Report: Kim Jong Un could tour Vietnam before summit

Feb. 13 (UPI) — Kim Jong Un could arrive in Vietnam three days before his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi, according to a South Korean press report.

Kim, who last met with Trump in Singapore in 2018, could be traveling to Vietnam ahead of schedule in order to visit key industrial sites in Vietnam and hold a summit with Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong, South Korean television network MBC reported.

According to a senior-level South Korean official familiar with summit plans, Kim could arrive as early as Feb. 24, or at the latest on Feb. 25, which is a Monday.

MBC’s source said for two days, from Feb. 25 to 26, Kim could visit the industrial zone of Hai Phong, and see for himself the tourist attractions in Vietnam’s Halong Bay.

Vietnam recently completed construction on a highway connecting the two locations, and the trip could be an opportunity for Kim to examine the progress Vietnam has made following economic reforms. The trip and summit would also give Kim a chance to again bolster his legitimacy before the eyes of ordinary North Koreans, and renew his image as a forward-thinking leader, according to MBC.

The report of Kim’s plans comes at a time of continued North Korean condemnations of the South’s military.

News 1 reported Wednesday Pyongyang’s Workers’ Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun accused the South’s army of making “dangerous military movements.”

“The unusual movements of the South Korean military force is raising internal and external concerns,” the newspaper said.

The Rodong stated South Korea’s head of the joint chiefs of staff Park Han-ki had inspected the preparedness of the various air and naval divisions before the Lunar New Year.

North Korea also said cold weather training that recently took place in the South’s Gangwon Province was a “retrogressive” move that challenged the flow of dialogue and peace.

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