N.Korea marks birth of Kim Jong Il

A Vietnamese policeman standing guard outside the presidential palace in Hanoi on Feb 9 2019

A Vietnamese policeman standing guard outside the presidential palace in Hanoi on Feb 9 2019

As well as scores of North Koreans ranging from Olympians to children, about 20 worldwide skaters performed, mostly from eastern European countries. But the USA may demand additional denuclearization steps, if North Korea is to get at least partial sanctions relief. "It also reflects our strong determination to realize the objective of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

Trump and Kim are due to meet in Hanoi on February 27 and 28 following their historic first meeting last June in Singapore. Other US officials, such as Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun, have also said that complete denuclearization and verification are preconditions for the lifting of sanctions. The Trump administration has insisted it would not lift sanctions until North Korea fully proved it had dismantled its illegal nuclear program.

The newspaper did not specifically mention the Trump-Kim summit.

Joel Wit, a former USA diplomat who helped reach and implement a 1994 agreement with North Korea, believes a declaration is "close to a done deal", calling it a first step in a "fairly long road toward" closer economic and diplomatic ties and other confidence-building steps that could end the nuclear threat.

During a private chat with President Moon Jae-in in the border truce village of Panmunjom a year ago, Kim reportedly expressed his desire to push for reforms styled on the model of Vietnam, an economic powerhouse that nonetheless remains in the iron grip of the Communist Party. By contrast, they met twice and spoke by phone five times in the three months leading up to the first Trump-Kim summit in June 2018, including calls the day before and the day of the meeting.

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"As part of a bold new diplomacy, we continue our historic push for peace on the Korean Peninsula", Trump told Congress. "We just don't want testing", he said.

The meeting between the two leaders is scheduled to take place in Hanoi, Vietnam on February 27-28.

Kim Chang-son, Chief Secretary of North Korea's State Affairs Commission, will discuss protocol and practical issues, like accommodation of the North Korean delegation during the summit, the report said. Trump tweeted last month after top U.S. intelligence officials told Congress that the leadership in Pyongyang was unlikely to give up its nuclear weapons, viewing them as central to its survival.

And these sources told Reuters. that Kim Jong-un is to arrive in Hanoi on the 25th to meet with local government officials and attend a summit with the Vietnamese president.

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