When North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrives in Hanoi on Tuesday for his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump later this week, he will be the first leader of the isolated country to visit Vietnam since his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, visited in 1964, ONAreports quoting Reuters.
Vietnam’s model of reform is being widely touted as the economic path for impoverished North Korea to follow as the United States leads efforts to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program and bring it back to the international fold.
But Vietnam’s transformation has required political change and levels of individual freedoms that would require major reforms for the Kim family, which is afforded godlike status by state propaganda.
In imagery that could have powerful propaganda value at home, Kim Jong Un will mimic aspects of his grandfather’s trip to Vietnam by traveling to some of the same locations visited by the elder Kim, two sources with direct knowledge of security and logistics planning told Reuters.
“This is legacy politics,” said Christopher Green, a North Korea expert with the International Crisis Group.