Hanoi, Feb 18 (IANS) North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will arrive in Vietnam at the end of February for a two-day state visit, just ahead of his summit with US President Donald Trump, Vietnamese government officials said on Monday.
Kim’s state visit will be the first one by a North Korean leader to Vietnam since its re-unification in 1975, Efe news reported.
He is expected to meet General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee and State President Nguyen Phu Trong at the presidential palace in Hanoi on February 25.
The North Korean leader will also visit a unit of the South Korean tech firm Samsung, the report said.
Contact between Vietnam and North Korea has significantly increased in recent months, which is being interpreted as a possible interest by Pyongyang in exploring the model of economic openness adopted by Vietnam in the last three decades.
After the state visit, Kim will hold his second summit with Trump in Vietnam on February 27 and 28.
The Hanoi summit is expected to help move forward the stagnating talks on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The talks between Pyongyang and Washington have not progressed much since the first summit between Kim and Trump in Singapore in June last year when they agreed to work towards the denuclearization of North Korea in exchange for security guarantees for the regime.
Last week, the Foreign Ministers of Vietnam and North Korea, Pham Binh Minh and Ri Yong-ho respectively, met in Pyongyang amid ongoing preparations for the Kim-Trump summit.