Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un will meet in Singapore on June 12 for an historic summit between the two nations that have been at odds for six decades. So why was the southeast Asian city-state chosen for the historic summit? As it turns out, there are a variety of reasons.
It’s In Asia
Previous world-peace summits have taken place in European locations, such as Oslo or Geneva. But for Kim, who rarely travels outside of North Korea, an Asian city makes a perfect choice. At about 3,000 miles away from Pyongyang, Singapore is a much closer destination for the rarely-traveled leader than, say, a European or North American location, which would be two or three times that distance.
It’s More-Or-Less Neutral
Of course, there are other Asian cities that are even closer to Pyongyang than Singapore. Seoul, for example, is a mere 121 miles from Pyongyang, and Tokyo is only about 800 miles away.
However, holding the historic meeting in Seoul or Tokyo would be a symbolic loss for Kim, according to Channel News Asia, as both Japan and South Korea are allies with the U.S., essentially putting Kim on hostile turf. Similarly, holding the meeting in a Chinese city such as Shanghai (about 590 miles away) would be a symbolic loss for Trump, as China and North Korea are allies, however reluctantly.
Singapore is one of the few countries in the world that has both a North Korean embassy and hosts US Navy ships. Makes a lot of sense to hold the summit there pic.twitter.com/brexq6bKxY
— Jack Posobiec???????? (@JackPosobiec) May 10, 2018
Singapore, by comparison, is comparatively neutral. Though hosting U.S. ships, it’s also one of the few cities in Asia with a fully-functioning North Korean embassy. Lim Tai Wei, adjunct research fellow at the National University of Singapore’s East Asia Institute, says Singapore gives Kim everything he could possibly want.
“As a neutral, and objective country with much-admired consistent foreign policy principles and a small state with no desire or capacity to harm other states and their interests, Singapore fits that bill well.”
A Modern Asian City With A Strong Security Apparatus
Apart from its symbolic significance, Singapore has everything a world leader could want: it’s a thoroughly-modern city that is capable of providing the type of security necessary for two world leaders to meet. What’s more, it has top-notch communications capabilities, allowing news of the summit to disseminate across the world at a moment’s notice, and is able to handle the expected thousands of foreign press agents who will descend upon the city to cover the meeting.
And in a state of affairs that Kim will find agreeable, Singapore tightly controls both the media and public gatherings.
And The Weather There Is Nice In June
If all else fails, the two world leaders can look forward to agreeable weather, says ABC News Australia. The city-state enjoys comparatively mild weather in the otherwise-hot summer months.