HANOI/PYONGYANG - The choice of Vietnam as host of this month’s summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shows the Southeast Asian nation is headed in the right direction, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Tuesday.
Last week, Trump said he would hold his second meeting with Kim in Hanoi on Feb. 27 and 28. That follows an unprecedented summit in June last year of the two leaders in the wealthy city state of Singapore.
“This important event has shown that Vietnam’s investment environment is good, that Vietnam’s development model is going in a right direction and especially that the security and safety in Vietnam is wonderful,” Phuc told government officials at the Hanoi Stock Exchange.
“Vietnam will demonstrate its international role and do its best to let the word ‘Vietnam’ ring out.”
As Vietnam prepares for the summit, its reform model is being widely touted as the economic path for impoverished and isolated North Korea to follow.
Last year, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said North Korea could follow the example of Vietnam, adding that Trump believed Pyongyang could replicate Hanoi’s path to normal relations with Washington and to prosperity. Vietnam’s foreign minister arrived in North Korea on Tuesday and is expected to stay until Thursday. No further details of his schedule have been released by his North Korean hosts.