In Vietnam, There's Hope North Korea Will Follow Its Model For Economic Success
Support for this NPR podcast and the following message. Come from Cleveland Clinic ranked the nation's number one heart care, according to US news and World Report for information on complex cases treated at Cleveland Clinic, or to get a second opinion. Visit Cleveland Clinic dot org slash heart care, the choice of Vietnam to host this week summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong own is full of symbolism like North Korea. Vietnam is a one party communist state that fought bitterly against the US since that war. Vietnam has made peace with the US and prospered now Kim is seeing the results first hand from Vietnam. Michael Sullivan has more. In nineteen sixty seven during what the Vietnamese call the American war North Korean pilot secretly fought alongside there. Communist comrades flying combat missions against American bombers in the skies over North Vietnam. Some of the North Koreans who died were buried here about an hour from the capitol where caretaker fund Dow opens the gate to a modest memorial fourteen headstones the names of the dead etched in Korean on one side in Vietnamese on the other he lights some incense and says a quick prayer. The memorial doesn't get many visitors these days, he says the bodies were actually repatriated more than a decade ago. But the headstones remain Donner the dead. I didn't lie. He's hitting the middling. They were foreigners. They came to fight for our country, and they died for country. So this memorial is to remember their sacrifice. But all that the caretaker says is in the past more than fifty eight thousand American lives were lost with over three million. Vietnamese debtor missing. But the US and Vietnam are now frenzy says having normalized relations twenty years after the war's end that decision says, economists laid along Sean still baffles visitors. From young young the North Korean delegation. All the time us me. Why did you memorize relation to the US you live in fighting for so long? How did you do it? The simple answer the advisor to several Vietnamese Prime Minister says was necessity like North Korea. Now postwar Vietnam was crippled by economic sanctions and trade embargo by the US something had to give I have told him. We never forget the pass. But now we look to the future and Vietnam must develop the economy much industrialized. And it's the best way to have an animal and friendly relation to the US and that policy has helped make Vietnam economy. One of the fastest growing in Asia over the past two decades and best of all perhaps from dictator Kim Jong UN's perspective. He would see development of the economy under the one by the ruling congress party rule. One knock Zhao is. Director of the institute for policy law and development studies in Hanoi. He says the Vietnamese model should appeal to the North Korean strongman. He can you know, he'd some more freedoms fall the market economy freedom for the people in private sector and as a same time he can keep the political power. He learns his from Vietnamese communist party. Dinnertime downtown Hanoi. I'm standing outside the hole in the wall restaurant where former President Obama Anthony bourdain famously sat down for meal Boonchai and a beer few years back but tragedy the places closed renovations. They say kitchen fire said the neighbors. Let's try to talk to some people. Anyway. Inside the coffee shop next door tour guide one. We Ling is also unhappy one of his favorite restaurants is closed. I this come here for the food actually before a here. This also by famous restaurant in Hanoi. But not for tourists only for local Vietnamese. But went over my here like a bomb, boom. He reckons the Trump Kim summit might raise Vietnam profile on the world stage and help bring more tourists the coffee shops owner when mine isn't sure he doesn't think President Trump will show up at the restaurant this week. But he does think North Korea's Kim. Should learn from Vietnam's example and make peace with the US. They say. Hey, they will have to do that to survive because North Korean people have been suffering abject poverty for so long just as we did. So I think they need to change the follow Vietnam path if not he says, ordinary North Koreans lives are just going to get worse for NPR news. Michael Sullivan and annoy. This message comes from NPR sponsor. Comcast business. Business has always been driven by innovators. That's why Comcast business is helping you with technology that provides better experiences. Comcast business beyond fast.