President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un are meeting for the second time, in historic fashion, as the two parties look to end nuclear tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The historic second summit is taking place in Vietnam where Trump is accompanied by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting Cheif of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
“With a handshake and smile, President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un kicked off their second summit Wednesday evening at the historic Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel and offered an optimistic outlook for their coming meetings,” ABC News reports
Speaking to members of the media, Trump praised the first historic meeting with Kim Jong-Un in Singapore last year.
“I thought the first summit was a great success and I hope this one hopefully will be equal or greater than the first. And we made a lot of progress and think the biggest progress was our relationship is really a good one,” Trump said, per the report.
“I think it’ll lead to a wonderful, really a wonderful situation long term,” The U.S. president added, via AP News.
“I’m sure that we can do this,” Kim Jong-Un said through a translator, via ABC News. He added, via AP, that he was “confident that we can achieve great results that everyone welcomes.”
The Associated Press reports after the meeting in front of the media, Trump and his administration officials had dinner with Kim Jong-Un and Kim Yong Chol, the man Kim has put in charge in the negotiations, and Ri Yong Ho, North Korea’s foreign affairs minister.
Here’s more on the Wednesday evening meeting, via ABC News:
Kim said the leaders had “very interesting dialogue” during their one-on-one meeting.
“If you could have heard that dialogue,” Trump teased in reply.
The summit begins in full on Thursday with a day of meetings and lunch expected. But first, the president met with the host of the summit, Vietnamese President and General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong at the presidential palace for a bilateral meeting and to sign a commercial trade agreement.
The road to Hanoi, Vietnam, and the second meeting between President Trump and North Korea‘s Kim has been long: A 10,300-mile flight with two refueling stops for the American president and a 2,500-mile train ride through China and 100-mile drive through Vietnam for the young dictator.
Ahead of the meeting, President Trump took to Twitter and complimented the hosting country: “Vietnam is thriving like few places on earth. North Korea would be the same, and very quickly, if it would denuclearize.”
“The potential is AWESOME, a great opportunity, like almost none other in history, for my friend Kim Jong Un. We will know fairly soon – Very Interesting!” he added in the tweet.
Despite confidence from both country’s leaders, the goal of denuclearization could be a long shot, Politico reports.
“The two countries could agree to shutter North Korea’s plutonium and uranium enrichment plants, adopt a road map for inspections or put an end to Pyongyang’s missile tests — all of which would represent significant steps toward pulling the Korean peninsula away from a nuclear conflict,” the report reads.
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
Here’s a rundown on some of the commitments the experts would like to see emerge from Hanoi:
1) Shuttering North Korea’s nuclear production
2) Full disclosure and inspections
3) A permanent ban on missile testing
4) Confidence-building measures