Why the White House may favor Singapore as the venue for Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

The White House is said to be eyeing Singapore as a potential location for the summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Reuters
  • The White House is said to be eyeing Singapore as a potential location for a summit between US President Donald Trump and and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
  • Singapore, as well as the Peace House near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) along the border between North and South Korea, are among the locations being considered.
  • However, some White House officials may prefer Singapore over the DMZ to avoid the potentially complicated optics of having a US president show up on North Korea’s doorstep.
  • Singapore maintains diplomatic relations with both the US and North Korea, and has been used as a neutral meeting place for other important Asian summits in the past.

The White House is said to be eyeing Singapore as a potential location for a summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Singapore, as well as the Peace House near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) along the border between North and South Korea,are among the locations being considered, the president said during a joint news conference with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday.

According to a Wall Street Journal report published on Tuesday, some White House officials prefer Singapore over the DMZ, to avoid the potentially complicated optics of having a US president show up on North Korea’s doorstep.

But in the same report, Trump implied that he might even prefer the DMZ: “You’re actually there where, if things work out, there’s a great celebration to be had on the site, not in a third-party country,” Trump said, according to The Journal.

“I think that some people maybe don’t like the look of that,” Trump added. The president on Monday floated the idea of hosting the summit at the DMZ.

Singapore holds significant diplomatic leverage, as it maintains diplomatic relations with both the US and North Korea. The city-state has also been used as a neutral meeting place for other Asian summits, including the historic first meeting between Chinese president Xi Jinping and Taiwan’s president Ma Ying-jeou in 2015.

The meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un is expected to happen within the next few weeks.