Puffer train: Kim's cigarette stop en route to Hanoi

Puffer train: Kim's cigarette stop en route to Hanoi

Puffer train: Kim's cigarette stop en route to Hanoi

The two leaders are slated to meet in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, on Wednesday, Feb. 27, and Thursday, Feb. 28.

That remained in question as Trump arrived in Hanoi on Tuesday to meet with Kim for a summit that is kicking off amid high stakes and low expectations.

"Just arrived in Vietnam", he wrote in a Twitter post. Thank you to all the people for the great reception in Hanoi.

"Tremendous crowds, and so much love!" the USA president tweeted.

In the center of Hanoi, high-rise buildings are prevalent, with shops along main streets displaying bags and clothes imported from the United States and Europe as well as roads full of luxury cars and motorbikes.

Trump was joined at dinner by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.

South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung won the prize in 2000, shortly after holding a summit with then North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

Trump and Kim's first historic Singapore summit last June came after months of growing tensions marked by nuclear and missile tests, fresh sanctions and threats of "total destruction" and ended with a vague statement that has failed to produce tangible progress.

For North Korea, which remains technically at war with the United States, the Vietnamese growth model would "definitely help" the country, a diplomat in Beijing said.

In return, Kim would expect significant USA concessions such as relief from punishing sanctions and a declaration that the 1950-53 Korean War is at last formally over.

Looking at the glittering skyscrapers and cosmopolitan fine dining of today's Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, it's hard to believe that before the 1995 normalization, Vietnam was even poorer and more underdeveloped than North Korea.

The normally sleepy Vietnamese border station of Dong Dang spruced itself up for Kim's arrival after the young leader's 4,000km, 2½-day odyssey through China aboard his olive green train.

They are part of an elite military group known as the Main Office of Adjutants, or the Central Party Office #6, according to the BBC.

Kim was accompanied by his sister, Kim Yo Jong, an important aide. Hanoi is 12 hours ahead of Eastern Time. Mr Trump is staying at the JW Marriott hotel.

Trump stopped for brief conversation with the dignitaries, who included Vietnam's ambassador to the U.S., Hà Kim Ngọc; Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh and the U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, Daniel Kritenbrink.

Trump has repeatedly said he was "in no rush" as US officials pressed North Korea to come up with a clear timetable on denuclearization and the dismantlement of nuclear facilities, weapons and delivery means in a verifiable and irreversible way.

Last week Engel, House Armed Services Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., and House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., co-signed a letter to Trump expressing their alarm with the "growing disconnect" between "the administration's statements about Kim Jong Un's actions, commitments, and intentions" and the official US intelligence community's assessment that North Korea is continuing its nuclear weapons work. -North Korea nuclear deal, but only if it offers a credible path toward Pyongyang's permanent denuclearization.

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