03/01/2019, 14.34
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Only Vietnam comes out ahead in ‘no deal’ summit between Kim and Trump

by Hung Viet

North Korea and the United States fail to agree on denuclearisation and sanctions. Hanoi and Washington sign agreements worth more than US$ 21 billion. Trump say he is “very proud of what Vietnam has achieved". For Vietnamese economist, Vietnam was smart to settle some trade irritants with the US over its trade surplus.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) – The second summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald J. Trump ended in no deal but the US president’s visit to Vietnam facilitated the signing of important trade agreements between Vietnam and the United States worth more than US$ 21 billion.

Vietnam’s VietJet Aircraft Company and Bamboo Airways will buy 110 Boeing planes, and will sign a long-term maintenance contract with General Electric.

For two days, the eyes of the world were on Vietnam’s capital where North Korean and US leaders discussed topics such as the denuclearisation and North Korea’s economy development.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho today said that his country made "realistic" proposals, including the complete decommissioning of Yongbyon under the watch of US observers, as well as permanently halt nuclear and long-range rocket testing.

In return, he said the North would accept only the partial lifting of sanctions "that hamper the civilian economy and the livelihood of our people".

"Our principal stand will remain invariable and our proposals will never change, even if the United States proposes negotiations again in the future,” Ri said.

Despite the summit’s failure, for Vietnam hosting the summit was a “diplomatic achievement” and economic relations between Vietnam and the United States got a boost.

On the first day of the summit, before meeting Kim, Trump and Vietnamese President Nguyễn Phú Trọng (pictured) attended the signing ceremony of trade agreements.

VietJet will buy a hundred 737 MAX planes from the Boeing for US$ 12.7 billion. The airline also finalised a US$ 5.3 billion long-term engine support agreement with General Electric for the LEAP-1B engines in its fleet. Bamboo Airways agreed to buy ten Dreamliner aircraft 787-9.

The deals will allow the two Vietnamese companies to expand internationally.

Regarding economic cooperation between the US and Vietnam, Trump said he was "very proud of what Vietnam has achieved for years".

In light of the latest developments, Nguyễn Xuân Nghĩa, a noted economist and researcher, said that Vietnam’s diplomacy was quite sophisticated.

"Hanoi was very clever to settle some trade irritants with the United States over its trade surplus with that country. This is why it signed these agreements."

Vietnam ran a trade surplus of .8 billion with the United States last year, widening from a surplus of .2 billion a year earlier, Vietnamese customs data show.

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