Today, the President of the United States will meet for the second time the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un in Vietnam today.
While the two leaders are radically opposed – one leads the most liberal country in the world, while the other one holds one of the last communist dictatures on the planet – they will meet for dinner and talk diplomacy.
While North Korea is reported to have tried nuclear drills for a few years, the United States will have to ease tensions, as Vietnam took the opportunity to offer a close partnership with the U.S, 40 years after the Vietnam war.
Dinner chefs “struggle” with the menu
A few weeks after Donald Trump catered Macdonald’s and Burger King burgers at the White House to a team of footballers during the shutdown, food at the U.S-North Korean summit also seems to be the talk of the town.
What meal could possibly Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump both like? According to CNN, chefs have been struggling, even a few hours ahead of the dinner, to find a compromise.
A man walks while holding a painting of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump ahead of the North Korea-U.S. summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Silva pic.twitter.com/QjtzIH7yLh
— Jorge Silva (@jgesilva) February 27, 2019
While the American government asked for a “super simple” meal, North Korean top executives have not confirmed the menu, creating a lot of tension behind-the-scenes.
And while Hanoi is supposed to be the world’s capital of street food, the Vietnamese authorities asked street vendors to disappear for a week in order to create a more “westernized” image of the city, creating an uproar among the local communities.
Vietnam offers a “close partnership”
As Vietnam was selected to be the place to meet for both leaders as a “neutral territory”, it is still a communist country with a scarred background. It has also still open wounds from the war that opposed Vietnam and the United States, between 1955 and 1975.
#VietNam #USA Comprehensive Partnership
➡️continue considering trade + investment ties as a driving force for the bilateral relations
➡️enhance education-training ties & people-to-people exchanges pic.twitter.com/gjUXOmsoiF
— Viet Nam Diplomacy (@MOFAVietNam) February 27, 2019
Therefore, Vietnam has taken the opportunity of the summit to share on social media its new “friendship” with America.
While diplomatic relations were only re-established in 1995, trade deals and educational exchange programs are still ongoing.
A few hours before the official meeting between Kim Kong Un and Donal Trump, the Vietnamese President, Nguyen Phu Trong, met with the U.S President to sign several commercial trade deals for the airline industries of the two countries.
Boeing signed agreements with VietJet for 100 planes of 737 MAX, as well as signing with Bamboo Airways for ten 787 Dreamliners.
Will it be a bis repetita?
However, many experts fear that this summit will not be as fruitful as it seems. Regarding diplomacy, the first summit ended on a signed agreement between the two leaders.
As President Trump and Kim Jong Un prepare to meet in Hanoi, here’s what they agreed to at their first summit https://t.co/ZDgGaAGcpf
— Social Life In Miami (@SocialLifeMiami) February 27, 2019
It promised a “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula”. But it seems that no effort have been made in that sense from North Korea since.
According to Time Magazine, the two countries are still technically “at war since an armistice rather than a peace agreement ended the Korean War in 1953, and the two nations do not have formal diplomatic relations”.
While many hope for a historical moment, experts remain skeptical. However, Vietnam, which is closer to the peninsula than Singapore, where the summit took place last year, might push more for an agreement between the two and might have a crucial role in the agreement deal.
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