Vivian Balakrishnan to make official visit to North Korea before Trump-Kim summit

Vivian Balakrishnan to make official visit to North Korea before Trump-Kim summit

Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan will make an official visit to Pyongyang on Thursday (Jun 7) at the invitation of his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho. This comes on the back of his working visit to Washington on Tuesday when he met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton. 

SINGAPORE: Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan will make an official visit to Pyongyang on Thursday (Jun 7) at the invitation of his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho.

This comes on the back of his working visit to Washington on Tuesday when he met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton. 

Dr Balakrishnan said Singapore is "happy to play (its) part for world peace" in hosting the Jun 12 summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

During his two-day visit to Pyongyang, Dr Balakrishnan will also call on Kim Yong Nam, the President of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, said Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Wednesday.

It added that Dr Balakrishnan will be accompanied by officials from MFA.

Singapore has diplomatic ties with both the US and North Korea, and serves as a regional headquarters for many large US companies and US Navy vessels, which use Singapore's port facilities.

Singapore suspended trade relations with the reclusive Northeast Asian state last year following tightened United Nations sanctions over its weapons programme. However, North Korea still operates a small embassy in Singapore.

In 2008, Singapore sent its then foreign minister, George Yeo, on an official visit to North Korea. During that trip, he toured the Nampo Port and Kaesong industrial zone.

Source: CNA/Reuters/aa/(gs)

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