HONG KONG — With President Trump planning to meet North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, next month, Vietnam appears to be the leading contender as host for the event. The meeting would be a reprise of the leaders’ landmark summit meeting last June, and holding it in Vietnam would cast a spotlight on a country that has become an economic powerhouse in Southeast Asia after emerging from poverty and isolation in the decades since the Vietnam War. A White House official said the meeting’s date and location would be announced later. Thailand and Hawaii have also been mentioned as possible sites, but Vietnam is considered the best bet. Picking Vietnam could make sense for the United States and South Korea, because American officials have pointed to it as a political and economic model for North Korea to follow. Why would Seoul and Washington like the idea? Vietnam, a former enemy of South Korea and the United States, has joined the global economy and become a strategic ally and robust trading partner for both countries. Vietnam and South Korea normalized relations in 1992, and Hanoi is now Seoul’s fourth-largest trading partner after China, the United States and Japan, with two-way trade valued… Read full this story
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