Singapore ministers have been affirming the nation’s happiness to play a part in world peace and have been extolling how the selection of Singapore as host nation shows the trust both the US and North Korea have on us, as the historic summit between both sides draws near.
The unprecedented meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is set to take place next Tuesday at 9am at the Capella Hotel in Sentosa.
Today, Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan left Washington following a quick working trip to the US where he met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Asserting that the selection of Singapore as the venue to host the summit is an “an expression of both sides’ trust and confidence in Singapore’s ability to be a trusted, secure, and neutral host,” Balakrishnan added on his Facebook page: “we are happy to play our part for world peace.”
Just leaving DC after a real whirlwind trip of less than 12 hours! But this has been a fruitful visit. I was hosted to…
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs added in a press release covering Balakrishnan’s US trip: “Minister Balakrishnan welcomed the upcoming visit of President Trump and Chairman Kim to Singapore and expressed the hope that the upcoming summit would contribute towards lasting peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula.”
Balakrishnan’s remarks echo Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s comments in a recent interview published on Monday that the designation of Singapore as host nation shows that both the US and North Korea trust Singapore.
Speaking with the South China Morning Post’s Tom Plate, PM Lee noted that the choice of Singapore as host nation shows that Singapore is friends with both parties and that both parties “believe we can do a good job of it”. The head of government added that it is “politically acceptable” for both parties to convene here.
PM Lee added that the upcoming summit is a “first step” for the two nations to resume talks though they face “a very difficult task”. He said: “This summit is taking place at not very long notice, and without … extensive preparation or contact between the two sides. It is not easy to make a sudden breakthrough, but it is the first step towards both sides resuming a dialogue.”
As both sides prepare to meet during this highly anticipated event, Singapore will play the role of a “good host”, according to Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen. When asked whether Singapore will bear any costs to do with security or logistical arrangements as it hosts the summit, the Minister confirmed: “Obviously yes, but it is a cost that we are willing to bear to play a small part in this historic meeting.”