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Colin Zwirko is an NK News correspondent based in Seoul.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump met for the second time in 260 days on Wednesday in Hanoi, DPRK state media reported Thursday morning, saying the two leaders plan to make “epoch-making results” in Vietnam.
The “historic second DPRK-U.S. summit” began thanks to efforts from both sides “to end the evil cycle of confrontation and antagonism and keep pace with the era of peace and prosperity that has newly arrived,” an English-language report from Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
“Mistrust, misunderstanding, hostility and old practices tried to stop our ways but we broke and overcame all of them and again walked towards each other to finally reach Hanoi in 260 days,” Kim Jong Un was quoted to have said in his opening remarks upon meeting Trump at the Metropole Hotel.
Kim reportedly added that “this period required lots of deep thinking, efforts and patience than ever before and that excellent results wished by all will be made in the talks and he would do his best to this end.”
President Trump, in turn, “said that he was honored and happy to meet Chairman Kim Jong Un again and that he was sure that the talks would be very successful, noting they had very nice relations with each other,” according to KCNA.
Both of the leaders’ comments appear to have been reported accurately when compared to their words carried on live broadcasts at the time.
After the initial meeting, the North Korean state media report said Trump and Kim “had one-on-one pleasant chat to have a candid and honest dialogue,” followed by a “social dinner.”
Listing top official Kim Yong Chol and foreign minister Ri Yong Ho as added participants for the DPRK and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney for the U.S., the report said the group exchanged opinions over the “considerable progress” made in bilateral relations since the Singapore summit last June.
The two share a “view to making comprehensive and epoch-making results in the talks in order to meet the interest and expectation of the whole world for the successful Hanoi summit,” it added, saying the summit would continue on Thursday.
In comments not included in the state media report but which were broadcast internationally, Kim told the press at the dinner table that he and Trump “talked about a lot of interesting things” for around 30 minutes in their one-on-one meeting.
As the two leaders laughed together, Trump responded by telling reporters: “We did. Boy, if you could have heard that dialogue, what you would pay for that dialogue, it was good.”
The KCNA report also highlighted the personal relationship between Trump and Kim, saying the two “deepened their friendly feelings through the Singapore summit” and have had “subsequent exchanges of several personal letters exchanged warm greetings and made well-wishing remarks.”
Ruling party-run outlet Rodong Sinmun also carried the story on its front page Thursday, with four large images of the two leaders together taking up most of the page.
President Trump and Kim Jong Un are set to hold another one-on-one meeting Thursday morning at the Metropole Hotel beginning at 0900 local time, according to the White House.
The two sides will then hold an “expanded bilateral meeting” at 0945, followed by a “working lunch” at 1155.
A “Joint Agreement Signing Ceremony” will be held at 1405, the White House said, confirming that the U.S. indeed plans to ink a deal of some sort by the end of the talks Thursday.
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Featured image: Rodong Sinmun