Executive Intelligence Review


In-Depth Preparation for Trump-Kim Feb. 27-28 Summit

Feb. 10, 2019—Preparations are going on at many levels for the second Trump-Kim summit Feb. 27-28 in Hanoi. After a first round of consultations with his North Korean counterpart Kim Hyok Chol on Feb. 6-8 in Pyongyang, U.S. Special Envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun briefed South Korean officials Feb. 9 and returned to the U.S. today. While in Seoul Biegun also held extensive meetings with both South Korean and Japanese officials. He reported to journalists that it had been “a productive set of discussions over the last few days, and our team engaged on a number of areas of mutual interest, and we’ve agreed to meet again,” specifying that it would be before the summit.

President Trump was pleased, tweeting yesterday that

“my representatives have just left North Korea after a very productive meeting and an agreed upon time and date for the second Summit with Kim Jong Un. It will take place in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 27 & 28. I look forward to seeing Chairman Kim & advancing the cause of peace!”

He added that “North Korea will become a different kind of Rocket—an Economic one!”

For his part, South Korean Presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom reported that Biegun’s talks in Pyongyang had been very detailed, but that the two would meet again “in the week beginning Feb. 17 in a third nation in Asia.” He also said that South Korean President Moon Jae-in and President Trump plan to hold discussions about the summit soon, Yonhap reports.

Yonhap also reports that a group of South Korean parliamentary leaders led by National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang and including the heads of four rival political parties, left Seoul today for meetings with U.S. Congressional leaders ahead of the Trump-Kim summit. Their U.S. trip will last until Feb. 17. Yonhap says it “marks a rare official joint American trip by rival political party leaders ahead of a major diplomatic event.” The trip aims to “rev up the two countries’ treaty alliance” and “will also involve discussions on ways to denuclearize North Korea through diplomatic efforts including the upcoming U.S.-North Korea summit,” Yonhap reported.