Kim leaves North Korea by train for 2nd Trump summit in Vietnam

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“They will not make an agreement which breaks up the current flow of diplomacy”

Shin Beom-chul

The communist leader left Pyongyang by train on Saturday afternoon for the February 27 meeting with The Donald in the nation’s capital, Hanoi.

Kim and senior North Korean officials who took part in last year’s summit talks in Singapore will again meet the president as they aim to thrash out a solid deal over Pyongyang’s nukes. 

Vietnam’s foreign ministry announced Kim would make the official visit to Vietnam in the “coming days” at the invitation of president and general secretary of the country’s ruling Communist Party, Nguyen Phu Trong. 

Trump and Kim all meet in Hanoi eight months after their historic summit in Singapore, the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader, where they pledged to work toward the complete denuclearisation of Korean Peninsula.  

The North Korean leader is heading to Vietnam

KIM JONG-UN: The North Korean leader is heading to Vietnam (Pic: REUTERS/ KCNA)

But little progress since then has driven the two leaders to again seek a top-down approach, analysts said. 

Shin Beom-chul, a senior fellow at the Asian Institute for Policy Studies, said: “They will not make an agreement which breaks up the current flow of diplomacy. 

“President Trump has mentioned that they’ll meet again, even if there is a low-level agreement, they will seek to keep things moving.” 

The Trump administration has pressed North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons programme, which threatens the US before it can expect any concessions. 

Trump has managed to put pressure on North Korea

TOUGH: Trump has managed to put pressure on North Korea (Pic: GETTY)

President Nguyen Phu Trong announced the summit would be held in Hanoi

VIETNAM: President Nguyen Phu Trong announced the summit would be held in Hanoi (Pic: GETTY)

The president is under pressure to get the North Koreans to drop its nuclear weapons

DEAL: The president is under pressure to get the North Koreans to drop its nuclear weapons (Pic: GETTY)

Kim will arrive in Vietnam in the coming days

HANOI: Kim will arrive in Vietnam in the coming days (Pic: GETTY)

Kim wants to bring an official end to the decades-old Korean War

TYRANT: Kim wants to bring an official end to the decades-old Korean War (Pic: GETTY)

North Korea wants an easing of US-led sanctions, security guarantees and a formal end of the 1950-1953 Korean War, which ended in a truce, not a treaty.

Both sides are under pressure to forge more specific agreements that were reached at the Singapore summit, which critics, especially in the US, said lacked detail. 

If Kim travels all the way to Vietnam by train he could take at least 2-1/2 days to make the journey of thousands of kilometres through China. 

Beijing has given no details of Kim’s trip through China. On Sunday, its foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether Kim would meet President Xi Jinping, before arriving in Hanoi.

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