Kim Jong-un hopes to learn from S’pore

This is not the first time a foreign leader wants to learn from S'pore.

Kayla Wong | June 12, 2018 @ 10:45 am


North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is currently in Singapore for the much-anticipated summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

When they met at the Capella hotel on Sentosa Island, they maintained a handshake for about 12 seconds before entering the building and addressing the media.

Their one-on-one meeting thereafter lasted for 45 minutes, with some positive remarks to show for.

Kim wants to learn from S’pore

Before the meeting with Trump on Tuesday, Kim went on a city tour the night before on June 11.

He took a ‘wefie’ with Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and Education Minister Ong Ye Kung at Gardens by the Bay.

According to North Korean state media, Kim said he was impressed by Singapore’s economic development and hoped to learn from Singapore’s knowledge and experience.

While overlooking the view from the observation deck of the Marina Bay Sands hotel, he added that Singapore was “clean and beautiful”.

Not the first time

This is not the first time a foreign leader wants to learn from Singapore.

China’s late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping visited Singapore in November 1978 and met the late Lee Kuan Yew.

Subsequently, China announced a new “open door” policy in December 1978 and launched a series of economic reforms.

In 1992, when he made his “southern tour” to spur further economic reform, he reportedly said:

Singapore’s social order is rather good. Its leaders exercise strict management. We should learn from their experience, and we should do a better job than they do.” 

Tommy Koh, Singapore’s ambassador-at-large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote that the trip to Singapore must have “reinforced” Deng’s “determination to undertake reform and to open up the Chinese economy to the world”.

Lee also said in 2011 that Singapore had been a “revelation” to Deng, who saw “how an island without natural resources was able to grow by inviting multi-national corporations (MNCs) to invest in Singapore.

Top image via Ong Ye Kung/FB

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About Kayla Wong

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