SINGAPORE: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana on Sunday (Jun 10), two days before a planned summit with United States President Donald Trump.
“The entire world is focusing on the historic summit between the DPRK and the US, and thanks to your sincere efforts … we were able to complete the preparations for the historic summit, and I would like to thank you for that,” Mr Kim, speaking through an interpreter, told PM Lee.
“I have the expectation that this (summit) will be very successful.”
The meeting took place less than four hours after Mr Kim touched down at the Changi Airport, where he was received by Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and Education Minister Ong Ye Kung.
Mr Kim’s motorcade left Changi Aiport accompanied by traffic police escorts as it headed for the St Regis Hotel, where he is expected to stay.
Mr Trump is staying at the Shangri-La Hotel, which is also in the Tanglin area within Singapore’s city centre.
The two leaders are to meet on Tuesday at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island where talks on denuclearisation of North Korea in exchange for economic help will be on the table.
Both Sentosa and the Tanglin area have been designated special event areas by the police and security has been tightened at both places.
Last week, Singapore authorities also warned travellers arriving at and departing from Singapore to expect flight delays as airspace will be restricted from Sunday to Thursday.
More than 2,500 journalists have descended on Singapore to cover the event, and will be based at a media centre at the F1 pit building.
The unprecedented meeting, the first time a sitting US president meets a North Korean leader, was nearly called off just two weeks before the event.