Train possibly taking Kim Jong Un to summit enters China

by Garry Watts February 24, 2019, 0:28
Train possibly taking Kim Jong Un to summit enters China

Vietnam has announced an unprecedented traffic ban along a possible arrival route of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ahead of his second summit with President Donald Trump in Hanoi next week, state media reported.

A train similar to one used in the past by Kim Jong Un has entered China, possibly carrying the North Korean leader on a multiday journey to Vietnam's capital for his summit with President Donald Trump.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un told the USA secretary of state he did not want his children to live with the burden of nuclear weapons, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer involved in high-level diplomacy over the North's weapons was quoted as saying on Saturday.

Previously, Vietnam confirmed Kim would visit Vietnam in response to an invitation from Vietnam's President Nguyen Phu Trong, who is also the head of the ruling Communist Party.

Trump will likely come on May 26 to 28, and he is expected to be the first foreign leader to future emperor will meet.

He is expected to arrive in Vietnam on February 25.

Kim's train will reportedly stop at the Vietnamese border station of Dong Dang, after which he will proceed by vehicle to Hanoi, with local authorities planning to close the stretch of road that he will travel on between the station and the capital.

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Two sources with direct knowledge of security and logistics planning told Reuters on Wednesday that Vietnam was preparing for Kim to arrive by train.

Last year, North Korea suspended its nuclear and long-range missile tests and unilaterally dismantled its nuclear testing ground and parts of a rocket launch facility without the presence of outside experts, but none of those steps were seen as meaningful cutbacks to the North's weapons capability.

The Trump administration has pressed North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program, which threatens the United States, before it can expect any concessions.

On Kim's last rail trip in January, he travelled to Beijing with his entourage in an olive-green train emblazoned with a yellow stripe.

It is not known if he will travel by train from Pyongyang via China or fly to a nearby Chinese city. China has declined to answer questions about Kim's travel plans via the country.

Travel by train has been a favorite mode of transport for Kim Jong Un, and his father, Kim Jong Il, and grandfather, Kim Il Sung.

The summit in Hanoi comes amid some questions about prospects for progress.

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