Why was Hanoi picked for the Trump-Kim Summit?
Now, listen two weeks after the nucleus summit between Kim Jong UN and Donald Trump, North Korea is believed to have restored a missile launch site to operational capacity. The much-hyped meeting itself collapsed with no agreements and no timetable for further talks, Washington correspondent Zoe Daniel went to Hanoi for the summit. I I visited Hanoi in the two thousand on my honeymoon it so happens. It was my first trip to a developing country before I was posted as Africa correspondent and later southeast Asia. Correspondent the idea that two decades later I'd be writing this is Washington bureau chief having just visited with the US president would never have entered my head back then Vietnam northern capital was a pedestrians paradise crossing the road with few traffic lights was still fraught a case of close your eyes and walk, but the vehicle of choice was the scooter often, a vintage lamb bradtha all similar. Or a bicycle ridden? By schoolgirls in the white Al Di all traditional Driss cars will limited. It was possible to walk virtually down the middle of the road in the narrow lanes of the old quarter, browsing shoe straighten toy straight and so on they were no Google maps. And the fan was getting lost trying to navigate back to the hotel stopping for a be a Hanoi on the way, I recall spending handfuls of Dong on Vietnamese trinkets rise piper layered photo albums. Yes. That was in the old days when we printed photographs and tiny Rawson souls bowls that we've since used to serve friends meals in several countries. It's a western tourists conceit to be sure. But it seemed easy to appreciate the elegance and charm of the Eurasian architecture that defines this beautiful city with its tiny lines and sweeping boulevards without the choking traffic that now exists and the endless. Instruction of mirrored high-rises on the fringes of the city's historic centre to be clear, though, those things were exactly the attraction for Donald Trump and his team when choosing a location for the second summit with North Korean leader, Kim Jong UN Vietnam remains a hardline communist country in many ways, it citizens a heavily restricted when it comes to things like freedom of expression and freedom of association, bloggers, human rights, lawyers and journalists are routinely Giles for opposing government policies often Beijing and tortured sometimes never say again, I know this because of reported undercover from Vietnam and obtained tile by the secret police while trying to tell the stories of those seeking religious and social freedom this capacity to enforce control. While also achieving remarkable economic development was exactly what the Americans won't. To show Kim Jong UN in the last thirty years the country's transformed itself from a rigid. Centrally controlled economy to a market economy with annual JD pay growth of around seven percent, by way of comparison. Australian GDP is subdued two point three percent. The United States is growing at around three point one Vietnam. Meanwhile is saying according to the World Bank robust job creation and income growth. Meaning it's been transformed from one of the world's poorest nations to a lower middle income country in three decades. So since I was there in two thousand those who had bicycles have been able to buy scooters many of those with scooters cars and so on. It's a phenomenon. I observed in several places of a five years living and working in south East Asia. And since put on in Cambodia has seen a similar surge in traffic and urban development as the economy's grown the middle class. So while I have an asto GIC Yuning for the quietest streets of the past the business likely reflects an improved quality of life for the residents of Hanoi. It's all very interesting as a reflective study. But did it have any impact on came Joan Lon, technically encouraging denuclearization using the incentive of economic development is not new various negotiating teams of tried it on previous North Korean leaders. However, Kim Jong on my have a stronger incentive with some market development already evident in North Korea and a desire to leave a legacy that doesn't revolve around conflict. It reminds secondary though. I the tough deal has to be cash on verifiable removal of nuclear assets. And as the filed Hanoi's summit showed that's an eye. Joe challenge that predates my travel nostalgia. By some decades in Washington. This is Daniel for correspondents report. Sorry, freshly back there from Hanoi.