Thailand touted as next possible venue for Kim-Trump summit?

Following the success of the first summit hosted by Singapore on June 12 last year, the White House has sent their scouts to Thailand as a possible location for the second summit. Bangkok is among the Asian cities reportedly being considered as possible venues, along with Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Hawaii.

On Sunday, Trump said that the US is “negotiating a location” for a second summit with Kim and the two had spoken “indirectly.” The US has not yet decided on a top pick and the list which could expand, has not yet been presented to the North Koreans.

Thailand, as ASEAN chair is ready to facilitate the second summit. Thailand’s Foreign Minister of ASEAN Affairs Department Director-General, Suriya Chinadawongse said “ It would be a joint decision by the US and North Korea about their meeting venue, and the status of ASEAN chair will not be a factor”

“In our capacity as Asean chair, we could facilitate the use of such forums for the benefit of peace in the Korea Peninsula, he said. “It is not our style of diplomacy to offer Bangkok as the venue; it depends on their decision.”

According to a source, Vietnam appears to be the front-contender to host the highly-anticipated second summit Between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme leader Kim Jong Un as she has been lauded as a role model for North Korea in terms of prosperity and normalizing ties with the US, and the South-East Asian seems keen on this, said experts and the media. However, some experts worry that hosting the summit in Hanoi could send out the wrong message because it will invite a comparison between North Korea and Vietnam. Kim does not want to emulate another communist country’s efforts to modernize its economy, which could lead to outside investment which he believes could disrupt his grip on power.

It is believed that Bangkok would be in the running for the venue, as Thailand has the advantage of diplomatic ties with North Korea and the US, both are close friends. Furthermore, Bangkok’s strategic location means that Pyongyang would be able to send its delegate who are already based at it’s embassy in the city ahead of time for planning just like in Singapore.

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