Trump says to meet North Korean leader in Vietnam in late February

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he would hold his second meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam on February 27-28, while giving himself credit for averting a major war on the Korean peninsula.
Trump said in his annual State of the Union address to Congress much work remained to be done in the push for peace with North Korea, but cited the halt in its nuclear testing and no new missile launches in 15 months as proof of progress.
“If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea,” Trump said.
Trump had raised fears of war in 2017 when he threatened to rain “fire and fury like the world has never seen” on North Korea because of the threat its nuclear weapons and missiles posed to the United States.
Trump met Kim in Singapore on June 12 in the first summit between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader. Trump has been eager to hold a second summit in spite of a lack of concrete progress in persuading North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons programme.
He said his relationship with Kim “is a good one.” The presidential Blue House of South Korea, which plays a facilitating role between the United States and North Korea, welcomed Trump’s announcement and expressed hope for progress on improving relations. “The two leaders already took their first step in Singapore toward shaking off their 70-year history of hostilities. Now we hope that they will take a step forward for concrete, substantive progress,” Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told a news briefing in Seoul. — Reuters