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Vietnam's Foreign Minister to visit North Korea ahead of Donald Trump - Kim Jong Un summit

Feb 12, 2019

Vietnam's foreign minister will fly to North Korea Tuesday for an official state visit, the ministry announced, ahead of a second planned summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump announced last week on Twitter that the communist state's capital Hanoi will be the host for a second summit with the elusive North Korean head of state on February 27-28.

Vietnam's Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh "will pay an official visit to DPRK from February 12 to 14" at the invitation of his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho, Vietnam's foreign ministry announced on its website Monday.

No further details were provided for the visit, but ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said last week Vietnam is "willing to make positive contributions... for a successful US-North Korea summit".

The high-profile event is expected to draw hundreds of reporters from all over the world, as the two leaders discuss steps for North Korea's denuclearisation.

It follows a landmark first meeting between Trump and Kim in Singapore in June, which produced a vaguely-worded document in which Kim pledged to work towards denuclearisation -- with no hard timelines stamped down.

Vietnam is looking to follow up on its successful hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in 2017 and the regional World Economic Forum last year -- boosting its diplomatic gravitas on the global stage.

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