World / Politics

Secluded luxury resort chosen for Trump-Kim summit in Singapore

Reuters, Kyodo

The summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will be on Singapore’s southern island of Sentosa, the White House said on Tuesday as preparations accelerated for next week’s event.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a Twitter post that the venue would be the Capella Hotel on Sentosa and thanked Singaporeans for their hospitality. The summit is scheduled to start next Tuesday morning.

Singapore airspace will be restricted during the summit, a notice to airmen posted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Wednesday.

The notice said airspace over Singapore will be temporarily restricted for parts of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. All aircraft arriving into Singapore Changi Airport will be required to reduce speed and face some restrictions on runway use “for reasons of national security,” the notice said.

Trump told reporters at an Oval Office event that plans for the first meeting between a serving U.S. president and a North Korean leader were “moving along very well.”

“A lot of relationships being built, a lot of negotiations going on before the trip,” he said. “We’ll see what happens. But it’s very important — it’ll be a very important couple of days.”

It was unclear if he meant the summit would last more than a single day.

Trump, who is seeking to persuade Kim to shut down a nuclear missile program that now threatens the United States, said on Friday that the summit, which he had canceled the previous week, was back on after he received a North Korean delegation bearing a letter from Kim.

Trump said last week he expected an eventual “very positive result” with North Korea but dampened expectations for a breakthrough in Singapore, saying it could take several meetings to reach an agreement.

Trump said one thing that could come out of the summit is an agreement formally ending the 1950-53 Korean War, which was concluded only with a truce, not a peace treaty.

Former U.S. officials and analysts say that if the meeting produces a peace declaration, this could give Trump a big headline-grabbing, made-for-TV moment on the world stage.

But they say the public relations value of such a historic event could quickly fade if Trump fails to wring any significant concessions from Kim toward the dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal.

North Korea defends its nuclear and missile programs as a deterrent against perceived U.S. aggression. The United States stations 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the Korean War.

On Monday, Singapore declared a central region that is home to its Foreign Ministry, the U.S. Embassy and several hotels as a special zone from next Sunday through Thursday. In its online gazette, the government amended the area to include Sentosa and an area of the sea stretching more than 1 km (0.6 mile) off its southwestern shore.

The Singapore government has said police would make stricter checks of people and personal belongings and items such as public address systems, and remotely piloted aircraft system would be prohibited in the area.

Meanwhile, Kim Chang Son, who is often referred to as Kim’s “butler” and led the pre-summit talks with the U.S. delegation in Singapore, flew from there to Beijing on Wednesday. This suggests that, with logistical matters largely settled, he may be on his way back to North Korea to brief Kim on the contents of the talks.

Kim Chang Son, a senior official on North Korea’s State Affairs Commission, flew to Singapore via Beijing on May 28. While in Singapore, he held talks with such U.S. officials as White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin.