Written by Ashley Koh

What happened?

Our sunny (maybe too sunny) little island has been chosen for the summit between the US and North Korea that will take place on June 12th. Singapore was selected because of its political neutrality between the two countries, with strong ties with the US and a North Korean Embassy on her soil. Its location also serves as a conducive spot for negotiations to take place. Singapore is far away from major stakeholders such as Japan, China and South Korea, which reduces the tension on both sides. Both leaders are expected to land in Paya Lebar Airbase instead of Changi Airport as it provides the maximum security with minimal disruption to commercial air traffic (I really hope Kim brings along his running bodyguards). Although the location of the talks has yet to be finalized, three main locations have been identified: Shangri-La Hotel, which has had experience hosting annual high-level security dialogue; Marina Bay Sands, which is owned by one of Trump’s top campaign donors, Mr Sheldon Adelson; and Sentosa. (I pity the NSFs and Reservists called back to cover this event)   

What are they going to talk about?

The summit will most probably prioritize denuclearization, having been the top priority for the US and her allies since the 1990s. Trump’s CIA director and secretary of state nominee, Mike Pompeo mentioned he is cautiously optimistic that a diplomatic outcome could be achieved, which is for North Korea to stop its attempts to threaten the US with nuclear weapons. While on the other side of the world, the historic inter-Korean summit back on April 27 saw Kim pledging to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. With Kim inviting foreign journalists to witness the closure of its underground nuclear test site between May 23 and 25, he plans to discuss the relinquishment of his nuclear arsenal in exchange for security guarantees, lifting of sanctions and other possible incentives from the US.

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