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N.K. official meets Vietnam's foreign minister ahead of Trump-Kim summit

All Headlines 20:53 February 13, 2019

SEOUL, Feb. 13 (Yonhap) -- Ri Su-yong, a top North Korean official on foreign affairs, met with Vietnam's foreign minister on Wednesday, the North's state media said, amid prospects for a possible state visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to Hanoi this month.

Ri, vice chairman of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, met a Vietnamese delegation led by top diplomat Pham Binh Minh in Pyongyang, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The report did not give any details of what was discussed.

Vietnam's foreign minister arrived in North Korea on Tuesday for a three-day visit for talks on a possible state visit by Kim Jong-un to the Southeast Asian country ahead of his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trump and Kim plan to hold the summit in Hanoi from Feb. 27-28. It will follow their historic first meeting in Singapore last June.

Vietnam's foreign minister is widely expected to discuss security and protocol with the North in Pyongyang ahead of Kim's trip.

The Vietnamese minister, who doubles as deputy prime minister, also met his North Korean counterpart, Ri Yong-ho, on Wednesday, according to Japan's Kyodo News.

Kim is expected to pay a state visit to Vietnam just before or after his meeting with Trump, experts have predicted.

If he does so, he will be the first North Korean leader to visit the country in 54 years. Kim Il-sung, the country's late founder and grandfather of the incumbent leader, visited Hanoi in October 1964.
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