Trump: ‘Great Meetings and Dinner’ with Kim in Vietnam, Joint Declaration to Come

TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump stands next to a bust of late president Ho Chi Minh as he arrives for a meeting with Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi on February 27, 2019, ahead of the second US-North Korea summit. (Photo by Saul LOEB …
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty

President Donald Trump seemed to be in very good humor following his meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

He said he had “great meetings and dinner” with Kim and posted a music video of the two smiling, shaking hands, and talking.

In a jaunty exchange with reporters, Trump and Kim praised the “very interesting dialogue” they had in their first meeting.

Trump joked about enjoying a “nice private dinner” with Kim while the press pool surrounded their table with blazing cameras. Trump praised one of the assembled journalists as “one of the greatest photographers in the world” and asked for good photos of himself and Kim.

“Boy, if you could have heard that dialogue, what you would pay for that dialogue. It was good,” Trump said with Kim grinning beside him.

“We’re going to have a very busy day tomorrow, and we’ll probably have a pretty quick dinner and a lot of things are going to be solved, I hope. And I think it’ll lead to, really, a wonderful situation long term. And our relationship is a very special relationship,” Trump predicted.

The White House announced that Trump and Kim will meet again on Thursday, with a press conference and joint signing ceremony tentatively scheduled for the afternoon.

South Korean media seems apprehensive about the results Trump and Kim will announce tomorrow. Chosun Ilbo insisted “expectations were low” for the Hanoi meeting after the “lackluster summit in Singapore last year.”

The South Korean paper worried Trump will grant too much sanctions relief to Kim, and perhaps other rewards such as formally ending the Korean War, in exchange for concessions it viewed as minimal or symbolic.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who staked his political fortunes on improving relations with North Korea, was more upbeat about the Hanoi summit. At a lunch with religious leaders in the South Korean presidential Blue House, Moon said he expects “huge progress during the second U.S.-North Korea summit in terms of normalizing bilateral relations.”

Moon, who has been closely following events in Hanoi, is expected to speak with Trump by telephone on Wednesday evening.

Korea Joongang Daily speculated North Korea will offer to dismantle its primary weapons-grade nuclear production facility at Yongbyon, but Trump will demand additional concessions in exchange for significant sanctions relief. Some of the mooted relief measures enjoy considerable support in South Korea, such as resuming tourism to North Korean resorts and restarting the joint industrial project at Kaesong.

The Moon administration would likely favor the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between Washington and Pyongyang, mirroring his own efforts to open channels between Pyongyang and Seoul.

President Moon’s security adviser Moon Chung-in said on Wednesday that establishing a liason between Washington and Pyongyang would be a useful step, but denuclearization remains a long road because North Korea still lacks a detailed plan for achieving it.

“Making a roadmap for negotiations will be much more realistic than making a roadmap for denuclearization itself,” he said.

Moon Chung-in said it would be possible for the U.S. to make “considerably great concessions” if North Korea irreversibly dismantles Yongbyon and all of its other facilities for enriching uranium. He viewed shutting down Yongbyon as “the first step toward irreversible nuclear disarmament.”

He added that South Korea does not expect President Trump to discuss removing American troops or nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula since those demands were not raised by North Korea during the discussions to prepare for the Hanoi summit.

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