After a 20-minute face-to-face meeting Wednesday, President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un tucked into their summit’s second course: a social dinner.
A contingent of senior aides joined them at Hanoi’s historic hotel Metropole in the heart of the cosmopolitan capital’s French quarter. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney accompanied Trump, while Kim’s entourage comprised Vice Chair of the Worker’s Party of Korea Kim Yong Chol and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ri Yong Ho. Both leaders also brought along their interpreters.
Trump is well known to be a picky eater, who has an affinity for fast-food, Diet Coke and well-done steaks served with a side of ketchup.
In the end, the chefs in Hanoi settled on a three-course meal that may well have been served at one of Trump’s golf clubs (with a couple of nods to Korean cuisine), with a shrimp cocktail starter, a grilled sirloin and pear kimchi entrée and chocolate lava cake for dessert – all of it washed down with (non-alcoholic) dried persimmon punch.
While Trump famously doesn’t drink, Kim reportedly likes a tipple very much – earlier this week, Dutch border officials seized 90,000 bottles of vodka believed to be destined for Kim Jong-un and other high-ranking officials.
Wednesday’s meal a less crowded menu than the one on offer at the Singapore summit in June. There, chefs laid on a bold assortment of Eastern and Western cuisine, serving beef short rib confit and Korean Daegu jorim, soy-braised cod with vegetables.