Lilian JY | CNBC
Art work on display in Hanoi, Vietnam, ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
Trump’s tweet also pointed to Vietnam as an example that North Korea could follow.
“Vietnam is thriving like few places on earth. North Korea would be the same, and very quickly, if it would denuclearize. The potential is AWESOME, a great opportunity, like almost none other in history, for my friend Kim Jong Un. We will know fairly soon – Very Interesting!” the president said.
Vietnam’s economy has thrived at a time when global activity slowed down. The Southeast Asian frontier market reported growth of 7.1 percent last year — its strongest pace in a decade and also among the fastest in the world. The country was also frequently cited for its potential to be a beneficiary of the U.S.-China trade war.
Trump on Twitter: Vietnam is thriving like few places on earth. North Korea would be the same, and very quickly, if it would denuclearize. The potential is AWESOME, a great opportunity, like almost none other in history, for my friend Kim Jong Un. We will know fairly soon – Very Interesting!
But Vietnam has relied mostly on labor-intensive manufacturing to power its growth over the last three decades, helped by a young workforce and low wages. Productivity growth and technological adoption have not kept up, and some economists have raised concerns about the country’s economic future once those advantages fade.
Trump and Kim are scheduled to meet in the Vietnamese capital city of Hanoi this week, less than a year after the two leaders met in Singapore. Last June’s summit was the first in-person meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean head of state.
The two leaders are expected to discuss denuclearizing the Korean peninsular, although the two sides appear far apart on the idea of North Korea getting rid of its nuclear weapons. That has long been a U.S. precondition for economic sanctions to be lifted, but analysts say Kim is unlikely to relinquish North Korea’s hard-won status as a nuclear power.