Kim Jong-un expected in Vietnam early ahead of summit with Trump

North Koreans paying their respects in Pyongyang yesterday before the statues of their late leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il as part of celebrations marking the latter's birthday

North Korea's envoy for the United States arrived in Beijing on Tuesday apparently on his way to Hanoi for talks on the agenda of an upcoming summit between leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump.

"As long as there's no testing, I'm in no rush".

Stephen Biegun, the U.S. Special Representative for North Korea, will fly to Hanoi soon for talks with his North Korean counterpart Kim Hyok-chol.

Almost 70 individuals in North Korea have been exiled, jailed, or executed as part of a so-called anti-corruption campaign, The Wall Street Journal reports.

"We would not oppose diplomatic normalization if all the abduction victims are immediately returned altogether", 80-year-old Shigeo Iizuka, who heads a group of the families, said in line with the message they wrote.

The meeting between the two leaders - which will be the second time the pair have come together following their Singapore summit in June - is scheduled for Hanoi, Vietnam on February 27-28.

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"I feel happy with this haircut because people will think I look like the leader of North Korea", he said.

He said he discussed the upcoming summit during a phone call earlier in the day with South Korea President Moon Jae-in and will speak on Wednesday with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Attention has been focused on whether Washington will offer to lift some economic sanctions on North Korea in return for Pyongyang taking concrete steps towards denuclearisation.

"He may surprise some but he won't surprise me, because I have gotten to know him & fully understand how capable he is", said Trump.

Earlier this month, two influential US senators, Republican Ted Cruz and Democrat Robert Menendez, wrote to Pompeo warning that Kim was seeking to drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul and warning against a premature relaxation of pressure on North Korea.

"We're determined to take up that role if President Trump asks, if that's the way to lessen the USA burden", Moon said.

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