HANOI (Sputnik), Valentina Shvartsman — When the Vietnamese capital was chosen as the host city for the second meeting between the US and North Korean leaders, local entrepreneurs seized the unmissable business opportunity to come up with summit-themed products to sell to visitors, ranging from T-shirts with colourful prints to extravagant "negotiations" cocktails.
US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are scheduled to meet in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi on February 27-28 for their second summit on denuclearization.
T-Shirts to Peace Supporters
Ms Tuyet, who runs a shop on Hang Bong street near the city's Old Quarter, has started selling T-shirts with prints featuring the two leaders and the word "peace" in capital red letters as a sign of support for the upcoming denuclearization talks.
"It is one of the biggest events that has drawn the attention of the entire world to Vietnam… A lot of Vietnamese bought them [the T-shirts] as a form of supporting [the summit], many foreigners also bought them," she told Sputnik when most customers had left the busy shop.
Tuyet went on to say that she sold up to 200 shirts per day, a number she hardly anticipated when she started the sales.
While understanding that the demand for such T-shirts would likely decrease soon, the lady was doing what she could to make the best of the extraordinary situation. For example, she offered customers to get their photo printed alongside the US and North Korean leaders on the now iconic T-shirts.
Beefing up Agreements
The Durty Bird burger shop in the Vietnamese capital also considered the upcoming summit to be an unmissable business opportunity.
"We like to have a bit of fun here, so we thought we will do something fun. About two weeks ago we actually came up with designs for the burgers, what they will be, what they will be called," the Durty Bird's operating manager, Greg Clarke, told Sputnik.
He described his Durty Donald burger as "very American", having double bacon, double beef, double cheese and chicken floss to imitate Trump's hair. The North Korea-inspired burger, simply named the Kim Jong-un, was a more exotic mix of smoked pork, wild boar meat, deep fried kimchi and kimchi mayonnaise. Both burgers came with little flags at the top.
The restaurant started offering the summit-themed burgers on Monday, selling about 50 on the first day and 20 more on Tuesday afternoon.
"More people have ordered the Donald, because it is more or less a classic beef burger. If couples come, they order one each and share it," Clarke said.
Though the burger shop has gotten used to the attention of media and tourists over the past couple of days, one guest still managed to make a lot of fuss with his visit — a Donald Trump impersonator by the name of Russell White.
The man hugged and exchanged handshakes with the shop's manager and chief, while expressing regret that his like-minded friend, a Kim Jong-un impersonator, was unable to join him in paying a visit to the restaurant. Vietnamese authorities kicked out an impersonator, an Australian comedian known as Howard X, on the eve of the summit, citing visa problems, but he himself has said it was due to him being too good at his job.
"We did not expect that in a million years. It was really cool," Clarke said after Trump's lookalike left.
The Tannin Wine Bar, a classy establishment in Joan Kiem, has also jumped on board to support the summit by offering a themed signature drink.
The "Peace Negotiations" cocktail is a Negroni-based drink that has soju added to give it a more "Korean flavour," the bar's manager, Antoine Ursat, told Sputnik.
"We think that if some delegations want to talk, it is easier to talk after one or two cocktails. It helps negotiations, it is helpful for peace in the end," Ursat said, asked about the drink's message.
The first summit between Trump and Kim took place in Singapore last June. During the meeting, Kim pledged to make efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula in exchange for security guarantees for North Korea and the suspension of US-South Korean military drills. However, no concrete steps have been made in this direction by either party.