Update (10:35 am ET): Trump and Kim will hold a joint signing ceremony at 2:05 pm Hanoi time tomorrow (that's 2:05 am on the East Coast). The details of that ceremony are tbd, according to Trump's schedule.
Here's Trump's public schedule for tomorrow at the summit, which starts today Washington time. It includes more than three hours with Kim, including 45 minutes solo; a signing ceremony with Kim, details to be determined; and a solo press conference. pic.twitter.com/yLQlj189xF— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) February 27, 2019
Trump tweeted moments ago that his talks with Kim had wrapped up, and that after a "very good dialogue", they will continue on Thursday.
Great meetings and dinner tonight in Vietnam with Kim Jong Un of North Korea. Very good dialogue. Resuming tomorrow!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 27, 2019
Observers will probably spend the intervening hours speculating about whether that "signing ceremony" will involve a ceremonial end to the Korean War.
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In a choreographed ceremony that recalled their first meeting in Singapore, President Trump and Kim Jong Un met at the Metropole Hotel in Hanoi late Wednesday (local time) to start their second historic summit off with a handshake, a brief private meeting and a dinner with their aides - all of which (except for the private discussion) took place in front of thousands of reporters from around the world.
Shortly after arriving at the hotel, the two leaders shook hands standing in front of a display of American and North Korean flags.
Responding to questions from reporters, Trump said he felt the summit would be a "great success" and that he hadn't reconsidered his stance on total denuclearization for North Korea. That was followed by the two leaders' first "sit down" where they both answered questions from the press. Asked if the two leaders would announce an end to the 1950-1953 Korean War, an outcome that analysts have said would be one of the best-case scenarios for the summit, Trump said: "We'll see."
Before the meeting, Trump sent a couple of tweets mocking one of his political rivals (because you can't visit Vietnam without taking a shot a Da Nang Dick Blumenthal) and insisting that, media spin aside, he and Kim would work toward an agreement on denuclearization.
I have now spent more time in Vietnam than Da Nang Dick Blumenthal, the third rate Senator from Connecticut (how is Connecticut doing?). His war stories of his heroism in Vietnam were a total fraud - he was never even there. We talked about it today with Vietnamese leaders!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 27, 2019
All false reporting (guessing) on my intentions with respect to North Korea. Kim Jong Un and I will try very hard to work something out on Denuclearization & then making North Korea an Economic Powerhouse. I believe that China, Russia, Japan & South Korea will be very helpful!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 27, 2019
Shortly after their handshake, and after a brief private meeting, Trump joined Kim for a quick dinner, accompanied by their top aides. As the camera shutters flickered, Trump, playing the jovial host, asked if everybody was having a nice time, and told the press that "we're going to have a very busy day tomorrow."
"We’re going to have a very busy day tomorrow, and we’ll probably have a pretty quick dinner, and a lot of things are going be to solved I hope.”— The Hill (@thehill) February 27, 2019
President Trump and Kim Jong Un sit down for dinner. https://t.co/hu3tZ2JiG6 pic.twitter.com/vtxxRVbVqW
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney joined Trump for the dinner, while Kim was joined by lead negotiator Kim Yong Chol and foreign minister Ri Yong Ho. Kim told the press that the two exchanged "very interesting dialogue” during their brief one-on-one meeting.
Trump quickly added: "Boy if you could have heard that dialogue, what you would pay for that dialogue," Trump said.
Looking back on the day, Bloomberg offered a rundown of the key takeaways from Trump's first day in Hanoi:
- Trump spent his first full day of his visit to Vietnam out and about, meeting with Vietnam’s prime minister and president and taking part in a signing ceremony for commercial deals; Kim, meanwhile, remained largely out of sight during much of the day ahead of the evening one-on-one meeting with the U.S. president
- Vietnam was very much in focus today; Trump expressed admiration for its economy and said North Korea could similarly thrive if Kim agrees to give up nuclear weapons
- Trump at the signing ceremony looked on as Boeing and VietJet signed a deal valued at around $12.7 billion and Bamboo Airways signed one worth about $3 billion; GE also signed an agreement with VietJet
- Trump’s one-on-one with Kim very quickly raised the thorny issue of "denuclearization" - the U.S. president said he’s not walking back his insistence on complete and verifiable denuclearization by North Korea as a condition to lift sanctions; but there have been signs in recent days the U.S. is tempering expectations, at least for the meetings this week in Hanoi
- Trump again said he sees his relationship with Kim as a "very good one" - with initial interaction with Kim that felt quite reminiscent of the Singapore summit.
The real work will begin on Thursday, when negotiations between the two sides begin in earnest. According to the FT, Steve Biegun, the main US negotiator in the talks, said recently that Kim had indicated that he would be willing to destroy the plutonium and uranium-enrichment plants housed at Yongbyon nuclear complex in exchange for "corresponding measures" from the US, though he didn't say what those measures would be. The US, meanwhile, has continued to insist that no sanctions relief will be offered until full denuclearization has been accomplished.