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Vietnam may be vying for Kim-Trump summit

Dec 15,2018
Vietnam has expressed an interest in hosting a second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, CNN reported Thursday.

High-ranking Vietnamese officials delivered that intent to the South Korean government, according to a South Korean government source quoted by the news channel.

Vietnam has been cited in the media as a potential site for the next summit, along with Mongolia and Indonesia.

North Korea, which is largely isolated from the international community, has embassies in all three countries.

Trump said early this month that he expects the second summit to happen in January or February in one of three locations he didn’t name.

He had earlier ruled out Singapore, the venue of the first summit in June.

Mark Lambert, the acting U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, recently visited Vietnam, a diplomatic source in Washington told Yonhap. It’s unclear whether the trip was linked to planning for the second summit.

“I understand it was part of routine outreach, and he’s traveling to other countries, too,” the source said on condition of anonymity.

A State Department official said, “We are not going to comment on the details of our private diplomatic conversations.”

Meanwhile, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho was also in Vietnam early this month, a trip that was followed by a visit to Mongolia days later.

While speculation about the second summit is rife, negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have made little headway since Trump and Kim agreed in June to work toward the “complete” denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea’s official news agency cast the blame on the United States.

“The DPRK-U.S. negotiations are now at a deadlock,” the Korean Central News Agency said Thursday, referring to the North by its formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Yonhap