SEOUL, Jan 11 (KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Singapore and Vietnam are likely to be shortlisted to host a second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and United States President Donald Trump, South Korean foreign affairs ministry officials said on Thursday (Jan 10).
“(The venues you should pay attention to) are those mentioned by media including Vietnam, Singapore and Hawaii,” one ministry official said on condition of anonymity.
“But Hawaii is said to be an unrealistic location, as it doesn’t have a North Korean embassy there,” another official added.
The site that Mr Kim and Mr Trump will pick for the next meeting has been attracting keen attention, especially after South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Thursday that the summit will take place soon. Mr Trump said on Sunday that the US was “negotiating a location” and that he expected the summit to take place in January or February.
Singapore, which hosted the first Trump-Kim summit last June, and Vietnam are within flying distance of the North Korean leader’s plane, the Chammae-1, which is capable of flying a distance of 7,000km.
This matches Mr Trump’s comment that the summit will be held “within plane distance”.
Panmunjom, the truce village in the Demilitarised Zone that divides the Korean peninsula, is the site South Korean government hoped the meeting would take place. Mr Kim and Mr Moon held their first summit there on April 27.
“We would like to hold the meeting at Panmunjom, but the probability of this becoming a reality seems to be slim,” one of the officials said.
North Korea has embassies in Vietnam and Singapore and can run a team there to prepare for the envisioned summit with Mr Trump.
Vietnam is known to have expressed an interest in hosting the meeting while Singapore is where the first historic summit between the two leaders was held in June.
On Tuesday, CNN reported that White House scouting teams visited Bangkok, Hanoi and Hawaii to inspect whether the locations are suitable for the meeting.