Why Vietnam for the second Trump-Kim summit?
February 27-28, 2019 -- Vietnam, communist-run but with capitalist leanings, hosts the second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Washington’s goal for the Feb 27-28 talks is for North Korea to agree give up its nuclear weapons. North Korea frames the issue more broadly, seeking a removal of the “nuclear threat” from U.S. military forces in South Korea.
Host Vietnam hopes to boost its diplomatic leverage against its powerful neighbour, China, which contests waters in the South China Sea claimed by Vietnam.
But Vietnam’s history as a U.S. adversary that transitioned on its own terms to a dynamic free-market economy under a communist political system suggests a larger meaning for the summit.