The US President Donald Trump’s second summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un will take place in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Feb 27 and 28.
Here are some relevant facts about the country you should know:
1) North Koreans fought with Vietnam against the U.S. in the Vietnam War
During the Vietnam War (1955-1975), North Vietnam and North Korea were allies. Communist North Korea offered substantial military and economic assistance to the Communist North Vietnamese to help combat United States intervention.
North Korea reportedly sent pilots to help North Vietnam shoot down 26 American planes, provided psychological warfare specialists to help the North Vietnamese to “conduct propaganda and abduction operations directed against South Korean troops” stationed in South Vietnam during the war, and trained Vietnamese guerrilla forces in North Korea.
2) Vietnam has the fastest-growing economy in Southeast Asia
Unlike North Korea, Vietnam normalized relations with the United States, in 1995.
Since then, trade between the U.S. and Vietnam has grown from $451 million in 1995 to more than $54 billion in 2017, according to a report by the Council on Foreign Relations. And the Vietnamese economy has been growing at a rapid pace — just above 7% in 2018 — fueled by its strength in manufacturing. Vietnam also happens to be one of the the world’s biggest exporters of rice and coffee.
Furthermore, the ongoing U.S.-China trade tensions have been a boon for the country.
“Vietnam is poised to capture some of China’s global market share in labor-intensive manufacturing,” Natixis senior economist Trinh Nguyen told Bloomberg. “It’s the clear winner from the trade war.”
3) Japan is now the biggest investor in Vietnam
Vietnam’s recent success has also attracted considerable foreign investment.
The country has been steadily receiving increasing amounts of foreign direct investment (FDI) with inflows hitting $19.1 billion in 2018 — a 9.1% surge from the year before.
Japan was the biggest investor in 2018, with FDI approvals coming up to $8.5 billion. South Korea took second place, followed by Singapore, Hong Kong and China.
4) Vietnam is currently jostling with China for islands in the South China Sea
Vietnam has been locked in conflict with China over several islands in the South China Sea over the past few years.
Vietnam maintains that it owns the Paracel and Spratly islands — hotly contested by several others in the region including the Philippines and Taiwan — and has gotten tired of the slow pace of negotiations over a code of conduct.
China, meanwhile, has ignored counter claims and continues to develop the islands. It most recently built a new platform on Paracel island that can be used for military purposes, according to a report by D.C.-based think-tank CSIS.
5) Russia is Vietnam’s biggest weapons supplier
Vietnam has also been actively ramping up its defense as the South China Sea dispute intensifies with no end is in sight.
Vietnam’s biggest defense supplier is Russia, which recently supplied $1 billion worth of weapons and military services.
The details of the deal were not disclosed, but Vietnam had earlier bought submarines, warships, jet fighters, and other equipment from Russia.
Aarthi is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @aarthiswami.