Singapore and Vietnam shortlisted for second Trump-Kim summit: South Korean officials

  • Jan 11, 2019
  • Asia One

SEOUL - Vietnam and Singapore are likely to be shortlisted to host a second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump, South Korean foreign affairs ministry officials said on Thursday (Jan 10).

"(The venues you should pay attention to) are those mentioned by media including Vietnam, Singapore, and Hawaii," one ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

"But Hawaii is said to be an unrealistic location as it doesn't have a North Korean embassy there," another official added.

The site that Kim and Trump will pick for the next meeting has been attracting keen attention, especially after President Moon Jae-in said on Thursday the summit will take place soon. Trump had said on Sunday that the US was "negotiating a location" and that he expected the summit to take place in January or February.

Singapore, which hosted the first Trump-Kim summit last June, and Vietnam are within flying distance of the North Korean leader's plane, the Chammae-1, which is capable of flying a distance of 7,000km.

This matches Trump's comment that the summit will be held "within plane distance".

Panmunjom, the truce village in the Demilitarised Zone that divides the Korean peninsula, is the site South Korean government hoped the meeting would take place. Kim and Moon held their first summit in Panmunjom on April 27.

"We would like to hold the meeting at Panmunjom, but the probability of this becoming a reality seems to be slim," one of the officials said.

North Korea has embassies in Vietnam and Singapore and can run a team there to prepare for the envisioned summit with Trump.

Vietnam is known to have expressed an interest in hosting the meeting while Singapore is where the first historic summit between the two leaders was held in June.

On Tuesday, CNN reported that White House scouting teams visited Bangkok, Hanoi and Hawaii to inspect whether the locations are suitable for the meeting.