President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he will meet North Korea’s Kim Jong-un on February 27-28 in Vietnam, where the two will discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The President said the first summit with Kim paved the way for peace, but not much progress has been seen since the two leaders concluded their Singapore meeting last June. No plan yet is in place as to how denuclearization can be achieved.
However, during his State of the Union speech, President Trump noted that he will continue to press Kim to give up his nuclear missiles.
“As part of a bold new diplomacy, we continue our historic push for peace on the Korean Peninsula,” Trump said, according to ABC News.
Still, U.S. intelligence officials have indicated their belief that North Korea will continue to develop its nuclear weapons program as it is largely seen as crucial to the survival of the regime. Satellite images taken since the June summit show that Pyongyang has not forgone developing nuclear materials.
Since the summit, North Korea has made certain concessions such as releasing American detainees and dismantling a nuclear test site, which many maintain is not enough. In return, Kim has demanded that the U.S. relieves sanctions, but such demands have not been met yet as Washington insists that North Korea take certain steps first, including providing a detailed account of its nuclear and missile facilities that would be inspected and dismantled under a potential deal.
According to experts, at their second summit, Kim is likely to request the formal end of the 1950-53 Korean war and the opening of a liaison office in Pyongyang in exchange for North Korea destroying its main Yongbyon nuclear complex.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s special representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, believes progress can be achieved but stresses that a number of issues still remain, which makes it particularly complicated for the U.S. and North Korea to “embark on a diplomatic initiative of this magnitude.”