A month after Hanoi summit, Vietnam starts deporting North Korean refugees – The Washington Post

SEOUL — Just a month after hosting a summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Vietnam has deported three North Korean refugees, sending them home via China to an uncertain future in their homeland.

The deportations mark a worrying new development for fleeing North Koreans, who previously had been safe if they managed to evade capture in China and reach a third country.

The deportations could also be an indication of North Korea’s growing diplomatic clout and lessening isolation since Kim stepped onto the global stage over the past year.

“I am worried that Kim Jong Un’s diplomatic engagement with Vietnam could have influenced them to deport North Korean refugees,” said Sokeel Park, South Korea director for a group called Liberty in North Korea, which helps North Korean refugees cross borders and adjust to life in the South.

But refugee groups also blamed South Korea’s government, amid reports it failed to respond promptly to a request to help the refugees after they were arrested in Vietnam. North Korean refugees in South Korea accuse the Seoul government of putting ties with Pyongyang ahead of human rights issues.

Aid workers told South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper that the South Korean Foreign Ministry failed to respond to a request to assist the refugees, a claim the ministry denied.

Three North Koreans who fled their country via China were arrested in the Vietnamese town of Ha Tinh on Monday, according to Chosun Ilbo. Aid workers who were assisting the refugees reached out to the South Korean Embassy in Vietnam and were told to contact Seoul’s Foreign Ministry directly.

The ministry repeatedly told them to wait, but no assistance was provided before the refugees were sent to China on Wednesday, the aid workers told Chosun Ilbo. China views North Korean defectors as illegal economic migrants and repatriates them to their home country, where they face severe punishment.

The Foreign Ministry in Seoul denied the report, saying in a statement that the ministry “immediately got in contact with the local authorities and took a stand against forcible repatriation to North Korea.” The ministry declined to comment on the safety and whereabouts of the refugees.

Han Jin-myung, a North Korean diplomat who served in Vietnam before defecting to South Korea in 2015, said the government in Seoul should have acted more quickly.

“Vietnam is in a tricky position, politically close to North Korea, and economically close to South Korea. Only the Seoul government can take the initiative to rescue those refugees,” he said. “Vietnam couldn’t have deported them if South Koreans promptly stepped in. It is irresponsible for the Seoul government to have let this happen.”

Vietnam has been one of Southeast Asian countries that provide safe haven for North Korean escapees, helping them reach South Korea.

“Once North Korean refugees make it through China, then they are normally safe,” said Park of Liberty in North Korea. “The fact that they were repatriated from Vietnam, after all that, is really concerning. . . . We don’t want this to set a precedent.”

The number of North Koreans coming annually to the South has dropped by half since Kim Jong Un came to power in 2011. South Korean lawmakers attribute the decline number to tighter border controls and China’s repatriation of refugees to North Korea.

via A month after Hanoi summit, Vietnam starts deporting North Korean refugees – The Washington Post

And the worst part… The girth of the supreme leader continues to widen. Go on, eat more cheese fatboy. -Ed

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North Korea dissident group, says it raided Madrid embassy, contacted FBI – CNNPolitics

Washington (CNN)A shadowy North Korean dissident group claimed responsibility for last month’s raid on Pyongyang’s embassy in the Spanish capital, Madrid on Tuesday but disputed allegations that what occurred at the diplomatic compound was an “attack” involving armed intruders.

Cheollima Civil Defense, a secretive organization whose goal is to overthrow the Kim regime in North Korea, also denied that any other foreign governments were involved in the operation or that it was related to President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un’s summit in Hanoi, which occurred days later.
“This was not an attack. We responded to an urgent situation in the Madrid embassy. We were invited into the embassy, and contrary to reports, no one was gagged or beaten. Out of respect for the host nation of Spain, no weapons were used. All occupants in the embassy were treated with dignity and necessary caution. There were no other governments involved with or aware of our activity until after the event,” a statement released by CCD said.
“We have evidence verifying our account. It is to protect those who seek our help, and those who take great risk to protect others, that we cannot share more about the event at this time. We continue to be engaged in extraordinarily sensitive work around the world,” it added.

The statement was released hours after a Spanish judge said Tuesday that the FBI was contacted by one of the alleged intruders who carried out last month’s mysterious raid on the North Korean embassy in Madrid and offered stolen data taken during the brazen attack.

Judge José de la Mata lifted a secret decree on the investigation into the February 22 attack, providing “an account of what happened before, during and after the assault,” according to a document from Spain’s High Court.
The alleged incident, was carried out by 10 people who the judge says identified “themselves as members of an association or human rights movement for the liberation of North Korea.” The court document does not specifically name CCD.
Five days after the attack, the FBI was contacted by the group’s alleged leader, a US resident, “in order to provide information regarding the incident at the Embassy, ​​as well as the audiovisual material allegedly obtained” during the raid, the document says.
“In addition, he stated that, under his own will, he carried out the events together with a group of unidentified persons,” it adds.

The judge also said he believes the identified intruders, which include American and South Korean citizens, traveled to the US after the attack.
State Department deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino said Tuesday that the US government “had nothing to do with” the attack at the embassy. He also noted that the US “would always call for the protection of embassies belonging to any diplomatic mission throughout the world.”
The FBI declined to comment.
CCD maintains that they shared information with the FBI voluntarily, but at the bureau’s request.
“No information about Madrid was shared with any parties with the expectation of any benefit or money in exchange. The organization shared certain information of enormous potential value with the FBI in the United States, under mutually agreed terms of confidentiality. This information was shared voluntarily and on their request, not our own. Those terms appear to have been broken,” the statement said, referring to media reports implicating them in the break in.
Spanish authorities confirmed earlier this month that they were investigating a reported attack on the embassy but declined to provide details about an ongoing probe.
Spain’s Interior Ministry previously said it does not comment on active investigations.
Previous accounts of the attack published by the Spanish newspaper El País said a group of individuals carrying fake firearms entered the compound where they interrogated and beat up people inside.
The alleged assailants then restrained staff members with rope and stole a variety of items before fleeing in luxury vehicles, according to Spanish media reports.
Similar details were revealed in the Spanish court document released Tuesday.
A source familiar with the incident previously told CNN that the Cheollima Civil Defense, a shadowy North Korean dissident group, is believed to be behind the attack, which occurred days before US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held their second summit, in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi.
Trump and Kim’s meeting ended abruptly in part due to disagreement over when to remove UN sanctions in exchange for steps toward Pyongyang’s denuclearization. But Trump and his aides said both sides left on good terms.
The Washington Post was first to report the involvement of the secretive group. They were also first to report that the FBI was contacted by the alleged intruders.
The Cheollima Civil Defense first gained international recognition after it reportedly came to the defense of Kim Han Sol, the son of Kim Jong Nam. Kim Jong Nam, the elder half-brother of North Korea’s leader, was exposed to the deadly nerve agent VX in 2017 while entering an airport in Kuala Lumpur, killing him in minutes. US, South Korean and Malaysian authorities have pinned the attack on Pyongyang, but North Korea has adamantly denied any responsibility.
It’s unclear why Kim Jong Nam was killed, but analysts said that if North Korea was behind the murder, perhaps Kim Jong Un saw his brother and his family as a possible threat to his leadership.
“The Cheollima Civil Defense established credibility by acting quickly and getting Kim Han Sol, the son of Kim Jong Nam, within days of his father’s gruesome assassination,” said Sung-Yoon Lee, a professor at Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

via FAKE NEWS OUTLET CNN  Cheollima, North Korea dissident group, says it raided Madrid embassy, contacted FBI – CNNPolitics

Probably a CIA operation….Probably.. or could be an excerpt copied from a Tom Clancy Novel  Ed 

Trump Lifts “Large-Scale” New Sanctions On North Korea | Reuters

Update 23/03/2019 2.12am

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said he was ordering the withdrawal of recently announced North Korea-related sanctions imposed by the U.S. Treasury Department.

“It was announced today by the U.S. Treasury that additional large-scale Sanctions would be added to those already existing Sanctions on North Korea,” Trump said on Twitter. “I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!”

It was not immediately clear what sanctions Trump was referring to. There were no new U.S. sanctions on North Korea announced on Friday but on Thursday the United States blacklisted two Chinese shipping companies that it said helped North Korea evade sanctions over its nuclear weapons program.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders did not specify which sanctions Trump spoke of but said: “President Trump likes Chairman Kim (Jong Un) and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary.”

The sanctions on the Chinese shippers were the first since the second U.S.-North Korea summit broke down last month. Hours after the sanctions announcement, North Korea on Friday pulled out of a liaison office with the South, a major setback for Seoul.

North Korea said it was quitting the joint liaison office set up in September in the border city of Kaesong after a historic summit between leader Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in early last year.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; writing by David Alexander; editing by Tim Ahmann and Bill Trott)

Original article

North Korea on Friday pulled out of a liaison office with the South, in a major setback for Seoul, just hours after the United States imposed the first new sanctions on the North since the second U.S.-North Korea summit broke down last month.

North Korea said it was quitting the joint liaison office set up in September in the border city of Kaesong after a historic summit between leader Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in early last year.

“The North’s side pulled out after conveying to us that they are doing so on the instructions from a higher level, during a liaison officials’ contact this morning,” South Korea’s Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung told a briefing.

South Korea regrets the decision and urged a swift normalisation of the arrangement, Chun said, adding the South would continue to staff the office, set up as a regular channel of communication to ease hostility between the rivals, which technically remain at war.

The move came after the United States on Thursday blacklisted two Chinese shipping companies it says helped North Korea evade sanctions over its nuclear program and cited 67 vessels it said engaged in illicit trade helping the North.

It was the first such step since a second meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi broke down over conflicting demands by the North for relief from sanctions and from the United States for Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.

The North’s withdrawal from the office was another blow to Moon, who has seen his standing as a mediator between Pyongyang and Washington deteriorate and divisions grow within his government over how to break the impasse.

Moon’s administration had touted the office as a major feat resulting from his own summit with Kim last year despite U.S. concerns about possible loosening of sanctions.

The South’s Chun said he would not directly link the North’s move to the failed Hanoi summit. But experts saw a pattern in the North lashing out against the South when its crucial strategic position with Washington is in jeopardy.

“The North sees its nuclear issue and ties with the United States as a matter of greater strategic importance, so when they try to assert its position, they sacrifice the ties with the South, which is considered inferior,” said Shin Beom-chul of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul.

Moon’s office reacted by holding an urgent meeting, headed by his national security adviser, to discuss the withdrawal.

The won weakened about 0.4 percent against the dollar in non-deliverable forward (NDF) trade after the news.

NEW SANCTIONS

The U.S. Treasury Department identified two Chinese firms for new sanctions – Dalian Haibo International Freight Co Ltd and Liaoning Danxing International Forwarding Co Ltd – which had helped the North evade U.S. and international sanctions, it said.

It also cited 67 vessels for engaging in illicit transfers of refined petroleum with North Korean tankers or facilitating the export of the North’s coal.
Reuters was unable to locate contact details for either of the Chinese companies to seek comment.

The U.S. sanctions prohibit U.S. dealings with the designated companies and freezes any assets they have in the United States.

“The United States and our like-minded partners remain committed to achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea and believe that the full implementation of North Korea-related U.N. Security Council resolutions is crucial to a successful outcome,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

The latest sanctions showed there was some “leakage” in North Korea sanctions enforcement by China, but it was mostly abiding by U.N. resolutions, a senior U.S. official told reporters on condition of anonymity.
While declining to say whether Washington was trying to send a post-summit message to Pyongyang, the official said Trump “has made clear that the door is wide open to continuing the dialogue with North Korea.”

LIMBO

U.S.-North Korean engagement has appeared to be in limbo since the Feb. 27-28 summit, despite U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying on March 4 he was hopeful he could send a team to North Korea “in the next couple of weeks.”

North Korea has warned it is considering suspending talks and may rethink a freeze on missile and nuclear tests, in place since 2017, unless Washington makes concessions.

Activity was detected at the North’s main rocket test facility around the time of the failed summit, fueling concern that Pyongyang may be about to resume weapons development to ratchet up pressure on Washington.

On Monday, two senior U.S. senators called for the Trump administration to correct a slowing pace of American sanctions designations on North Korea, saying such actions had seen a marked decline in the past year of U.S. diplomatic engagement with Pyongyang.

They pointed to a recent U.N. report that North Korea continued to defy U.N. sanctions with an increase in smuggling of petroleum products and coal and violation of bans on arms sales.

A U.N. sanctions panel said in the report Liaoning Danxing was suspected of illicitly shipping Mercedes-Benz limousines to North Korea. Last July, the Netherlands seized a cargo of Belarusian vodka, also banned as luxury goods, en route to North Korea via the company, it said.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom, Matt Spetalnick and Doina Chiacu in Washington and Hyonhee Shin and Joyce Lee in Seoul; Additional reporting by Choonsik Yoo in Seoul and Gao Liangping and Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Editing by Jack Kim and Clarence Fernandez)

Democracy, DPRK style: North Korea holds election, East Asia News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

PYONGYANG (AFP) – North Koreans go to the polls on Sunday (March 10) for an election in which there can be only one winner.

This would be funny if it wasn’t 100 percent real. -edTBNW

Leader Kim Jong Un’s ruling Workers’ Party has an iron grip on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as the isolated, nuclear-armed country is officially known.

But every five years, it holds an election for the rubber stamp legislature, known as the Supreme People’s Assembly.

And in keeping with one of Pyongyang’s most enduring slogans – “Single-minded unity” – there is only one approved name on each of the ballot papers.

Voters have the opportunity to cross it out before casting their ballot, but in practice that is unknown.

Turnout last time was 99.97 per cent, according to the official KCNA news agency – only those who were abroad or “working in oceans” did not take part. And the vote was 100 per cent in favour of the named candidates.

“We regard all the people in our country as one family, so we will unite with one mind and we will vote for the agreed candidate,” Socialist Women’s Union official Song Yang Ran, 57, told AFP ahead of this year’s poll.

Ordinary North Koreans always express total support for the authorities when speaking to foreign media.

“Our system is the best,” Ms Song said when asked her opinion of elections that have several names on the ballot paper.

“We acknowledge no one but the Supreme Leader,” she added, referring to Mr Kim Jong Un.

“And we will hold the respected Marshal in high esteem forever.”

RITUAL EXERCISE

Nope a complete waste of time for all involved. ed

With a total absence of electoral competition, analysts say the vote is held largely as a political rite to enable the authorities to claim a mandate from the people.

It was the result of “established institutional inertia and a need to legitimise the government by simulating democratic procedure”, said Dr Andrei Lankov of the Korea Risk Group.

Soviet-style Communist states had a long tradition of holding general elections, he said, even if the ruling party ignored its own rules about holding regular congresses – something the North skipped for more than 30 years.

“North Korea is just emulating all other Communist states,” he said.

“The early Communists sincerely believed that they were producing a democracy the world had never seen. So they needed elections and it became a very important part of self-legitimisation.”

legitimization I spell it with a Z because im unique and interesting. Try doing that in North Korea without looking down the barrel of a gulag- edTBNW

 

The last significant government of a major country to dispense with elections altogether was Nazi Germany, he pointed out.

The North is divided into constituencies for the vote – there were 686 at the last election in 2014, when Mr Kim stood in Mount Paektu, a dormant volcano on the border with China revered as the spiritual birthplace of the Korean people.

He received a 100 per cent turnout and 100 per cent in favour, according to KCNA.

Some of the seats are allocated to two minor parties, the Korean Social Democratic Party and the Chondoist Chongdu Party, which has its roots in a 20th century Korean religious movement.

They are both in a formal alliance with the ruling party and analysts and diplomats say they exist largely on paper, with only small central offices maintained for propaganda purposes.

Even so, participation in the poll, like other “obligatory rituals” in the North, does reinforce loyalty to the government and social unity, Dr Lankov said, “because humans love symbolism”.

In an article headlined, Superior Election System of DPRK, KCNA said the vote was an important occasion “displaying the solidity and invincibility of the socialist system in which the leader, the party and the masses form a harmonious whole”.

via Democracy, DPRK style: North Korea holds election, East Asia News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

Its like where do you start with this crap. Socialism, milk, honey and free shit for all. Although we cant help but notice the healthy and almost obscene girth of the supreme leader Kim Jong Un. -EdTbnw

 

Intelligence Contractors Make Second Attempt In One Week To Provoke Tensions With North Korea | Zero Hedge

Authored by William Craddick via Disobedient Media,

It’s the second, but no less ludicrous, attempt in one week to sway the opinion of the public and President Donald Trump against the concept of denuclearization and peaceful dialogue with North Korea.

A March 8, 2019 report from National Public Radio (NPR) follows another by NBC News with sensational and misleading claims that satellite imagery released by private corporations with contractual ties to government defense and intelligence agencies show imminent preparations by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to engage in missile testing or the launch of a satellite from their facilities in Sanumdong, North Korea. An examination of the photos provided shows absolutely no indication of such activity.

I. Satellite Footage Of Sanumdong Facility Shows No Sign Of Imminent Launch
Images provided to NPR by private contractor DigitalGlobe consist of two low resolution images, one of a building in the Sanumdong complex and the other of a train sitting along a rail line. In neither photo is there any discernible amount of unusual activity.

NPR’s claims that the imagery shows “vehicle activity” occurring around the facility. Yet close inspection shows that the “activity” consists of a few inert vehicles, which appear to be a white pickup and white dump truck or flatbed parked in a permanent position next to piles of metal. The scene does not appear to be different from any number of sleepy yards of businesses that can be examined by members of the public on Google Maps.

Read the full article over at ZH via Intelligence Contractors Make Second Attempt In One Week To Provoke Tensions With North Korea | Zero Hedge

As Trump and Kim Met, North Korean Hackers Hit Over 100 Targets in U.S. and Ally Nations – The New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO — North Korean hackers who have targeted American and European businesses for 18 months kept up their attacks last week even as President Trump was meeting with North Korea’s leader in Hanoi.

The attacks, which include efforts to hack into banks, utilities and oil and gas companies, began in 2017, according to researchers at the cybersecurity company McAfee, a time when tensions between North Korea and the United States were flaring. But even though both sides have toned down their fiery threats and begun nuclear disarmament talks, the attacks persist.

In 2017, Mr. Trump mocked Kim Jong-un as “rocket man” in a speech at the United Nations, while North Korea tested missiles capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the United States. The attacks began soon after that. Though the two sides failed to reach an agreement last week, Mr. Trump struck a conciliatory tone toward his North Korean counterpart.

The revelation of North Korea’s most recent hacking activity adds new details to the tensions surrounding the summit meeting last week, which ended abruptly without any deals. After their first meeting, 15 months earlier, North Korea had agreed to stop test-firing its missiles.

“For 15 months, they haven’t tested weapons because of this negotiation but over those same 15 months they have not stopped their cyber activity,” said Victor Cha, the Korea chairman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

With the help of an unnamed foreign law enforcement agency, the McAfee researchers gained access to one of the main computer servers used by the North Korean hackers to stage their attacks.

via As Trump and Kim Met, North Korean Hackers Hit Over 100 Targets in U.S. and Ally Nations – The New York Times

 

North Korea’s Kim pays tribute to Ho Chi Minh on Vietnam visit – Channel NewsAsia

HANOI: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un paid tribute to Vietnam’s late revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh on Saturday before starting his long journey home through China, after his Hanoi summit with US President Donald Trump ended without a nuclear deal.

Kim boarded his olive green armoured train at the Dong Dang border station in Vietnam before it rolled northward toward China en route to Pyongyang, kicking off a marathon 4,000-km journey expected to take two-and-a-half days.

Earlier Kim made a highly unusual stop at the stark concrete monument where the body of Vietnam’s independence hero is on display.

On historic North Korean anniversaries Kim regularly pays tribute – with the “humblest reverence”, according to the official KCNA news agency – to his predecessors, his father Kim Jong Il and grandfather Kim Il Sung, at the sprawling memorial palace on the outskirts of Pyongyang where their preserved remains lie in state.

But he is not known to have previously done anything similar for a foreign leader.

The North Korean adjusted the ribbons on a large wreath emblazoned with his name and the message “Cherishing the memory of President Ho Chi Minh” before bowing his head for no less than 48 seconds.

Go and see the photos via North Korea’s Kim pays tribute to Ho Chi Minh on Vietnam visit – Channel NewsAsia

US, South Korea to end key joint military exercises – Channel NewsAsia

SEOUL: The US and South Korea said on Sunday (Mar 3) they will end their annual large-scale joint military exercises as Washington pursues efforts to improve ties with North Korea.

The decision comes days after the conclusion of US President Donald Trump’s second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, which ended without a formal agreement but with both sides suggesting they would keep talking.

Trump has ruled out withdrawing any of the 28,500 US forces based in South Korea to defend it from its nuclear-armed neighbour, which invaded in 1950.

Any such drawdown would face strong pushback from the US Congress and Japan, whose conservative government is deeply wary of North Korea’s intentions.

But the US president has complained repeatedly over the cost of the military drills, which Pyongyang has always condemned as provocative rehearsals for invasion.

During a Saturday phone call between South Korean Defence Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and his US counterpart Patrick Shanahan, “both sides decided to conclude the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle series of exercises,” according to a Pentagon statement.

Foal Eagle is the biggest of the regular joint exercises held by the allies, and has always infuriated Pyongyang.

In the past, it has involved 200,000 South Korean forces and some 30,000 US soldiers.

It is accompanied by Key Resolve, a computer-simulated war game conducted by military commanders which usually begins in March and runs for about 10 days.

Read the full article via US, South Korea to end key joint military exercises – Channel NewsAsia

Vietnam summit NORTH KOREA, MAGA USA Special 2019 mix Tape Extravaganza |TBNW

time lapse photography of road
Photo by Marcus Nguyen on Pexels.com

Trump in Vietnam for second summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un |CBS

President Trump is gearing up for his second summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Politico White House correspondent Anita Kumar joins CBSN with the latest.

Kim Jong Un arrives in Vietnam ahead of summit |FOX

The second summit between North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Trump begins with the leaders’ arrivals in Hanoi, Vietnam. Kim is arriving to the country by train and will be greeted in a welcome ceremony.

Trump arrives in Vietnam for 2nd summit with Kim | The Straits Times

HANOI – Hanoi traffic is manic enough on normal days, but it has got much worse this week as the city pulls out all stops for the second summit between United States President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un.

Downtown was gridlocked for much of Tuesday (Feb 26), as roads were blocked to make way for the arrivals of the two men, sending legions of scooters – the favoured mode of travelling for 7.5 million Hanoians – fleeing onto pavements to cut the jam.

For this one week at least, life in Vietnam’s capital city will be far from normal. Cafes have been told to clear their tables and chairs from pavements; some have been told to shut.

Tanks have rolled in, much to the amusement of both tourists and locals, who cannot resist posing next to the armoured vehicles.

Yet, hotel receptionist Tam Mai, 30, simply shrugged when asked if the summit had disrupted her daily routine. “I ride a scooter to work, and traffic is always heavy anyway. I just leave a little earlier for work.”

people walking in front of buildings
Photo by Arnie Chou on Pexels.com

The city has gone through a discernible change over the past two weeks, she said. “The streets are cleaner, they planted flowers, and banned big trucks from coming into the city. They’ve all been good preparations for the summit.”

Hotels are running full and taxis are doing brisk business as thousands of journalists and diplomats from all over the world descend on the city.

Bookie Dinh Xuan Cuong, 50, and his friend, businessman Hoang Xuan Thuy, 53, drove 100km on Monday from their hometown of Haiphong to Hanoi, hoping to catch a glimpse of the two leaders.

Mr Hoang, sporting a commemorative Trump-Kim T-shirt and holding a US flag while milling around a row of tanks near the Melia Hanoi hotel, claimed he was not specifically pro-Trump, but the shop he bought his flag from did not have a North Korea one.

“I hope President Trump and President Kim speak in peace and reduce nuclear weapons and keep peace in North and South Korea, the people live in peace,” said Mr Dinh in halting English.

woman standing near white vehicle
Photo by Ba Phi on Pexels.com

Armed policemen moved in to stand guard outside the Melia Hanoi hotel on Monday afternoon, in preparation for Mr Kim’s arrival. Another team took position around the J.W. Marriott Hotel, about 10km away, where Mr Trump will stay after touching down in Air Force One on Tuesday night (Feb 26).

Kim Jong Un makes a splash in Vietnam as Trump lands

Across the street from Marriott, a banner depicting Mr Trump and Mr Kim smilingly holding hands hangs prominently at three-month-old Dewo hotpot restaurant. Manager Nguyen Van Quang, 29, said it was to “send a message of peace”.

The banner was painted by a staff member of the restaurant, a day after it received notice last Wednesday that the hotel would be a summit venue. The restaurant was later told by the authorities to close from last Saturday to Thursday for “security concerns”.

That was no surprise. Mr Nguyen said the restaurant, along with others there, also had to shut when former US president Barack Obama stayed at the hotel in 2016.

“We understand the security concerns. But we still welcome the summit and hope for the best results. We hope it will bring hope of lasting peace for the entire world,” he said.

Tour guide Tran Xuan The, 44, said Vietnamese feel proud that their country is playing host to the Trump-Kim summit. “It shows that we are warm and hospitable, and our country is safe and can be trusted to organise this event,” he said.

“We hope this event will help raise the stature of Vietnam in the world, boost our economy and promote our tourist attractions.”

 

man standing beside umbrella facing three women sitting on chairs
Photo by Arnie Chou on Pexels.com

2019 NORTH KOREA-U.S. SUMMIT HIGHLIGHT] KIM Jong-un Arrives in Vietnam | Special Train Special

8PM Trump Breaking News 2/26/19 | Tucker Carlson Tonight February 26, 2019

CBS ARSEHURT – Feb 26, 2019

Video – Trump wants North Korea to denuclearise, but is in no hurry

– US President Donald Trump on Tuesday (Feb 19) said he wants North Korea to end its nuclear programme, but he is in no rush and has no pressing time schedule for Pyongyang to ultimately denuclearise.

Trump is meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the second time on Feb 27 and 28 in Vietnam.

Speaking to reporters at a White House event, Trump said sanctions against the Asian nation would remain in place in the meantime and noted Pyongyang has not conducted nuclear or rocket tests recently.

“I’m in no rush. There’s no testing. As long as there is no testing, I’m in no rush. If there’s testing, that’s another deal,” he said.

“I’d just like to see ultimately denuclearisation of North Korea,” he also said.

🇰🇵 North Korea’s Secret Money | 101 East

One man was sent to a construction site in Kuwait. Another went to work in a bank in Singapore. Over the years, an estimated 150,000 North Korean workers have been sent abroad to raise money for the ruling Kim family. This film reveals the men and women who help generate billions of dollars for North Korea – from former high-ranking officers to the workers who toil in factories and on construction sites around the world, only to have most of their salaries go directly back to the pariah state. 101 East meets defectors who say the cash earned overseas goes directly to the Kim family and has helped fund the development of their nuclear missile program. A former high-ranking official reveals how former leader Kim Jong-il created ‘Office 39’, which manages thousands of companies and factories overseas and provides half of the country’s gross domestic product. That money comes from labourers like Lim II. He describes how he worked day and night on a construction site in Kuwait for five months but was never paid any wages. Instead, he says, his salary was sent straight back to Pyongyang. Another defector, Kim Kwang-jin, says he made tens of millions of dollars for North Korea when he was sent to Singapore in the early 2000s to work for the country’s North East Asia Bank. “Our main goal was to make foreign cash and this foreign cash business is a complete secret,” he says. 101 East follows the trail of North Korea’s Secret Money.