08:26 GMT18 January 2021
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    Reporting from Vietnam ahead of the anticipated second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump, radio host Brian Becker told Sputnik that North Korean officials are hoping to get a guarantee from the US that their country won't face any nuclear threats moving forward.

    "What North Korea wants is a guarantee from the United States that they don't really face an ongoing nuclear threat," Becker told Sputnik Radio's Loud & Clear on Monday.

    "Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula means a comprehensive denuclearization, and I think the summit, if it's going to be meaningful, will have to go forward in trying to give a definition of what that actually looks like," he added.

    ​Trump and Kim are scheduled to meet in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 27 and 28, for their second summit, with their first meeting having taken place in Singapore in June 2018. The historic 2018 summit concluded with a four-point declaration that paved the way toward renewed bilateral relations and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, among other goals.

    Offering a taste of the present atmosphere in Hanoi, Becker told hosts John Kiriakou and Walter Smolarek that Vietnam "is very excited about" the potential results of the Trump-Kim summit, explaining that the sentiment is that North Korea could follow along Vietnam's previous path toward ending hostilities with the US.

    "Vietnam, which was, of course, a prime adversary of the United States, fought a long war with the United States, and later, after it defeated the United States, was able to come to a peace arrangement with the United States," Becker said. "I think Vietnam is well aware of the profound symbolism of being the host of a similar possibility here."

    "All across the city of Hanoi, the former capital of what was North Vietnam, and now the capital of a unified Vietnam… all over the city there are big posters announcing the summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un," he continued, adding, "There's the American flag, the Vietnamese flag and the North Korean flag almost at every intersection."

    Senior US Senate Democrats over the weekend wrote a letter to Trump ahead of the summit, demanding that POTUS' second meeting with Kim "demonstrate tangible, verifiable progress on denuclearization and reducing tensions."

    "We hope," the lawmakers wrote, "you will execute a serious diplomatic plan, which includes a sequenced process to verifiably freeze and roll back North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile programs in conjunction with continued appropriate sanctions and other pressure; a robust deterrence posture; strengthened alliances; intensified diplomatic and economic engagement; and a deepening of North-South dialogue that over time can provide the pathway to full denuclearization and a durable peace agreement."

    Becker told Smolarek that the letter was the result of something "deeper" than just politicians on opposing sides of the aisle wanting to trash one another.

    "It's not simply a contest between Democrats and Republicans," the radio host said. "It is the dominant position in the Washington foreign policy establishment, and you can't think of that establishment without thinking through that the military contractors and the banks who finance these operations… they play a central role in decision makers' policy orientation."

    Although it's unclear what will ultimately come out of the second Trump-Kim summit, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did indicate on Sunday that Trump is focused on achieving a "demonstrable, verifiable step" toward denuclearization.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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    denuclearization, Kim Jong-un, Donald Trump, Vietnam, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), US
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