US-North Korea summit: Singapore preparing to be good host, says Ng Eng Hen

US-North Korea summit: Singapore preparing to be good host, says Ng Eng Hen

Singapore will play its role to be a good host to the US-North Korea summit scheduled for Jun 12, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Saturday (Jun 2). Afifah Ariffin reports. 

SINGAPORE: Singapore will play its role to be a good host to the US-North Korea summit scheduled for Jun 12, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Saturday (Jun 2).

“I know that security agencies from the Home Team and the Singapore Armed Forces are busy planning to make sure that everything is safe. I know that officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are working very hard,” Dr Ng told reporters on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue.

“We want to contribute in our small way so that this summit can occur.”

The summit is back on track, after US President Donald Trump said on Friday that he will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as originally scheduled on Jun 12.

Denuclearisation and a formal end to the Korean War would be on the table in Singapore, said Mr Trump after talks with top North Korean official Kim Yong Chol in the Oval Office.

Defence ministers of the US and South Korea attending the Shangri-La Dialogue have thanked Singapore for agreeing to host the upcoming summit.

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Saturday expressed his gratitude to Singapore for being able to host the event "on such short notice" and despite "the usual to and fro".

“The way you've just taken it all in stride, we are grateful for that sort of support,” he said.

Dr Ng said many officials have commented that without Singapore, preparations for the summit “would not have progressed so far”.

“I don’t respond to these comments,” Dr Ng added. “I just take it as affirmation of the work that officials at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Prime Minister’s Office and others that have done to get us this far.”

“So let’s just hope and plan if it takes place. Let’s hope for the best.”

When asked if Singapore will bear any cost in providing security and logistics arrangements in hosting the summit, Dr Ng said: "Obviously yes, but it is a cost that we are willing to bear to play a small part in this historic meeting."

Source: CNA/gs

Bookmark