Singapore foreign minister to visit North Korea’s Ri Yong-ho ahead of Trump-Kim summit
Vivian Balakrishnan will pay the official visit to the capital Pyongyang on Thursday and will also meet the North’s ceremonial president Kim Yong-nam
Singapore’s foreign minister will make a two-day trip to Pyongyang starting on Thursday, as preparations for a summit in the city state between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un accelerate.
Vivian Balakrishnan will pay the official visit to the North Korean capital at the invitation of the North’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, Singapore’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
The minister, who will be accompanied by foreign ministry officials, will also meet the North’s ceremonial president Kim Yong-nam, the statement said.
It did not give details about the reason for the trip.
But preparations for the historic June 12 meeting between the US president and North Korea’s leader have been gathering pace, with the White House Tuesday revealing that it will take place on the resort island of Sentosa.
The leaders will meet in the luxurious Capella Hotel, which can be more easily secured than other parts of the city state as it is distant from population centres.
Sentosa is home to palm-fringed beaches, casinos, tourist sites and some of the best golf courses in Asia.
The summit is taking place following a rapid detente between Pyongyang and Seoul and Washington. Tensions had soared last year after the North conducted missile and nuclear tests.