Donald Trump has arrived in Vietnam on Air Force One for his second summit with Kim Jong-un.
The high-stakes meeting will pick up where the Singapore summit last June left off, with the US likely to seek reassurances from North Korea that it is committed to denuclearisation.
The two leaders will participate in a “social dinner” in the city’s Metropole Hotel, joined by two guests and their respective interpreters. Before that, they are expected to have a 20-minute one-on-one conversation.
BIZARRE SHIPMENT BOUND FOR NORTH KOREA
On the eve of the Hanoi summit, Dutch authorities stumbled upon a container of 90,000 bottles of vodka believed to be destined for North Korea.
A total of 3000 cases of vodka were found by officers at the port of Rotterdam aboard a ship owned by China’s Cosco Shipping.
“It’s an incredible story — it’s like something you read in a thriller,” customs agency spokesman Roul Velleman told AFP.
“Sources indicated to us that a container was destined for North Korea. That was reason enough for us to act,” Mr Velleman added.
Dutch newspaper AD said the vodka was believed to be destined for Mr Kim and his top generals, but Mr Velleman declined to confirm this.
However, it would be especially significant given the hermit country has been slapped with a number of international sanctions, which include a ban on the import of certain luxury goods.
According to Dutch Foreign Affairs minister Sigrid Kaag, those sanctions were the reason for this particular seizure.
“The Security Council of the United Nations has imposed clear sanctions on North Korea, so it is important to enforce those sanctions,” she said in a statement.
“The sanctions also govern the import of luxury goods and so customs was completely justified in unloading that container.”
North Korea is seeking an end to the crippling economic sanctions imposed on the hermit regime by the United States and the United Nations.
The US, in turn, is seeking reassurance that North Korea is still committed to its pledge to eliminate all of its weapons of mass destruction programs, and to establish a road map that sets expectations for the process.
Pyongyang claims it has taken major steps towards denuclearisation, not testing any ballistic missiles or nuclear weapons for more than a year, and blowing up the entrances to its atomic test site.
North Korea has also long called for a peace deal with the US to normalise relations and end the technical state of war that has existed since the 1950-1953 Korean War concluded with an armistice rather than a peace treaty.