Singapore hosting first-ever N. Korea-U.S. summit — why Singapore?
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Singapore hosting first-ever N. Korea-U.S. summit — why Singapore?

From Switzerland to the inter-Korean border
village of Panmunjom… there were numerous nominees. But in the end it was the tiny but mighty
island city that was chosen as the backdrop for the upcoming summit. Oh Jung-hee outlines some of the reasons that
make Singapore an ideal venue for the historic event. Out of several candidate locations, it’s finally
down to one: Singapore. What makes Singapore a favorable location
for both Pyongyang and Washington is that the Southeast Asian country is diplomatically
neutral. It has good relations with North Korea and
the U.S., and both countries have embassies there. Before international sanctions took full effect
early last year,… Singapore had been at the center of North Korea’s overseas economic
activities. But at the same time, it is also home to a
U.S. naval base,… where American ships and aircraft make regular visits… and several
are stationed. Singapore is also close enough to North Korea
for the regime’s planes to make a non-stop flight. And the country is well-practiced in hosting
international events,… with the Asia Security Summit Shangri-La Dialogue taking place every
year. The U.S. actually preferred Singapore more
than North Korea did, due to Singapore’s security and infrastructure… as well as the political
burden that would follow if the summit were held at Panmunjom or Pyongyang. And as North Korea has close relations with
Singapore,… it seems that Pyongyang chose not to drag on with a tug-of-war over the
summit location but jump into the real business of the talks. “Basically, it’s difficult for North Korea
to grant a so-called ‘big present’ to the U.S., which would be complete denuclearization. And in that sense, there’s no reason for President
Trump to set his foot in Pyongyang. Third countries would have been considered,
but China, Russia, and Mongolia which are geographically close to North Korea aren’t
much of a favorable choice for the U.S.” Singapore’s foreign ministry welcomed the
decision, saying the country is pleased to host the summit talks between President Trump
and North Korea’s Kim. It added the country hopes the summit serves
to (quote)”advance prospects for peace” on the Korean Peninsula. Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.


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