Trump-Kim Summit Planned for Hanoi's Metropole Hotel: Yonhap

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will meet at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, a luxury hotel with a rich history in the heart of Vietnam’s capital city, Yonhap reports without attribution or citing sources.

Yonhap also reported:

  • Trump and Kim will hold their February 28 summit at the hotel, and then sign a joint declaration on the results of the talks
  • Trump, Kim will hold brief one-on-one briefing on February 27; a social dinner could take place at a separate location 

Security at the posh hotel was increasingly tightened throughout Tuesday in Hanoi, with a metal detector set up in the lobby, just down the hall from boutiques for jeweler Chopard and watchmakers Hublot and Patek Philippe. Guests were issued special badges identifying that they’d already paid to stay there, and were advised in a letter that due to the summit in Hanoi, some services might not be available. The letter did not specify what role the Metropole may play this week, if any.

More than a dozen hotel staff declined to say anything at all, most literally remaining silent, when asked what the preparation was for. When they did speak, two employees separately told a Bloomberg reporter they had no information to give out.

The Metropole has been in operation since 1901, making it Vietnam’s oldest continuously operating hotel. It was originally built by French investors and has hosted a roster of famous guests over the years, including Charlie Chaplin and British writer W. Somerset Maugham.

While constructing a bar on the premises in 2011, workers uncovered a bomb shelter dating to the Vietnam War. The bunker is now open to tour groups and in 2013 was awarded a UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Award.

The White House has set low ambitions for Thursday’s talks, which were hastily organized after Trump announced the summit Feb. 8. The two sides haven’t even agreed on the meaning of denuclearization or the ultimate purpose of the negotiations -- and that’s unlikely to be resolved this week.

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