A fresh round of talks between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un opens on Thursday in Hanoi with an optimistic note.
The US president’s prediction on Wednesday in the Vietnamese capital of a ‘very successful’ summit with North Korea augurs well for international peace. The summit talks began in Singapore in June this year. Now the US president and the North Korean leader with their respective delegations have assembled in Hanoi for a two-day summit talks.
The US president and the North Korean leader smiled, shook hands and dined at a luxury hotel in Hanoi on Wednesday, expressing optimism that these talks would lead to a deal on Pyonyang’s nuclear weapons. Trump had two hours of one-to-one talks with the North Korean leader on Wednesday.
Critics say the Singapore summit did not produce concrete results but Trump said the Hanoi talks would be “equal or better than the first. Kim said, “I am certain that a great outcome will be achieved this time that will be welcomed by all people.”
Analysts say since Trump is dogged by scandal at home as his former lawyer Michael Cohen described him as a conman publicly, he is seeking a big foreign policy win to push back domestic troubles.
His aim is to persuade Kim to dismantle his nuclear weapons and resolve a stand-off with the isolated state that has bedevilled US leaders since the end of the Korean War in 1953.
In exchange for undoing its nuclear arsenal, Trump is pitching a vision of North Korea as a new Asian economic powerhouse. He says North Korea would emulate the summit’s host Vietnam, once locked in a devastating conflict with the US, but now a thriving trade partner.
North Korea’s nuclear arsenal has long been a source of disquiet for America. We welcome the peace initiative.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 1st, 2019.