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Singapore, the neutral pillbox where history will be made

Thousands of security personnel to watch the Asian island during the meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-UN

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Singapore, the neutral pillbox where history will be made

Singapore is unknown. The city-state of 5.6 million inhabitants has altered its usual quiet pace to host event of greatest international resonance that has ever hosted. Chosen as destination of summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-UN on June 12 for ir "neutrality" and "security", according to White House, island has been prepared behind scenes so that nothing fails – at least for host Party – at first meeting of story between L Íderes of United States and North Korea.

More information
  • Human rights, relegated to summit of Kim and Trump
  • Trump and Kim are already in Singapore for ir historic meeting

"This is going to give Singapore a lot of publicity. Although it may be inconvenient for people, we do not care, "said enthusiastically Eric, 62 years, while filming in company of his wife rear entrance of hotel St. Regis, which was a few hours ago had installed North Korean leader and his extensive entourage . Kim was first to land in Singapore on Sunday, about five hours before Trump and two days before his long-awaited bilateral meeting. With arrival of North Korean president, Harmony ended: Hundreds of troops from security forces took Orchard shopping district, overcrowded during weekend and where Shangri-La Hotel is also located, one chosen by Trump. Dozens of curious, tourists, elderly and families with children, equipped after portable mini-fans to withstand heat, congregated in vicinity of hotels in search of signs of illustrious visits.

will be Orchard and sourn island of Sentosa-where you will find place where Trump and Kim will meet, Capella hotel, two "special event zones" designated by Singapore between 10 and 14 June, which in practice increases security measures in These areas. Preparations have been kept almost secret, and only government knows total number of troops that will be part of security contingent. "The number is going to be unusually long. It will be measured in thousands, and will consist of members of police, military, private security companies and US and North Korean personnel, "says Graham Ong-Webb, anti-terrorism expert at Rajaratnam School in Singapore.

One of most delicate moments for security teams will be displacements between hotels where Trump and Kim and Capella are staying, about ten kilometres away. With Sentosa, Singapore's point of tourist attraction for its beaches and me parks, open to public during summit, biggest challenge will be to guarantee land safety, says Ong-Webb. Like rest of Souast Asia, Singapore is also facing terrorist threat: neighbouring Indonesia has recently been shaken by bomb-vehicle attacks by Islamic State-linked groups (ISIS) that have reactivated Alerts in region.

Apart from security and logistics, Singapore will contribute to measuring protocol of encounter to millimeter. From who sits where or menu to be tasted, how many steps each party will give to negotiating table, re will be no detail left to improvisation. Some difficult preparations for vertiginous pace with which events have developed; Announced for first time in March, Singapore was only confirmed as a destination in early May. Trump cancelled it later and reactivated it on June 1.

"We will see first meeting between us and North Korea leaders in what appears to be most pressing international security issue ( denuclearization of North Korea) with minimum preparations in advance. Suggesting that summit will focus on General affairs and pave way for future meetings, "predicts Malcolm Cook of Souast Asian Studies Institute (ISEAS).

Singapore, with one of Asia's best-armed armies and international reputation for its peaceful environment, seems to be a natural destination to meet security challenge of such a summit. In addition, country offers an extra guarantee that re will be no or kind of jumps. Paradigm of free market under strong political restrictions, island does not allow public protests except with prior authorization and only in a certain place.

Singapore's "neutral" country status, "Asian Switzerland," also favored its choice: island maintains diplomatic relations with US and North Korea, and was among seven major trading partners in Pyongyang before UN It would prohibit all transactions of goods with North Korean country because of its escalating nuclear armament.

Both U.S. and North Korea have embassies in ir territory, and city-state has successfully celebrated or carving events in past, but not with expected global repercussion of current. It was scene in 2015 of first summit between a Chinese president, Xi Jinping, and his Taiwanese pair, n Ma Ying-jeou, since Civil War of 1949; He regularly receives leaders from all over world and this year holds chairmanship of Association of Souast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The meeting between Trump and Kim will cost coffers Singaporeans whopping of 15 million dollars, half of which in security expenses. "It's a cost we're willing to pay," said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

"It gives us publicity. The fact that we have been chosen as place of Summit (...) says something about Singapore's relations with United States, with North Korea, and about our place in international community, "said leader, a seemingly shared on street. "We are teaching our island to world," said Eric, shortly before looking for a restaurant to guard against tumult with his wife.

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