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Vietnam issues traffic ban for Kim's possible arrival route

Vietnam issues traffic ban for Kim's possible arrival route”

Kim left Pyongyang by train on Saturday afternoon for the Feb 27-28 summit accompanied by senior North Korean officials, North Korea's official KCNA news agency said.

North Korean state media has confirmed that leader Kim Jong Un is on a train to Vietnam for his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

A South Korean diplomat involved in the talks said Kim has agreed to allow United States inspectors into the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center, which has processed plutonium and uranium for Pyongyang's nukes.

The visit by Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK, will be made at the invitation of General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee and State President Nguyen Phu Trong, the ministry announced on its website.

Trump and Kim will meet in Hanoi eight months after their historic summit in Singapore, the first between a sitting USA president and a North Korean leader, where they pledged to work toward the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

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It will be Kim's second face-to-face encounter with Trump following their first meeting in Singapore in June a year ago.

In their Singapore summit, Kim and Trump pledged to work towards peace between their countries and for the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

Another option would be to take the train to Beijing and catch a plane to the Vietnamese capital.

The People's Committee in Lang Son province, where the Dong Dang railway station is located, issued a statement Friday instructing the road operator to clean the highway stretch and suspend road works, among other things, as "a political task" on February 24-28.

On Saturday soldiers were deployed to Dong Dang station and along the road to the capital, according to AFP reporters at the scene.

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Kim's overseas travel plans are routinely kept secret, and the departure is the first official acknowledgement from Pyongyang that the talks are taking place.

Rail travel is a family tradition that was started by Kim's grandfather, the North's founder Kim Il Sung, who travelled to Eastern Europe for his longest train ride in 1984. The North Korean leader's sister, Kim Yo Jong, is also among the members of the delegation.

"But by choosing to travel by their own special train over a Chinese aircraft, Pyongyang may be signalling its willingness to be independent", Jeong said.

Still, a journey from China's frozen northern border to subtropical Vietnam would present a logistical headache and complex security challenges.

"They would have to clear the tracks, they would have to provide security for basically the entire length of the Chinese eastern seaboard", he said.

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"China wants North Korea to make some steps to denuclearise as much as anyone else".



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