Very, very likely confirmed S’pore will host Kim-Trump summit

The official announcement will be made within 3 days.

By Kayla Wong | May 10, 2018

United States President Trump has zeroed in on Singapore as the venue to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Singapore’s significance

The latest update comes after Kim accepted Trump’s request for three detained US citizens to be released.

According to The Straits Times, analysts say that while the release of the three men was easy for Kim to do, it removes an obstacle for talks to be held.

It would also gain support for Trump as he would go into the talks with something to show for.

And should Kim travel to Singapore, it could be seen as a concession by the isolated state.

It would also be the furthest distance he will have ever travelled as leader.

Not the DMZ

Trump has previously been reported on May 1 to favour the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas for the meeting, saying that “if things work out, there’s a great celebration to be had on the site, not in a third-party country”.

Trump was impressed by the historic images that came from that meeting, US officials said at that time.

However, the latest update is that Trump said the meeting will not be held at the DMZ.

A report from CNN cites a US official who said that they have been instructed to proceed with plans to convene the summit in Singapore.

Should Singapore be confirmed as the venue for the summit, it will be taking place in mid-June.

While the date and location have reportedly been set, the official announcement will only come in three days.

The White House declined to comment on the summit’s location for now.

One location in Singapore with an oblique link to Trump — an idea floated by ST — is Marina Bay Sands.

One of Trump’s major donors is Sheldon Adelson, who is owner of Las Vegas Sands Corp. His property in Singapore is the MBS.

Why Singapore?

According to The Guardian, Singapore is favoured by US officials for two reasons: Its neutrality for both leaders, as well as its infrastructure.

The city-state once famously hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping’s historic 2015 meeting with then Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou.

Trump was also reported to prefer Singapore over Mongolia — the other location under consideration at that time — as it can fulfil his desire for a “glamorous location”.

Singapore is also one of just 47 countries to host a North Korea embassy, and has long been seen as a gateway between the West and Asia.

According to Mintaro Oba, a former state department official who worked on the Korean negotiations, Singapore is a good choice.

The Guardian quoted him as saying:

“… Singapore is a very valued US partner and a remarkable city-state that punches many times above its weight.”

Top image via Stevenotes hk/YouTube

About Kayla Wong

Kayla's dog runs her life.

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