NEWS
06/02/2019 07:37 GMT

State of the Union: Donald Trump Says Second North Korea Summit Will Take Place This Month

The US President is to meet Kim Jong-un in Vietnam.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un are to hold their second summit at the end of February, the US president said in his State of the Union address

The meeting with the North Korean leader will take place in Vietnam on 27-28 February, Trump said while giving himself credit for averting a major war on the Korean Peninsula.

The two previously met last summer in Singapore, though that meeting only led to a vaguely worded commitment by North Korea to denuclearise.

Trump has been eager to hold a second summit in spite of a lack of concrete progress in persuading North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program.

Patsy Lynch/MediaPunch/IPx
Donald Trump during the annual address to Congress.

His relationship with Kim, he said on Tuesday, “is a good one.”

In the annual speech to Congress, Trump said much work remained to be done in the push for peace with North Korea, but cited the halt in its nuclear testing and no new missile launches in 15 months as proof of progress.

“If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea,” Trump said.

Trump had raised fears of war in 2017 when he threatened to rain “fire and fury like the world has never seen” on North Korea because of the threat its nuclear weapons and missiles posed to the United States.

Communist-ruled Vietnam, which has good relations with both the United States and North Korea, had been widely touted as the most likely venue for the meeting.

Trump did not say which Vietnamese city would host the two leaders, but both the capital, Hanoi, and Danang have been considered possibilities.

The US Embassy in Vietnam said it did not have anything to announce regarding the summit.

US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun was due to hold talks in Pyongyang this week to map out what he called “a set of concrete deliverables” for the second meeting.

AFP News
Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump during the Singapore summit.

The Singapore summit yielded a vague commitment from Kim to work toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, where U.S. troops have been stationed since the 1950-1953 Korean War.

North Korea has repeatedly urged a lifting of punishing U.S.-led sanctions, a formal end to the war, and security guarantees.

The two-day summit could bring an agreement between Trump and Kim to end the Korean War, said Harry Kazianis of the Washington-based Centre for the National Interest, a conservative think-tank.

“Such a declaration would show a clear intent to transform their relationship and create a solid foundation for the much harder work towards denuclearization that is yet to come,” Kazianis tweeted.

While Trump has hailed “tremendous progress” in his dealings with North Korea, a confidential report by UN sanctions monitors seen by Reuters this week cast further doubt on the North’s intentions.

It said the country’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs remained intact and that North Korea was working to make sure those capabilities could not be destroyed by any military strikes.