- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 27, 2019

HANOI, Vietnam — President Trump praised Vietnam Wednesday for its “thriving” economy as he signed a trade deal with Vietnamese leaders and seeks to persuade North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un to follow Hanoi’s example.

Meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Mr. Trump signed agreements calling for Vietnam to purchase more than 100 passenger airliners from Seattle-based Boeing Inc., a deal worth about $21 billion.

“You really are an example of what can happen with good thinking,” Mr. Trump told Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong and other officials.

Mr. Trump also said approvingly that Vietnam is interested in purchasing U.S.-made military equipment.

At a luncheon with Vietnamese officials, Mr. Trump said greater cooperation from Mr. Kim would “make North Korea into a great economic power.” Pyongyang is seeking relief from economic sanctions in return for agreeing to dismantle its weapons program.

The trade agreement calls for VietJet to purchase 100 Boeing 737-Max jets and 215 GE/CFM joint venture engines. Bamboo Airways will buy 10 Boeing 787-9 jets; and Vietnam airlines will buy $100 million in services and technology from Sabre Corporation.

The president hailed the hospitality of the country hosting his second denuclearization summit with Mr. Kim, calling his welcome “really something special.”

“I got off of Air Force One last night, and I drove down the boulevards, and I saw all the buildings under construction and how Vietnam is thriving,” Mr. Trump said.

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