Everything you need to know about the 2nd Trump-Kim summit

The two leaders plan to get together despite a lack of movement.

February 26, 2019, 7:37 PM

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un plan to meet again after their historic first summit last year, with stakes still high over the fate of the North’s nuclear weapons.

While the first get-together has not led to much concrete progress, both sides have kept their rhetoric dialed down ahead of round two.

Here’s what we know about the upcoming summit.

When will it take place?

Trump announced during his State of the Union address on Feb. 5 that the summit would take place Feb. 27 and 28.

He had previously teased for months that it would come "soon" and said in an interview with CBS News on Feb 1. that the meeting was "set."

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shakes hands with President Donald Trump during their historic U.S.-DPRK summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island on June 12, 2018 in Singapore.
Getty Images

Where will they meet?

Trump announced on Feb. 8 that Hanoi, Vietnam, would host the summit.

Vietnam's involvement has thrust the Southeast Asian nation, which has friendly relations with the U.S. and both Koreas, onto geopolitical center stage.

People wait outside the Hanoi Opera house in Hanoi, Vietnam, Feb. 9, 2019.
Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images

The country has a history of hosting high-level gatherings. A World Economic Forum meeting came to Hanoi in September, while Trump actually visited the Vietnamese city of Da Nang in 2017 for an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit with other world leaders.

    Singapore hosted the first Trump-Kim summit in June, offering a secure location for the meetings: a secluded island authorities locked down for the occasion.

    For the second go-around, officials no doubt searched for a similar, relatively neutral locale, with security concerns at the forefront.

    How did Trump and Kim get to Hanoi?

    Both leaders arrived in the Vietnamese capital on Tuesday, Trump on Air Force One, and Kim after a long train journey from North Korea.

    Kim's train trip took him through China, after which he stopped at the border with Vietnam and drove the rest of the way to Hanoi.

    What exactly will they do?

    The White House said Tuesday that on Wednesday evening, Trump will hold a one-on-one conversation with Kim before they both partake in a "social dinner."

    Earlier Wednesday, Trump will meet with Vietnamese leaders, without Kim, the White House said.

    Neither side has released more information about further plans, although Trump and Kim are widely expected to meet again on Thursday.

    What’s happened since the last summit?

    At their first meeting, Trump and Kim signed a vague agreement that committed the two countries to continue working toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula -- but with no explicit obligation by North Korea to actually disarm.

    The North has since claimed it destroyed missile engine and nuclear test sites, but it hasn’t let international inspectors verify that. There have been no signs the secretive state has made any movement to destroy its weapons stockpile, and in fact, some experts believe it has actually expanded a key long-range missile base and worked on construction at a nearby newly discovered missile facility.

    A command post facilities of North Korea's nuclear test site are blown up in Punggye-ri, North Korea, May 24, 2018.
    Korea/Yonhap via AP

    While the North has yet to test another missile or nuclear weapon, Vice President Mike Pence acknowledged on Jan. 16 that the country had taken no "concrete steps" to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. Top U.S. intelligence officials said on Jan. 29 that Kim's regime still saw nuclear weapons as vital to its survival and that it was "unlikely to give up" its arsenal. "North Korea has given us little indication that they have yet made the decision to completely dismantle and destroy that capability," the United States’ special representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, said on Jan. 31.

    The June declaration also called for the recovery and repatriation of the remains of the thousands of American service members who remain unaccounted for after the Korean War. North Korea did, in fact, send 55 boxes of remains to the United States over the summer, from which the remains of three U.S. Army soldiers have been identified. There have been no announcements about additional transfers, although Biegun said that the Department of Defense was talking to the North Korean military about carrying out excavations.

    Military honor guards carry the remains of American soldiers repatriated from North Korea during a repatriation ceremony after arriving to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Honolulu, Aug. 1, 2018.
    Ronen Zilberman/AFP/Getty Images

    What could happen at the second summit?

    North Korea’s nukes will once again take central focus.

    Normally, lower-level officials from both sides would negotiate agreements in the lead-up to a major summit.

    U.S. and North Korean officials have held some working-level talks, with little progress to show so far. Some analysts think Trump’s early promise of a second summit undercut his negotiators, leaving little incentive for concessions until the two leaders get together again.

    Biegun traveled to North Korea's capital, Pyongyang, from Feb. 6-8, where he met with top North Korean official Kim Hyok Chol to discuss the Singapore summit's commitments and agreed to meet again before the Vietnam summit, the State Department said Feb. 8.

    But just weeks before Trump was expected to sit down with Kim, the president appeared to temper expectations, tweeting that there was only a “Decent chance of Denuclearization” and that “Time will tell what will happen with North Korea.”

    President Donald Trump talks with Kim Yong Chol, former North Korean military intelligence chief as they walk from their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, June 1, 2018.
    Andrew Harnik/AP

    The North’s top negotiator, Kim Yong Chol, spent 90 minutes in the White House with Trump in January, and the leaders have exchanged letters, too. While they haven’t said what was written in them, North Korean state media reported Kim had “expressed great satisfaction” upon hearing from Trump and that he had ordered preparations to continue for their second get-together.

    Trump told CBS News on Feb. 1 that there was "a good possibility" that Kim was unlikely to relinquish his nuclear weapons, but he also said that he thought there was "a very good chance that we will make a deal."

    "I think he's also tired of going through what he's going through," Trump said of Kim. "He has a chance to have North Korea be a tremendous economic behemoth. It has a chance to be one of the great economic countries in the world."

    ABC News’ Conor Finnegan contributed to this report from Washington.

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