Kim Jong-un arrived in Hanoi for a summit with President Trump after a 2,800 mile train journey lasting two-and-a-half days. The American President took a more direct route and Air Force One touched down in the Vietnamese capital late yesterday evening. When both leaders get down to business today, they are expected to have a brief one-on-one conversation followed by a social dinner. The Hanoi summit is their second meeting and it comes eight months after a historic summit in Singapore which was the first ever meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader
Observers were critical about the outcome of the previous summit, however, with many claiming it failed to result in Pyongyang giving up its nuclear weapons. After Singapore, Trump tweeted "that there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea". Experts disagree and claim the country has continued many of its usual activities since then including expanding its nuclear research and making additions to its missile bases
. Expectations are modest regarding a deal to abandon the nuclear program this week but there is hope that the summit could at least finally bring a formal end to the Korean War.
Given that many countries across the Asia Pacific region and beyond still find North Korea's nuclear program highly threatening, the stakes are going to be high in Hanoi. According to Pew Research Center polling
, 73 percent of the Japanese population consider the North Korean nuclear program threatening, along with 67 percent in South Korea. In the United States, that figure is less but a still sizeable 58 percent. The stakes are of course high for Kim himself and Trump seems to be hoping the reward of economic development will be enough for him to relinquish his nuclear weapons. On Sunday, the president tweeted that "without nuclear weapons" North Korea "could fast become one of the great economic powers anywhere in the World".