Security men and metal detectors: Vietnam prepares for Trump-Kim summit

By Jorge Silva HANOI (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 a posh hotel in the city centre days before a North Korea-U.S. summit. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S.

Reuters February 25, 2019 03:05:09 IST
Security men and metal detectors: Vietnam prepares for Trump-Kim summit

Security men and metal detectors Vietnam prepares for TrumpKim summit

By Jorge Silva

HANOI (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 a posh hotel in the city centre days before a North Korea-U.S. summit.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump will meet in Hanoi on Wednesday and Thursday, hoping to build on a commitment they made at their first meeting, in Singapore in June, to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear bombs.

They 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.

Vietnam has confirmed that Kim will arrive for an official goodwill visit as well as the summit with Trump, but has released no further details regarding the location of meetings.

A Reuters witness saw Vietnamese soldiers in camouflaged fatigues sweeping the area around the Metropole with a metal detector. Its potted plants were thoroughly checked.

Teams of soldiers were also seen busy on nearby rooftops, installing radio devices and equipment under camouflaged webbing.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered that security should be a top priority for the summit, the government said in a post on its website.

The Southeast Asian country is relishing its role as peace maker, seeing it as an opportunity to burnish its international standing and balance it foreign ties.

Vietnam has pushed U.S. and North Korean security services to work closely to prepare for the summit, a senior Vietnamese security official told Reuters.

Media published photographs taken at Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport showing a North Korean cargo plane with its loading door open and the security men filing off onto the tarmac.

Some banners proclaiming the summit have gone up along Hanoi's tree-lined streets and some lamp posts are decked with North Korean, Vietnamese and U.S. flags fluttering above a handshake design, but apart from that, for now at least, life goes on as normal.

Motorists have been warned to expect road closures when the leaders are in town.

Security at the train station in the town of Dang Dong, on the Chinese border where Kim is expected arrive by train, has also been stepped up.

Vietnamese soldiers were seen patrolling its streets on Sunday.

(Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen, Khanh Vu, Kham Nguyen; Writing by James Pearson; Editing by Robert Birsel)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.