Oh man, are we about to go through the whole circus again? A South Korean foreign affairs ministry official highlighted that Singapore might play host again to a meeting between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the official informed The Korea Herald that the shortlisted venues for the second summit between the two leaders are likely to include Singapore, Hawaii, and Vietnam. Hawaii, however, might not be a likely choice as the American state does not have have a North Korean embassy. Singapore, on the other hand, does have one at High Street Centre.
The source noted that officials have considered holding a meeting at Panmunjom, the truce village in the Demilitarized Zone straddling the borders between North Korea and South Korea. “…the probability of this becoming a reality seems to be slim,” the source said.
North Korea does have an embassy in Vietnam as well, but Trump has noted in the past that he’d prefer having a meeting in a glamorous location.
It was yesterday that South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in announced that the anticipated follow-up meeting between Trump and Kim will be taking place soon. In fact, the US is said to be “negotiating a location” on Sunday.
In all likeliness, Singapore could be hosting the two leaders once again, given that the first summit — a historic meeting that had the city-state footing a $20 million bill — went down without a hitch. After years of undiplomatic exchanges, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un faced each other for the first time and shook hands on Singapore soil back on June 12, 2018.
President Trump declared victory following the historic summit. Surprisingly, and perhaps naively, the president proclaimed that everyone can sleep well now that North Korea — a sensitive, impoverished nation with the capacity to launch nuclear weapons anytime — no longer poses a threat or a problem.
On top of that, Trump’s post-summit compliments and commendations of Kim and the dismissal of North Korea’s appalling human rights record is really more of a victory for the other side. For those trying to cling on to any silver lining available, however, the historic summit could be seen as a symbolic US-led step to pave the way to actual denuclearisation in the Korean peninsula.
On Kim’s end of things, he probably fell in love with Singapore after his visit. After all, the power-hungry, brutal despot got a very warm welcome by local politicians who took him out for a night of razzle-dazzle and selfies.