With president Trump leaving the Toronto G-7 meeting in a tiff, and tweeting from AF1 that after his unpleasant encounter with Justin Trudeau he "instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique", a historic failure for globalists, all eyes turn to Singapore which readies itself for the arrival of Trump, as well as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un who just arrived here on Sunday afternoon.
According to SCMP, Kim and his delegation arrived at the St Regis hotel in downtown Singapore at 3.40pm. The North Korean leader was greeted at Changi Airport by Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishan, who had been in Pyongyang on Friday.
As we noted previously, instead of relying on his old Russian Il-62, Kim flew using a Chinese Boeing 747: the Air China flight CA61 touched down at Changi Airport shortly before 2.40pm.
At about 3.05pm, a motorcade of Mercedes Benz sedans, police cars and a mobile hospital was seen leaving the airport’s VIP complex. The convoy, headed by two white cars flying North Korean flags, was believed to be heading towards the St Regis hotel on Orchard Road, where Kim and his delegation are staying.
As SCMP notes, the aircraft carrying Kim Jong-un to Singapore for his summit with Donald Trump took a mostly inland route while flying over China, according to a flight tracking service.
“North Korea’s utmost concern is Kim’s route, as there have always been big concerns about assassination attempts,” according to Lee Yun-keol, a former bodyguard for North Korea’s ruling family.
Flightradar24 showed Kim’s flight initially passed over four Chinese provinces – Hebei, Henan, Hubei and Hunan – and stayed well clear of coastal areas. After reaching the southern coastal region of Guangxi, it veered off to the Chinese island province of Hainan, apparently in an attempt to maximise the amount of time it spent in Chinese airspace. Data also showed that there were no civilian planes anywhere near Kim’s flight, despite it passing through a usually busy area for such aircraft.
Lee, who worked for the North Korean Guard Command’s personal security unit before defecting to South Korea in 2005, said the flight path would have been very carefully chosen. Speaking to SCMP, a source from the South Korean air force said China was clearly controlling all air movements to provide Kim with maximum security. “It is one of the highest security protocols that an air force can provide to a head of a state,” the person said.
A separate source said earlier that China might send fighter jets to escort Kim through its airspace, not only to aid an ally but also to keep itself as close as possible to the Trump-Kim summit.
“If China does provide the escort, it may be a message directed at the US-ROK alliance that China is strongly backing the Kim regime,” the person said.
Of course, it could be simply vanity that prompted Kim to pick the Jumbo Jet: a South Korean Air Force told the Post that Kim’s decision to fly in a Boeing 747 – rather than the former-Soviet Il-62M plane he has used before – was probably due to status reasons: "he would not have wanted his aircraft to look inferior to Trump’s Air Force One – a symbol of US power" the person said.
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And so, with Kim on the ground, it is all systems go in Singapore as the country readies itself for the arrival of United States President Donald Trump ahead of their highly anticipated summit in the Lion City. The Singaporean foreign ministry said Kim will meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong later on Sunday.
The White House meanwhile said Trump, who is flying directly from the G7 Summit in Quebec, Canada, was expected to arrive in Singapore at 8.30pm. The US leader will hold bilateral talks with Lee on Monday.
Both sides and the host city have kept a tight lid on the details of Tuesday’s meeting, which will be held at the luxurious Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa, off Singapore’s southern tip. According to Bloomberg, Trump intends to briefly meet Kim “one-on-one” – called a “four-eyes meeting” in regional parlance – at the start of the summit, which is set to get under way at 9am.
The two leaders will later be joined by their closest aides – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton for Trump, and for Kim, his sister Kim Yo-jong, the report said.
Bloomberg quoted a US official as saying a joint declaration could be issued if the meeting went well, and that it was unlikely for it to go beyond Tuesday. There had been some speculation that the meeting could stretch to Wednesday because Singapore’s enhanced security measures – restrictions on airspace and additional “stop and search” powers for the police – end only on Thursday.
Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on Saturday said “as of now it is all systems go”. Speaking after whirlwind trips to Pyongyang and Washington, he said he visited both capitals “to make sure everything was spick and span, and in place, and that there would be no last minute spoilers or difficulties”.
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Meanwhile, as SCMP reports, heightened security measures kicked in at midnight on Sunday in the areas around Capella Hotel, the St Regis Hotel where Kim is staying, and Shangri-La Hotel where Trump is staying. The St Regis Hotel and Shangri-La Hotel are within walking distance of each other and are in the Lion City’s leafy diplomatic district near the Orchard Road shopping belt.
Access to roads around the hotels was restricted, with police checkpoints set up for vehicles entering and exiting the respective areas around them. Along with thousands of uniformed police officers, Singapore is deploying a large force from its Police Gurkha Contingent to secure the three hotels involved in the summit.