Shortlisted venues for a second summit between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are likely to include Singapore and Vietnam, South Korean media reported on Friday (Jan 11).
“(The venues you should pay attention to) are those mentioned by media including Vietnam, Singapore and Hawaii,” a South Korean foreign affairs ministry official told the Korean Herald, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“But Hawaii is said to be an unrealistic location as it doesn’t have a North Korean embassy there,” the report quoted another official as saying.
Although the South Korean government hoped the truce village of Panmunjom – located in the Demilitarised Zone between North and South Korea – would host the second summit, this was unlikely, one of the officials told the Korean Herald.
“We would like to hold the meeting at Panmunjom, but the probability of this becoming a reality seems to be slim,” one of the officials told the news organisation.
The leaders of North and South Korea held a meeting at the truce village in April last year – only the third of its kind since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday said the second United States-North Korea summit would take place “soon”.
Meanwhile, it was reported earlier this week that US State Department officials recently met several times with their North Korean counterparts in Hanoi to discuss planning the second summit between the two countries, fuelling speculation the Vietnamese capital could play host to the event.
Trump later told reporters that the two countries were “negotiating a location” for a second summit, and that this would be announced “probably in the not too distant future”.
During their historic first summit last June, Kim reaffirmed his “firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”, stated in a joint document signed by him and Trump.
Trump in turn committed to provide security guarantees to North Korea. The document did not state what those guarantees might be.
Ahead of the Singapore summit last year, a South Korean presidential official told reporters that the choice of Singapore as a venue was in part because it was within reasonable flight time and distance from Pyongyang.
Kim’s personal Ilyushin-62M jet has a maximum range of 10,000km – putting Singapore, Hanoi and Hawaii all well within range.
However his additional Ilyushin-76 cargo plane cannot fly more than 3,000km without refuelling if carrying a full load.