Hanoi: With North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on an armored train barreling through China toward Vietnam’s capital, and US President Donald Trump about to board a jet for Hanoi, Vietnamese officials scrambled Monday to finish preparation for a rushed summit that will capture global attention.
Officials in Hanoi said they had about 10 days to prepare for the summit — much less than the nearly two months they said Singapore was given for the first Trump-Kim meeting last year— but still vowed to provide airtight security for two leaders.
“Security will be at the maximum level,” Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Hoai Trung told reporters at a briefing meant to showcase the nation’s efforts to welcome Kim and Trump.
Another official, Nguyen Manh Hung, the leader of the information ministry, said that the 3,000 journalists from 40 countries expected in Hanoi could rely on his agency as “you’d count on a family member.” The world will be watching as the Trump and Kim deal with one of Asia’s biggest security challenges: North Korea’s pursuit of a nuclear program that stands on the verge of viably threatening any target on the planet.
T-shirts were being sold that bear Kim’s face, along with the phrase “Rocket Man,” a nod to the insulting nickname Trump gave Kim in 2017, when North Korean weapons tests and back-and-forth threats by the leaders had many fearing war. Meanwhile, hopes that Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un will formally declare an end to the 1950-53 Korean War at the Hanoi summit rose Monday, after South Korea said the two leaders could reach an agreement.