06 February, 2019
American President Donald Trump will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on February 27 and 28 in Vietnam.
Trump announced the meeting in his State of the Union speech to American lawmakers Tuesday night. He said the meeting would, in his words, "continue our historic push for peace on the Korean Peninsula."
The men first met last June in Singapore and agreed, "to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula." The agreement did not include a plan for reaching such a goal.
After that meeting, North Korea released American detainees and suspended nuclear and long-distance missile tests. It also said it shut down a nuclear test site without the presence of outside experts. North Korea has repeatedly demanded that, in return, the United States lift economic measures against the country.
However, satellite images, taken since the June meeting, have shown North Korea is continuing to produce nuclear materials and work on its missile program.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told Congress last week that U.S. intelligence officials do not believe Kim will surrender his nuclear weapons and production capability. Coats said North Korean leaders "view nuclear weapons as critical to regime survival."
Trump said in his speech, "Our hostages have come home, nuclear testing has stopped, and there has not been a missile launch in more than 15 months." He added, "Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong Un is a good one."
It is not known where in Vietnam the meeting will take place. The city of Da Nang was the site of the 2017 APEC meeting and the capital city of Ha Noi held the 2018 regional World Economic Forum.
Murray Hiebert of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. spoke to the Associated Press. He said, "Like Singapore, where they met last time, Vietnam is a very secure place..." He said the country's special police can keep crowds away and restrict reporters to permitted areas.
Trump attended the 2017 APEC meeting. The president also has met with Vietnamese leaders in Vietnam and the United States.
North Korea considers Vietnam a friendly Communist country although it operates under a free-market economic policy. It is a four-hour plane trip from North Korea.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Vietnam last July after two days of talks in North Korea. Pompeo praised Vietnamese leaders for opening up the country "without threatening the country's sovereignty, its independence, and its form of government."
In a speech to the business community in Ha Noi, Pompeo said, "I have a message for Chairman Kim Jong Un: President Trump believes your country can replicate this path. It's yours if you'll seize the moment."
I'm Ashley Thompson.
Hai Do adapted this story for Learning English based on AP news reports. Caty was the editor.
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Words in This Story
regime - n. a form of government : a particular government
capability - n. the ability to do something
sovereignty - n. a country's independent authority and the right to govern itself