Just a few hours gao Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, two of the most controversial international figures of this time have met face to face. Even few weeks ago they were busy washing each other through tweets and statements. And now both have sat and talked side by side to achieve peace for Korean peninsula and the world as well. Though many have still doubts whether that desired peace can really be achieved atlast, but the whole world was eagerly looking at Singapore with great expectations.
But why Singapore? Few other names too were in the option list. Such as Switzerland, the country that is not only known for it’s neutral stance over global issues, also it has some memories of Kim Jong Un himself as he spent four of his school years in this country. The list also contained Mongolia, the Chinese neighbor that is so reluctant to take any side in any global situation that it’s name is hardly heard in international discussions. The list also had the De-Militarized Zone, well known in short as DMZ. The mid border area of two Koreas was used last month for the much anticipated meeting between South and North Korean leaders.
So why Singapore was chosen for the Trump-Kim summit putting behind all these options. Let check those six main reasons.
1. Security :
The security and intelligence arrangements of Singapore is one of the best in the world. According to the risk analysis website SafeArround, Singapore is the safest nation in Asia and 6th in the world.
2. Experience :
Singapore has vast experiences of organizing high level international meetings . Such as the annual Shangri-La Dialogue. World leaders and top business leader from around the globe attend this event. Apart from multiparty meetings, it has also organized ‘special’ bilateral meetings like this week’s Trump-Kim meet. In November 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping and then Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou met in Singapore. That was the first top level meeting between the two countries since they were separated during the Chinese civil war ended in 1949.
3. Distance :
It took around 7 hours for Kim Jong Un to fly from Pyongyang to Singapore. It is nothing compared to his recent 24 hours train journey from Pyongyang to Beijing. Also if the summit was organized in Switzerland or somewhere of that distance, many have doubts that whether the soviet-era built North Korean aircrafts could fly it’s leader there in a single trip.
4. Economy :
North Korea is currently facing tough international sanctions. Question arose whether it could carry the overall expenses of their part of the summit? If they couldn’t, then would Singapore come infront to help them? Singaporean defence minister answered in one word, “Obviously”. Commentators are saying that taking such stance could be possible for other proposed venue Switzerland too, but not for Mongolia.
5. Neutrality :
Singapore has diplomatic relation with North Korea for long four decades. Though in recent years it has to slow down a bit to show respect for various sanctions put by the international communities. Until 2016, people from North Korea could visit Singapore without visas. That made Singapore a very popular destination for shopping, travelling and having medical treatments for the wealthy elite class of North Korea. Even Kim Jong Nam, the step brother of Kim Jong Un had spent many years of his life in Singapore. Nam was assassinated at Kuala Lumpur Airport in February 2017. On the other hand, Singapore is also one of the closest trading and security allies of United States, the main opponent of North Korea.
6. Moral Strength :
There may be only a few countries in the world who can actually ignore any pressure from mighty United States. Even China in last November agreed upon US President Donald Trump’s request to free three American basketball players who were arrested on allegation of shoplifting. Though even the new superpower China can’t turn down any request from White House, the tiny Singapore not only can, they actually did so once. In 1994, in a same kind of shoplifting and vandalism incident, American teenager Michael P. Fay was arrested in Singapore. Despite continuous requests from Washington, the Singaporean authority refused any mercy for the youth.