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Kim Jong-un, Trump meet in Hanoi, vow successful talks

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump dine together at a Hanoi hotel in this photo captured from the footage aired by Yonhap News TV. (Yonhap)

Pan Pacific Agency | COMMUICATION AGENCY FOR PACIFICA REGIONS

HANOI, Feb 27, 2019, Yonhap. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump began another historic summit in Hanoi on Wednesday, expressing hope and confidence that this week’s talks will be successful, reported the Yonhap.

Sitting briefly together with Trump at a French colonial-era hotel in Hanoi, Kim said he would do his best to produce a “great outcome” to be welcomed by all people.

Kim praised Trump for his “courageous decision” to initiate the summit process.

For his own part, Kim said more efforts and patience were needed than at any other time to make the summit happen.

Trump said his previous talks with Kim in Singapore eight months ago were a great success and the Hanoi meeting will “hopefully be equal or greater than the first.”

He added their personal relationship was the biggest progress they had made and told Kim that North Korea has tremendous economic potential. “I look forward to watching it happen,” he said.

He described his relations with Kim as “special.”

Answering a reporter’s question separately, Trump said he hasn’t backtracked on a pledge to denuclearize North Korea, according to pool reports.

Asked if he will declare an end to the 1950-53 Korean War, he said, “We’ll see. We will be seeing.”

Many expect such an end-of war declaration to be a meaningful first step toward replacing the armistice that finished the war with a peace treaty.

Kim wants a declaration on ending the war, and he’s likely to offer the shutdown of the Yongbyon nuclear complex, arguably the heart of his regime’s nuclear weapons development, in exchange for it.

Minutes earlier, they shook hands for several seconds, smiling and even laughing, in front of the flags of their countries at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi hotel. It was reminiscent of their Sentosa meeting.

Following the photo-op, they had a one-one-one meeting with the help of their respective translators. It was followed by a small social dinner involving some of their top aides.

Two American officials — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney — joined the dinner meeting. Kim Yong-chol, a senior Workers’ Party official, and Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho were at the dining table as well.

The leaders plan to meet again to continue their negotiations on Thursday, which Trump said will be a busy day. Kim said he was having interesting dialogue with the U.S. president as the scene of the dinner was broadcast.

Trump said there will be a post-summit press conference on Thursday but did not specify whether it will be a joint one with Kim.

In Singapore, they agreed to work together on “complete denuclearization,” new Pyongyang-Washington relations and a peace regime.

There has been little progress, however, amid disputes over concrete give-and-take steps to achieve these shared goals.

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