Developments on the Korean Peninsula

Second DPRK-U.S. Summit to Be Held in Vietnam

The second summit between Chairman Kim Jong Un, the leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and U.S. President Donald Trump will take place February 27-28, in Hanoi, Vietnam. A second summit has been in the offing since last fall, and the dates were confirmed by President Trump in his February 5 State of the Union Speech.[1]

This is yet another historic occasion at a time the Korean people and peoples of the entire region reject attempts to foment war on the Korean Peninsula. The efforts of Koreans from north and south and their governments to keep the initiative in their hands by achieving national reunification are key to establishing peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, along with getting rid of all U.S. bases, troops and nuclear weapons from their land and adjacent seas. Sticking to this agenda is key to giving priority to the people's striving for peace. As for the U.S. administration, in its rivalry with China and Russia, it has its own plans to control the outcome in a manner which keeps the U.S. at the centre of developments in east Asia as well as central Asia. East Asia which includes China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Mongolia, and the Korean nation, comprises around 1.6 billion people, making up about about 38 per cent of the population of Continental Asia and 22 per cent of the global population.

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) calls on Canadians to step up their efforts to support the Korean people in their drive to secure peace and reunification of their divided country. Oppose the disinformation of reactionary forces in the U.S. and Canada and other NATO countries, many of whom invaded Korea in the 1950-53 Korean War.

News agencies report on how the tone is being set for the summit from all related quarters. A spokesperson for the government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) welcomed the announcement of the Summit dates. Referring to DPRK Chairman Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Trump, the spokesperson told a media briefing on February 6: "The two leaders have already taken the historic first step of ending 70 years of hostility in Singapore." "We hope that they can take a step forward in Vietnam for concrete and substantive progress, he added." He went on to highlight Vietnam's own experience of achieving friendly relations with the U.S. "We hope Vietnam can become the best venue ever for north Korea and the U.S. so that they can write new history there," he said.

President of the ROK Moon Jae-in spoke with optimism about the upcoming summit at a February 11 cabinet meeting, saying it will serve as "a historic turning point" in transforming the Korean Peninsula into "a land of peace and prosperity." He referred to the June 2018 DPRK-U.S. Summit in Singapore as a "historic achievement marking a clear milestone in world history." He added, "The second summit will be a significant turning point that will see more detailed and tangible progress in complete denuclearization, a new relationship between north Korea and the U.S., and peace on the Korean Peninsula."

Regarding the ongoing role of the south Korean government to facilitate peaceful relations, he said, "[The south Korean government] has always kept its channels open for the two Koreas to communicate, and we will keep fulfilling our role with high hopes." President Moon also stressed that the forthcoming DPRK-U.S. summit offers a crucial opportunity in the development of inter-Korean relations, saying, "Both Koreas will have to open not only an era of peace without war, but also a new era of a peace economy with peace as the growth engine."

Presidents Moon and Trump, in a February 19 phone call, "had extensive, in-depth discussions on concrete measures for cooperation to ensure the success of the upcoming second north Korea-U.S. summit," according to a news release from the ROK government. President Moon "offered the idea of south Korea's role being utilized in corresponding measures aimed at encouraging north Korea to take denuclearization steps. He also said that Seoul is determined to take on any role should President Trump make a request, anything ranging from the connection of railroads and roads between the south and north to inter-Korean economic cooperation projects. He added that this would be a way to lessen burdens on the United States," the news release also stated.

Vietnam's Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung reports on preparations for the summit, February 21, 2019.

Also on February 19, President Trump spoke about the DPRK-U.S. summit at a signing ceremony at the White House for Space Policy Directive-4. "I'd just like to see, ultimately, [the] denuclearization of north Korea. I think we will see that ultimately. I have no pressing time schedule," Trump said. "I'm in no particular rush. The sanctions are on, the relationships are very strong, and a lot of good things have happened." Trump later stated on February 20 that he expects yet another DPRK-U.S. summit to follow Hanoi. He added, "The sanctions are on in full. As you know, I haven't taken sanctions off. I'd love to be able to, but in order to do that, we have to do something that's meaningful on the other side."

President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also spoke by phone on February 20, regarding the upcoming summit. After the call, Abe said the two countries "have been in close consultation about our plans for responding to the second north Korea-U.S. summit," and the plan to cooperate more closely in several areas with the goal of resolving issues concerning the DPRK's nuclear weapons and missiles, as well as the so-called abductions of Japanese citizens by the DPRK.

In anticipation of hosting the summit, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on February 6: "Vietnam welcomes the second U.S.-Democratic People's Republic of Korea summit and strongly supports dialogue to maintain peace, security and stability on the Korean Peninsula [...] Vietnam is ready to make an active contribution to and cooperate with the relevant sides to ensure the success for the second U.S.-DPRK summit thus helping to achieve the above goal."

Vietnam has gone all out to provide an atmosphere in Hanoi conducive to furthering friendly relations between the DPRK and the U.S.

A media centre with all the required communications technology is being
put in place for the summit.

Local artist Le Duc Tung recently produced three paintings in honour of the summit, featuring President Trump and Chairman Kim, plus another of President Ho Chi Minh and Prime Minister Kim Il Sung meeting in 1957.


1. For coverage and analysis of the first DPRK-U.S. Summit, see the TML Weekly and TML Weekly Supplement published June 16, 2018.

(With files from Hankyoreh, U.S. State Department, Vietnam News. Photos: VNS, VNA,, Yonhap.)

This article was published in

Volume 49 Number 1 - February 25, 2019

Article Link:
Developments on the Korean Peninsula: Second DPRK-U.S. Summit to Be Held in Vietnam


Website:   Email: