The Hanoitimes - The visit is made at the invitation of Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong and this is the first visit to Vietnam after Kim took the position in 2011.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un begins a two-day official visit to Vietnam on Friday, making the first official visit paid by a leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to Hanoi after 55 years.
Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong, who is also General Secretary of Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party, welcomed leader Kim in a ceremony held at the Presidential Place in Hanoi at 3:30 pm, according to local media.
Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong welcomes DPRK leader Kim Jong Un. Photo: Soha
He is then due to attend a state banquet at a convention center in downtown Hanoi in the evening.
On Friday, will meet Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and National Assembly's Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan. On Saturday, he will lay a wreath at the mausoleum of Vietnam’s founding president, Ho Chi Minh.
Kim arrived in Vietnam on Tuesday morning [February 26], after traveling from North Korea by train. His train is scheduled to leave the Vietnamese border station of Dong Dang at 6:30 pm on Saturday.
Vietnam and North Korea set up bilateral relations in 1950. The relationship was built up by the DPRK’s founder and President Kim Il-sung (grandfather of incumbent leader Kim Jong Un) and Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh. Kim Il-sung visited Vietnam twice, in 1958 and 1964.
The relationship experienced a halt for some decades before it has become warm in recent years.
Pyongyang provided considerable support for Vietnam in the past, especially during the Vietnam War. In 1960s and 1970s, the DPRK helped train hundreds of Vietnamese students. In return, Vietnam has supported the North Korean people in different ways, mainly through rice relief.