In his grandfather's footsteps, Kim Jong Un due in Vietnam
By James Pearson and Khanh Vu HANOI (Reuters) - When North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrives in Hanoi on Tuesday for his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump later this week, he will be the first leader of the isolated country to visit Vietnam since his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, visited in 1964. Vietnam's model of reform is being widely touted as the economic path for impoverished North Korea to follow as the United States leads efforts to curb Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme and bring it back to the international fold.
By James Pearson and Khanh Vu
HANOI (Reuters) - When North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrives in Hanoi on Tuesday for his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump later this week, he will be the first leader of the isolated country to visit Vietnam since his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, visited in 1964.
Vietnam's model of reform is being widely touted as the economic path for impoverished North Korea to follow as the United States leads efforts to curb Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme and bring it back to the international fold.
But Vietnam's transformation has required political change and levels of individual freedoms that would require major reforms for the Kim family, which is afforded godlike status by state propaganda.
In imagery that could have powerful propaganda value at home, Kim Jong Un will mimic aspects of his grandfather's trip to Vietnam by travelling to some of the same locations visited by the elder Kim, two sources with direct knowledge of security and logistics planning told Reuters.
"This is legacy politics," said Christopher Green, a North Korea expert with the International Crisis Group.
"North Korea will want to play up Kim’s succession to the role of his grandfather, who successfully built up North Korea's international legitimacy after the establishment of the state."
Even Kim Jong Un's multi-day train journey through North Korea and thousands of kilometres across China to reach Vietnam is similar to the grand train voyages his grandfather once took.
His armoured train, complete with carriages decked out with pink leather chairs and big-screen televisions, is expected to reach Vietnam on Tuesday morning.
One of the destinations in Kim's itinerary is the coastal northern Vietnamese province of Quang Ninh, the sources said. The province is home to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO world heritage site dotted with steep-sided islands which attracted over 12 million tourists last year.
Kim Il Sung visited Ha Long Bay in 1964 during his second visit to Vietnam.
RED CARPET, RED RIVER
Kim's train is expected to stop at the Vietnamese border station of Dong Dang, where he will disembark and travel the 170 km (105 miles) to Hanoi by car.
Top Vietnamese officials were on hand to receive him at the station with a red-carpet including a guard of honour and North Korean and Vietnamese flags flying.
Kim's close aide, Kim Chang Son, who has been in Hanoi for several days preparing for the summit, was spotted at the station before Kim's arrival.
Over the weekend, Vietnam announced that it will ban traffic on the road from the station to Hanoi on Tuesday.
Kim Jong Un may be looking to learn from Vietnam's experience of manufacturing products for international companies, meaning a visit to a factory could also be on the cards.
A source with direct knowledge of the plan said a high level North Korean delegation is scheduled to visit a plant operated by start-up Vietnamese automaker Vinfast in Haiphong province on Wednesday afternoon.
The plan is subject to change, the source said.
South Korea's Samsung Electronics operates a massive smartphone factory in Bac Ninh, another province popular with Vietnamese and international manufacturers.
A source with direct knowledge of the matter said Samsung Electronics had not been informed of any visit by Kim, or instructed by Vietnamese authorities to host him.
In Hanoi, North Korean and U.S. flags could be seen on along a main thoroughfare and bridge crossing the Red River into the city.
Trump and Kim are expected to meet for their second summit in Hanoi's Government Guesthouse, an elegant, colonial-era building in the city centre, or at the nearby Metropole Hotel, sources have told Reuters.
Dozens of North Korean security men with identical haircuts and suits marched off an aircraft at Hanoi airport on Sunday, as Vietnamese soldiers searched through shrubbery outside the Metropole.
Trump will arrive in Vietnam on Tuesday evening, Vietnam's foreign ministry said on Monday. Trump will meet Vietnam's president, who is also general secretary of the ruling Communist Party, Nguyen Phu Trong, on Wednesday morning, the ministry said.
Trump on Monday appeared to play down any hope of a major breakthrough at the two day summit, saying he would be happy as long as North Korea maintained its pause on weapons testing.
(Reporting by James Pearson and Khanh Vu; Additional reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Lincoln Feast)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
By Jessica Resnick-Ault NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices strengthened on Wednesday, as OPEC and its allies were seen complying with a pact to cut oil supply in September, even as concerns loomed that recovery in fuel demand will be stalled by soaring global coronavirus cases. Early in the day crude was boosted by a bullish stock market. Even as equities whipsawed on pandemic worries, oil stayed higher, buoyed by expectations that OPEC could staunch a supply glut
By Tina Bellon and C Nivedita (Reuters) - Tesla Inc will further cut the price of its Model S "Long Range" sedan in the United States to $69,420, the electric carmaker's chief executive, Elon Musk, announced in a tweet https://bit.ly/2H0JCP0 on Wednesday. The anticipated drop marks the second time this week Tesla has cut the price for the high-end sedan, following a 4% cut of the Model S's price in the United States on Tuesday to $71,990.
By Jeff Mason DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Under siege over his handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump on Wednesday cited what he said was his son's mild bout of the virus as a reason why American schools should reopen as soon as possible. Trump made the comment about his son, Barron, as the president swept into Iowa on a mission to shore up support in battleground states that he won in 2016 but is in danger of losing to Democrat Joe Biden barely three weeks before the election. First lady Melania Trump announced in a statement earlier in the day that the virus that struck both her and her husband had also infected their 14-year-old son