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Fresh Kim-Trump summit raises curtain, “fruitful achievements” expected

HANOI, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) – A motorcade carrying U.S. President Donald Trump arrived at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi late Wednesday afternoon. Not very long later, another motorcade arrived, bringing Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) top leader Kim Jong Un.

At 18:28 local time (11:28 GMT) at the hotel, Trump and Kim, both in dark suits, shook hands in front of 12 intertwined national flags, six of the DPRK and six of the United States, raising the curtain for their second summit.

A banner hanging above the flags reads “Hanoi Summit” both in English and Korean.

In just some eight months, the two leaders made a reunion here in Vietnam to discuss such possibilities as a roadmap for denuclearization, the easing of sanctions and a war-ending declaration.

After shaking hands and posing for photo opportunities as usual, the two leaders talked with each other for a few minutes in a pretty relaxed manner.

When asked by pool reporters what he thinks about the upcoming summit, Trump said he thinks it will be “very successful”; When asked whether he has rolled back on his calls from a full denuclearization by the DPRK, he replied: “No.”

Asked if he would declare a formal end to the Korean War, Trump said: “We’ll see.”

Then the two leaders sat down for a brief conversation. Kim said there have been “a lot of efforts and patience” since their first meeting in Singapore.

“As I see you today, I hope we can make fruitful achievements that many people are waiting for, and I will try my best,” Kim said.

For his part, Trump said: “We had a very successful first summit … Hopefully this one will be equal or even greater than the first.”

“We have made a lot of progress, I think the greatest progress was our relationship, is really a good one,” he said.

“I think that your country has tremendous economic potential, unbelievable, unlimited,” Trump said to Kim. “And I think you will have a tremendous future with your country and be a great leader.”

He expressed willingness to help the DPRK “make it happen.” Then the two shook hands again and smiled.

After the brief meeting, Kim and Trump attended a social dinner at the hotel, with Trump accompanied by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and Kim by his top envoy, Kim Yong Chol, and Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho.

On Thursday, the two leaders will hold a series of meetings and discussions with their respective delegates. And according to Trump, there will be a press conference after the meeting.

Kim and Trump had their historic handshakes on June 12, 2018 in Singapore after over 60 years of hostility and mistrust, the first summit between two sitting leaders of the DPRK and the United States.

The two sides signed a joint statement after the Singapore summit, agreeing to explore various things, including new DPRK-U.S. relations, complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, a lasting peace regime on the peninsula and returning the remains of U.S. soldiers killed during the Korean War.

However, little progress has been made since the first summit due to differences between the DPRK and the United States on the concept, ways and steps of denuclearization.

Therefore, this time, the two sides were widely expected to reach some concrete steps on the denuclearization issue of the Korean Peninsula and reciprocal measures from the U.S. side to ease sanctions against the DPRK.

An official declaration of ending the Korean War, which ended in 1953 with an armistice, is also hot on the discussion agenda.

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