Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un will meet again on Wednesday and Thursday in Hanoi, Vietnam, for a second summit with reduced ambitions for the denuclearization of North Korea.
If it is unlikely that the US President and the North Korean leader can agree on what should be the elimination of nuclear weapons in North Korea, their new interview could at least allow them to declare the official end of hostilities between the two Koreas.
The war between the North and the South (1950-1953) ended in an armistice and not in a peace agreement in due form.
In their first unprecedented summit last June in Singapore, Trump and Kim pledged to work towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula , in a rather vague statement that has disappointed many. Few concrete results have emerged since that date.
On the eve of his departure for the Vietnamese capital, Donald Trump said Sunday in Washington that he would be happy if North Korea continued to refrain from testing weapons as it has done for about a year and a half.
” I’m not in a hurry. I do not want to press anyone, “said the White House chief.
I just want there to be no more trials. As long as there are no trials, we are happy.
It has also made North Korea dazzle, as it did last June, that with a “total denuclearization”, it could become a great power .
North Korea conducted its last nuclear test, the sixth, in September 2017 and its last intercontinental ballistic missile test in November 2017.
Before the freeze, North Korea conducted a series of tests that it says provided it with high-powered nuclear bombs and missiles capable of reaching the American continent.
Experts are skeptical of the possibility that the North Korean regime will easily abandon this program.
The United States has been demanding for years the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea, before considering any action.
But Donald Trump has announced, in recent days, a possible easing, saying he would like to be able to remove the severe sanctions against Pyongyang if there were significant progress in denuclearization.
In the framework of a modest agreement that could give birth to the summit of Hanoi, the two parties could agree on an official end of the war, told the press in Seoul a spokesman of the South Korean presidency .
“The opportunity is there,” said Kim Eui-kyeom.
North Korea has long called for this measure in Seoul, as a major step towards normalizing relations between the two countries.
In return, Pyongyang could allow international inspectors to witness the dismantling of its Yongbyon nuclear reactor, according to analysts.
The United States could also accept the opening of liaison offices between the United States and North Korea and allow some inter-Korean projects, provided the North takes steps towards denuclearization.
In the direction of Vietnam
Donald Trump left the United States on Monday afternoon. He is expected in Vietnam on Tuesday night, the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry said.
He will meet Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong on Wednesday morning, who is also secretary-general of the ruling Communist Party.
Kim Jong-un, who left his country Saturday by train, should arrive Tuesday morning.
Vietnam has yet to specify the venue of the summit and the timing of the discussions.
Phyllis Reddon is a general assignment reporter at Rise Media. She has covered sports, entertainment and many other beats in her journalism career, and has lived in New York for more than 6 years. Phyllis has appeared periodically on national television shows and has been published in (among others) Yahoo News,, Politico, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Wired.com, Vice and Salon.com.