"I think you will have a tremendous future for your country, you're a great leader," President Trump told North Korea's Kim Jong Un at the start of a two-day summit in Vietnam on Wednesday. "We will help it to happen." The leaders shook hands and posed for a smiling photo at Hanoi’s Metropole Hotel. Trump said he predicted a "very successful" summit, while Kim said it was the result of a "courageous political decision" by Trump, per CNN. While North Korea has suspended nuclear tests since 2017, it maintains facilities that produce the primary ingredients for nuclear bombs. For real progress to be made, therefore, experts want to see a concrete pledge to halt the production of nuclear material and allow international inspections of weapons sites on short notice, per Politico. But first, "we need a commitment to providing a data declaration on all of its nuclear missile programs," says Bruce Klingner, a former CIA deputy division chief for Korea.
Trump and Kim were all smiles as they dined together in the company of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and other aides. Earlier Wednesday, Trump said "my friend Kim Jong Un" should see Vietnam as an example. "Vietnam is thriving like few places on earth. North Korea would be the same, and very quickly, if it would denuclearize," he tweeted. Other tweets attacking Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen "raised questions about how rigorously he was preparing for the meetings with Kim," per the Washington Post. Trump took aim at Blumenthal over his military record in Vietnam on the same day Cohen is expected to tell Congress that Trump never had surgery to treat bone spurs, for which he received five draft deferments between 1964 and 1972, per CNBC. "He is lying in order to reduce his prison time," Trump tweeted. (Read more President Trump stories.)