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North Korea's 'doi moi'

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By John Burton

U.S.-China trade tensions have replaced North Korea's nuclear program as the number one Asian issue among policymakers in Washington, D.C. over the past year. But the two issues could soon be merged due to two events taking place in Vietnam this month.

Speculation is growing that Washington and Beijing might reach a deal on trade ahead of a March 1 deadline with U.S. President Donald Trump meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping in Danang. Under a possible compromise, Trump would roll back stiff tariffs on Chinese goods in return for China buying more U.S. products and promises to treat U.S. investments in China more fairly.

An end to the Sino-American trade dispute could set the stage for closer cooperation between Washington and Beijing on curbing North Korea's nuclear program.

One of the rare points of agreement when it comes to North Korea is that Pyongyang appears serious in its intention to modernize its economy. The selection of Vietnam as the site of the upcoming summit between Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong-un reinforces this message.

Last year, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Vietnam just after a trip to Pyongyang and noted that Vietnam's market reforms, known as "Doi Moi," served as a model of prosperity for North Korea. Kim is believed to be........

© The Korea Times