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Vietnam says being chosen to host second Trump-Kim summit is a positive sign

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attends a news conference with his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen in Hanoi, Vietnam December 7, 2018. REUTERS/Kham

HANOI (Reuters) – The choice of Vietnam as host of this month’s summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shows the Southeast Asian nation is headed in the right direction, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said on Tuesday.

Last week, Trump said he would hold his second meeting with Kim in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi on Feb. 27 and 28. That follows an unprecedented June 11 summit of the two leaders in the wealthy city state of Singapore.

“This important event has shown that Vietnam’s investment environment is good, that Vietnam’s development model is going in a right direction and especially that the security and safety in Vietnam is wonderful,” Phuc told government officials at the Hanoi Stock Exchange.

“Vietnam will demonstrate its international role and do its best to let the word ‘Vietnam’ ring out.”

Vietnam’s foreign minister, Pham Binh Minh, will visit North Korea from Feb. 12 to 14 ahead of the summit.

As Vietnam prepares for the summit, its reform model is being widely touted as the economic path for impoverished and isolated North Korea to follow.

Last year, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said North Korea could follow the example of Vietnam, adding that Trump believed Pyongyang could replicate Hanoi’s path to normal relations with Washington and to prosperity.

Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by James Pearson and Clarence Fernandez

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