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(LEAD) Top diplomats of N.K., Vietnam meet ahead of Trump-Kim summit

All Headlines 21:32 February 13, 2019

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; UPDATES with more info throughout)

SEOUL, Feb. 13 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's foreign minister met his Vietnamese counterpart 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 Yong-ho and Vietnam's top diplomat, Pham Binh Minh, held in-depth discussions on ways to strengthen bilateral ties and on regional and international issues of mutual concern, reaching a consensus on such matters, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The report did not elaborate on what they agreed.

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.

Earlier in the day, Minh met with Ri Su-yong, vice chairman of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, the KCNA added.

Kim is expected to pay a state visit to Vietnam just before or after his meeting with Trump, which will focus on North Korea's denuclearization and Washington's corresponding measures, 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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