North Korean leader Kim Jong-un took his country further up the path of reconciliation with the outer world on Sunday, June 10, when he met Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on his arrival in the Southeast Asian state ahead of his historic meeting with US President Donald Trump on Tuesday, June 12.
Singapore has been at the focal point in the past one month after it was decided as the host for the first-ever summit between a North Korean leader and an American president in early May. It also has diplomatic relations with both North Korea and the US and hosts a North Korean embassy as well.
While speaking with Lee, the third head of the state/government after Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean PM Moon Jae-in on his turf, Kim looked relaxed and the two leaders discussed relations between Pyongyang and Singapore and the recent developments on the Korean Peninsula.
Singapore's foreign affairs ministry said in a statement: "Prime Minister Lee complimented the bold and admirable decision by Chairman Kim and President of the United States Donald Trump to come together for this Summit."
North Korea-Singapore trade ties have hit a low
Prime Minister Lee also said in an interview with the local media on Sunday, June 10, that the United Nations' sanctions on North Korea have badly affected the trading ties between Pyongyang and Singapore which amounted to only 700,000 Singapore Dollar (US$524,580) in 2017, Singapore's The Business Times reported.
During their meeting, Lee wished Kim success for the summit and hoped that it would open the way for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula as well as the region in general.
On Monday, Lee was scheduled to meet Trump, who arrived late on Sunday after a long flight from a tense G7 summit in Quebec, Canada.
Kim and Trump will meet at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island on Tuesday morning.