SINGAPORE: Hosting the Trump-Kim summit will give Singapore publicity and says something about the country's standing in the international community, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Sunday (Jun 10).
Speaking to Singapore media at the International Media Centre ahead of the planned Trump-Kim summit on Tuesday, Mr Lee said: "In terms of direct impact, (hosting the summit) gives us publicity.
"The fact that we have been chosen as the site of the meeting, we did not ask for it ... it says something about Singapore relations with the parties ... and our standing in the international community," he added.
PM Lee added that from Singapore's point of view, it is important that the meeting takes place and has a positive outcome - one that sets developments "on a new trajectory, and will be conducive to the stability and security in the region".
However, Mr Lee warned that the tense situation in the Korean peninsular has been ongoing for up to 70 years, and one "cannot wipe that all away in one meeting".
"What you can hope to do is start things moving in a positive direction and hope to build up progressively along the way ... I think that’s a long process but this is a first step which happens in Singapore and well, we are happy to be associated with it," he said.
Mr Lee added: "When the two sides asked us to host the meeting, we couldn't say no. We have to step up and we can. We are capable of doing it, we have put some resources into it, but we can do a good job."
Mr Lee confirmed that Singapore will spend about S$20 million on the summit, with security costing half the figure. On the amount spent, Mr Lee said: "We are willing to pay and it's our contribution to an international endeavour which is in our profound interest."
When asked by a journalist how Singapore was going to recoup the amount, Mr Lee said: "I think if you calculate the price of everything in this world, you will miss out on the really important things.
"And in this case what is important is that the summit is held and we are hosting it - not extravagantly - but ... making sure the operation requirements are met. We will be sure to be cost conscious, and we will also be sure that we will do what is necessary to make this a safe meeting," he said.
OFFICERS HAVE DONE A GOOD JOB PREPARING: PM LEE
Earlier on Sunday morning, Mr Lee visited the Singapore Armed Forces operations deployment in Sentosa and the Home Team Command.
Mr Lee reserved special praise for how the different government agencies have prepared for this "major operation".
Mr Lee added: "They’ve (SAF, police, Ministry of Communications and Information) done a good job ... being able to put it all together and to integrate and coordinate. And they’re all ready for operations for the next few days."
Mr Lee will have separate meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump. Mr Lee will meet Mr Kim on Jun 10 and Mr Trump on Jun 11.
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