HANOI (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will make an official visit to Vietnam in "coming days," the State Department said Saturday as the Southeast Asian country prepares for its summit with US President Donald Trump next week in the capital Hanoi.
FILE PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks on the occasion of the 71th anniversary of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in Pyongyang, North Korea, on February 8, 2019, KCNA Photo. KCNA via REUTERS
Kim visits Nguyen Phu Trong, the president and secretary-general of the ruling Communist Party, said the ministry in a statement, but gave no further details.
The Hanoi Summit on 27 and 28 February will take place after the historic June meeting of the two Heads of State and Government in Singapore.
The North Korean state media need not confirm Kim's trip to Vietnam or his summit meeting with Trump.
On February 26, Vietnam will ban traffic on the road, which Kim is expected to take to Hanoi from a Chinese border station, the state media said.
She is also preparing a plan to receive Kim by air, a source of direct knowledge of the matter, which Reuters tells separately.
The preferred location for the summit is the Government Guesthouse, a colonial building in the center of Hanoi, three sources reported on Wednesday in Reuters.
They said the Metropole Hotel was a replacement for the summit, and Kim might stay during his visit to the Melia Hotel. A Reuters witness saw workers laying communication cables in the streets behind the metro in late Friday.
At the same time, some foreign media organizations received a message from the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs prohibiting live broadcasts in and around Melia Hotel and Hoan Kiem Lake in central Hanoi.
The JW Marriott Hotel, which is expected to remain broad, will also be suspended for live broadcasts, according to a copy of the message reviewed by Reuters.
Several hotels visited by Reuters on Saturday near Hoan Kiem Lake, a popular tourist spot in the Vietnamese capital, said the authorities had restricted access to their rooftops.
Additional coverage by Minh Nguyen, Kham Nguyen and Ju-min Park; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Jacqueline Wong