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25 April 2024

N. Korea's Kim to make official visit to Vietnam in 'coming days'

Photo: Reuters


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will soon make an official visit to Vietnam, officials said Saturday, as Hanoi prepares to host Kim and US President Donald Trump for a summit next week.

"Kim Jong Un will pay an official visit to Vietnam in the coming days," Vietnam's foreign ministry said Saturday on its Facebook page.

Media did not specify when the visit would take place, but several sources told AFP Friday that Kim was expected to arrive late on February 25 or February 26 by train.

Kim and Trump will meet on February 27-28, the second summit between the two leaders aimed at dismantling Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal.

Their first summit last year produced a vaguely-worded commitment for Pyongyang to denuclearise, and observers are hoping the follow up meeting will produce concrete outcomes.

Kim is expected to travel to Vietnam by train, stopping at the Dong Dang train station near the China border before making the 170-kilometre (105 mile) journey to Hanoi by car.

Hanoi is taking the unprecedented move of blocking all traffic along the road from 6:00 am until 2:00 pm on February 26, state media reported Friday, suggesting Kim will travel along the normally busy highway by car.

Vietnam has beefed up security at the Dong Dang station and along the road leading to Hanoi, according to AFP reporters at the scene who saw scores of armed guards in the area Saturday.