By Tunde Niyi-Akinamde
It was a menu of Kimchi and shrimp on Wednesday night as North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump sat down for an intimate “social dinner” shortly after their second summit in Hanoi, Vietnam got underway in a “soft” diplomatic atmosphere.
The dinner was after a handshake and some brief remarks at the historic Metropole Hotel, venue of their second face-to-face following the historic summit in Singapore last June.
The two leaders sat down at the round table, with a few close advisors at the five-star hotel. Among those at the table were US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Kim’s top envoy, Kim Yong Chol.
The menu was clearly an attempt to incorporate Korean and American delights. First up was shrimp cocktail with avocado, lettuce and thousand island dressing, a nod to the popular US salad topper.
Next came grilled sirloin with a kimchi-stuffed pear in honour of the Korean dinner table staple. A runny chocolate cake topped the feast for Kim and the US leader.
Alcohol was off the menu, as Trump is a noted teetotaler. Instead a virgin cocktail of persimmon and honey was poured for the leaders.
“Great meeting and dinner with Kim Jong Un,” Trump tweeted after the meal.
Trump had earlier lunched with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, a five-course meal covering the varied delights of Vietnam’s cuisine.
Mango salad, fried spring rolls, king crab and Hanoi’s signature ‘cha ca’ fried fish were among the dishes served, followed by a dessert featuring lotus seeds, longans, and white wood-ear mushrooms served warm and in light sugary syrup, the White House said.
Kim and Trump are set to meet again Thursday for their second and final day of talks about North Korea’s nuclear arsenal.