All eyes set on Hanoi Summit

Ishwar Dev Khanal

February 22, 2019

4 MIN READ

All eyes set on Hanoi Summit
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Amid skepticism over its outcome, the world’s eyes, including Nepal, will be focused on next week’s highly-anticipated second pas de deux between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in an Asian country.

Vietnam, a former wartime foe of the US, is all set to host the widely-talked-about second round of summit between US President Trump and North Korean leader Un on February 27 and 28.

Hanoi has been chosen as the venue, as reports suggest, because of its accessibility, five-star accommodation and its history of hosting several summits. The other reason could be that Kim reportedly showed reluctance to travel elsewhere due to security reasons.

However, skepticisms are rife whether the Hanoi summit will yield a substantive outcome about North Korea’s ‘real denuclearization’ or whether North Korea will agree to a showable suspension on its production of nuclear weapons. The question is whether the North will show the willingness to relinquish its nuclear activities and demonstrate its commitment towards denuclearization.

Even though North Korea has repeatedly claimed that it destroyed its nuclear test sites, it hasn’t allowed international inspectors to verify its claim.

Take this for instance: The US director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, last month in his report presented to Congress had said that Pyongyang was “unlikely to give up” its nuclear weapons.

Here, a question pops up about Trump’s gesture on the sanctions on North Korea, which are on in full. Trump, however, recently said the priority will be on ending the North’s nuclear program.

The dates for the summit were fixed after Trump, on February 5, disclosed during his State of the Union address that the summit would take place on February 27 and 28. North’s leader Un is expected to travel in advance to Hanoi, probably on Monday, for the summit where he is expected to hold talks with the Vietnamese authorities, reports suggest.

The reason to choose the Asian country Vietnam for the summit was obvious because it has friendly relations with the U.S., both Koreas, and it boasts of hosting several high-level meetings.

To recall what Trump recently said: “Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong-un is a good one. And Chairman Kim and I will meet again on February 27 and 28 in Vietnam.”

Even though North Korea has repeatedly claimed that it destroyed its nuclear test sites, it hasn’t allowed international inspectors to verify its claim.

Reports say North Korea has “done very little” to denuclearize the peninsula which the US is skeptical about.

U.S. President Trump and North Korean leader Un first met in Singapore on June 12, 2018, breaking off their hostility when they signed a ‘vague agreement’ expressing the committed to continuing working toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

To recall what Trump recently said: “Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong-un is a good one. And Chairman Kim and I will meet again on February 27 and 28 in Vietnam.”

Meanwhile, Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, has deployed a total of 96 patrol groups to crack down on crime before the summit. Security forces have been put on high alert at the city landmarks and major places. Vietnam has assured tight security even though the risk of terrorism is low in this country.

To recall, Gurkha Contingent was deployed for the security of the June 12 summit venue in Singapore last year.

Free haircuts

Interestingly, a barber shop, The Tuan Duong Beauty Academy, in Hanoi, has started offering free haircuts as a ‘promotional offer’ until February 28 as an honor of the summit.

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