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Why Trump and Kim may pick Singapore for their summit
[HONG KONG] The US has zeroed in on Singapore as the venue for a historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The move, if confirmed, would be a major diplomatic coup for the city-state.
Why does Singapore look the likely choice?
It offers excellent security - a high priority for a US president, and has a track-record of putting together high-level international gatherings at short notice. Singapore has both a North Korean embassy and security ties with the US.
What other meetings has Singapore hosted?
Chinese President Xi Jinping chose Singapore for his historic meeting with then Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou in November 2015. That meeting was arranged under a shroud of secrecy, something Singapore has shown itself adept at handling.
What venue would Mr Kim and Mr Trump use?
It’s too early to say, but Mr Xi and Mr Ma met at the Shangri-La Hotel, which is located in a leafy Singapore suburb. The hotel has plenty of experience putting on high-security events: every year it hosts global defence chiefs for the Shangri-La Dialogue, the region’s most important security forum.
Do diplomatic ties count?
Probably. Washington has a strong, long-standing relationship with Singapore. The US Navy stations some of its combat ships at the Changi naval base, and other ships and aircraft regularly visit. Singapore is also one of about four dozen countries in the world where North Korea has an embassy.
Does Singapore’s location play any part in the decision?
Possibly. Some security analysts had been concerned North Korea may not have a plane capable of flying to a distant location. But Mr Kim took a plane to visit Dalian in China this week, so perhaps he can get to Singapore.