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    May
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    May
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    Looks like Trump and Kim are going to Singapore
    Looks like Trump and Kim are going to Singapore
    POLITICS

    Looks like Trump and Kim are going to Singapore

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    by
    Grace Tsoi
    Grace Tsoi
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    The independent city-state of Singapore is looking likely to host the historic meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, according to a major South Korean newspaper.

    The first-ever US-North Korea summit will likely take place in the third week of June, after President Trump attends the G-7 summit in Canada on June 8-9, the Chosun Ilbo has reported.

    Trump suggested last week that the meeting could be held at Panmunjom, the truce village of the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas.

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    Analysts say the inter-Korean summit held at Panmunjom on April 27 is a prelude to the Trump-Kim summit.
    Analysts say the inter-Korean summit held at Panmunjom on April 27 is a prelude to the Trump-Kim summit. Photo: AFP

    But it appears that Trump’s advisers prefer a “third-country” option. Some US officials argued that having the summit in the demilitarized zone would give the impression of Trump traveling to Kim, Reuters reported.

    Other possible locations include Mongolia and Switzerland, according to media reports. Sweden and Indonesia have offered to host the historic summit.

    The White House has not confirmed that the Trump-Xi meeting will take place in Singapore.
    The White House has not confirmed that the Trump-Xi meeting will take place in Singapore. Photo: Bloomberg

    But the city-state in Southeast Asia, which has diplomatic ties with both the US and North Korea, enjoys its own advantages over other countries.

    “It offers excellent security, an important consideration given the short notice required to put the necessary arrangements in place, especially for the US President,” Euan Graham, international security program director of the Lowy Institute, wrote in The Interpreter.

    Singapore positions itself as a regional diplomatic hub. The city-state has also been organizing the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, which is attended by defense officials and personnel from over 50 countries, since 2002. It also hosted a historic meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and then-Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou in 2015.

    Kim Jong-un has not flown to any other country since taking power in 2011. But Graham adds that Singapore is “within range for North Korea’s aging IL-62 VIP transport aircraft.”

    Trump has hinted that three US hostages may be released soon.
    Trump has hinted that three US hostages may be released soon. Photo: AP

    Calling foul

    The Trump-Kim summit is reportedly only weeks away, but it hasn’t been without hiccups.

    On Sunday, North Korea accused the US of “deliberately provoking” the country when the Korean Peninsula was moving towards peace. It also accused the US of misleading public opinion by claiming that North Korea’s promise of denuclearization was a result of sanctions and international pressure.

    On the other hand, the US has been working closely with South Korea in preparation for the summit.

    South Korea’s top national security advisor Chung Eui-yong met his US counterpart John Bolton in Washington last Friday.

    It has also been confirmed that South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet Trump in Washington on May 22, ahead of the Trump-Kim summit.

    GRACE TSOI
    GRACE TSOI
    Grace is a senior multimedia producer at Inkstone. She was previously a senior producer for BBC Chinese.

    GRACE TSOI
    GRACE TSOI
    Grace is a senior multimedia producer at Inkstone. She was previously a senior producer for BBC Chinese.

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