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On Trump and North Korea meeting: Why Singapore?

A June 12 meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is slated for June 12 in Singapore. But why there? (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

In deciding where to conduct the anticipated meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un on June 12, a number of locations were considered: Switzerland, Mongolia, and even the demilitarized zone that spans between North and South Korea.

So, why Singapore?

On Thursday, a White House official said, "Singapore was selected because they have been willing to hold [the meeting], and because they have diplomatic relations with both the U.S. and North Korea. They are one of the very few countries that have relationships with both countries."

But there are more reasons than that.

Singapore doesn't mess around when it comes to security. The country's laws are not only strict, but strictly enforced. And with military service being mandatory for all male citizens, they are a formidable threat to any who might approach with ill-intent.

A secured perimeter will be placed in front of the mainland shoreline during the June 12 meeting, and complete enforcement will surround Sentosa Island.

The country's law and home affairs minister K. Shanmugam said of the reasoning behind the U.S. and N.K. selecting his turf for their summit meant that "They believe that we, Singapore, can provide a safe and secure venue...We are a little red dot, but we are a serious member of the international community."

Furthermore, Singapore is not broke, which is important given that North Korea has gained a reputation for skipping the check. HotelPlanner CEO Tim Hentschel has said their company is willing to kick in for North Korea's accommodations, which include a $6,000 a night stay for their Supreme Leader.

On June 2, when asked if Singapore is going to be picking up some of the tab for the summit, the country's defense minister Ng Eng Hen said, "Obviously yes, but it is a cost we're willing to bear to play a small part in this historic meeting."

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders reiterated on Thursday regarding North Korea, "We are not paying for their travel."

How was this initiated?

Singapore's minister of foreign affairs Vivian Balakrishnan said on Tuesday, "We did not put our hand up, but we were asked. The Americans approached us first. The North Koreans subsequently came to us.

"I think Singaporians can be proud. Proud that we've been chosen because they know that we are neutral, reliable, trustworthy and secure."

One last thing…
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