Vietnam foreign minister to visit North Korea from Feb 12 to 14 ahead of Trump-Kim summit

HANOI (REUTERS) – Vietnam’s foreign minister Pham Binh Minh will visit North Korea ahead of this month’s planned summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, a spokesman said on Monday (Feb 11).

Trump said last week he would hold his second meeting with Kim in the Vietnamese capital on Feb 27 and 28.

The Vietnamese foreign minister plans to visit North Korea from Feb 12 to 14, the spokesman said in a statement posted to social network Twitter, without giving further details.

Ahead of the summit, Vietnam’s reform model has been widely touted as the economic path for impoverished and isolated North Korea to follow.

The summit follows an unprecedented first meeting between the leaders in Singapore last June.

But with just weeks to go, the two sides have appeared far from narrowing their differences over US demands for North Korea to give up a nuclear weapons programme that threatens the United States.

The Singapore summit yielded a vague commitment by Kim to work toward the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, where US troops have been stationed since the Korean War.

While in the US view North Korea has yet to take concrete steps to give up its nuclear weapons, Pyongyang complains that Washington has done little to reciprocate for its freezing of nuclear and missile testing and dismantling of some facilities.

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