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All the reasons S’pore is hosting Trump-Kim summit, ranked

A selection of the finest reasons.

By Belmont Lay | May 13, 2018

President Donald Trump has thanked Singapore for hosting the United States-North Korea summit between him and Kim Jong-un on June 12, 2018.

Now that Singapore has been chosen and Singaporeans wait with bated breath for the fateful day to arrive with more details getting finalised by the day and hour, here is a look at all the reasons the media locally and overseas have cited about why our country landed this coveted gig.

Singapore is a friend to all

• Singapore has existing relationships with United States and North Korea.

• Singapore is only one of 47 countries worldwide that has a North Korean embassy here.

• Singapore is a common port of call for American warships — a testament to our long-term security alignment with the United States.

• Former US Ambassador to Singapore David Adelman said Singapore “has carefully worked to be a friend to all, which has earned it trust in capitals around the world”.

Singapore is neutral

• Historically, Singapore has been seen as an “honest broker” between the East and West.

• Singapore has also been an honest broker for the East.

• The first meeting between Chinese president Xi Jinping and his Taiwanese counterpart Ma Ying-jeou took place at Singapore’s Shangri-La Hotel in November 2015.

Singapore is safe

• Singapore can ensure security for both Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, as strict laws vastly limits nasty surprises, such as street protests and civilian blockades.

• Singapore has hosted many international summits in the past with no incident.

• Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore has a track record in hosting the yearly Shangri-La Dialogue.

• There is a 348m2 Shangri-la Suite in the Valley Wing of the hotel, at a current rate of S$10,000 ($7,500) a night, that meets “security protocol” for the US president — should the summit last more than a day.

Limitations of North Korean logistics

• There are limited places where Kim can travel to due to his nation’s ageing fleet of Soviet-era aircraft.

• Since becoming North Korea’s leader in 2011, Kim has only taken one known overseas trip by air, which is to Dalian in China to hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping for the second time in May 2018.

• Jet fuel, a refined oil product that has been in limited supply due to economic sanctions, is hard to come by in North Korea.

Level of US president’s concession

• The US president travelling to the Demilitarised Zone that separates the two Koreas, would be seen as a repeat of Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in’s historic meeting.

• Any meeting at the Korean border would then have to include a third leader, South Korean president Moon Jae-in, which would split the clout commanded by Trump and Kim combined.

• It would also result in the US president having to travel further than the North Korea leader for the meeting.

Singapore is so attractive, another leader might show up:

Xi Jinping may also come to S’pore to meet Donald Trump & Kim Jong-un

About Belmont Lay

Belmont can pronounce "tchotchke".

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