(Kim-Trump summit) Kim Jong Un visits Hanoi embassy

World | 27 Feb 2019 9:17 am

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, yesterday, ahead of their second summit scheduled for today and tomorrow.

Trump arrived at Noi Bai International Airport for the two days of meetings; while Kim checked into the Melia Hanoi Hotel around 1:00 p.m. Korea time, after a 65-hour train ride that passed through southern China, The Korea Times reports.

Four hours later at around 5:02 p.m. he left in an armored limousine to visit the North Korean Embassy, arriving a few minutes later. Kim, accompanied by his sister Kim Yo Jong, chief North Korean nuclear negotiator Kim Yong Chol and his chief of staff Kim Chang Son stayed for just under an hour.

The North Korean leader will be staying in the Presidential Suite on the 22nd floor of the hotel. The Melia has been labeled a security zone by the Vietnamese government with access to the 17th through 22nd floors denied.

The hotel had already been booked by the White House press corps, but minutes after Kim arrived at the Dong Dang Railway Station on the Vietnamese border, the government informed them it would house the North Korean leader. The journalists were relocated to a shared work space set up for visiting journalists at the Viet Xo Friendship Cultural Labour Palace, a giant Soviet-era edifice a few blocks from the Melia.

Officials gave no details about the summit, which the world is watching closely, or Kim's schedules during his stay in Vietnam, which may run through March 1.

According to multiple sources, the North Korean leader will visit the famed Hanoi Opera House, near the Metropole Hotel, late today for a "social dinner" with Trump. Kim Chang Son previously visited and inspected the site with U.S. officials. The chief of staff has been here for some time and has inspected various venues.

Before the dinner, at which Trump and Kim will each be accompanied by two guests and interpreters, Kim Jong Un will have a brief "one-on-one conversation" with Trump, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters on Air Force One.

Trump and Kim plan to meet several times for advanced talks on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Meetings during the second day of the summit will be held at the Metropole Hotel, although officials there said they "weren't in a position" to comment on anything about the summit.

On March 1, the North Korea leader Kim is expected to visit the tomb of Ho Chi Minh, the founding father of Communist Vietnam. It's also possible he will visit a North Korean-founded kindergarten here, according to sources. In 1978, North Korea sponsored the establishment of the "Vietnam-North Korea Friendship Kindergarten."-Photo: Yonhap

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