for the second summit, he said they had developed "a very, very good relationship."

South Korea lowers expectations

South Korea on Wednesday appeared to relax its expectations of the meeting between Trump and Kim, saying any progress made in Hanoi would be a positive development.

Government spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said it would be unfair to call the summit a failure if it fell short of making "big deals," saying "small deals" can be keys that open up bigger agreements later.

"A thousand-mile journey begins with the first step," he said.

law, ng/amp (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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