Singapore-South Korea phone call over summit

SEOUL • Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung Wha spoke over the phone yesterday on preparations for the upcoming summit between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the South Korean Foreign Ministry said.

Ms Kang and Dr Balakrishnan agreed to work together to ensure the success of the June 12 summit slated to take place in Singapore, based on the shared understanding that the meeting will be a crucial opportunity for complete denuclearisation and lasting peace on the Korean peninsula, Yonhap news agency reported.

During the talks, Ms Kang took note of Singapore's support for the summit.

Dr Balakrishnan expressed the Singapore Government's gratitude to Seoul for sharing its experience related to preparations for past summits with Pyongyang, the ministry said.

The ministers also agreed on the need to continue the momentum for dialogue, even after the Trump-Kim summit, Yonhap reported.

Last Friday, US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, a veteran diplomat and expert on North Korea, told Ms Kang that talks between the US and North Korea are heading in the right direction. He held several rounds of summit preparatory talks with North Korean negotiators last week at the truce village of Panmunjom on the fortified border between the two Koreas.

The discussions in Panmunjom have focused on possible agenda items for Mr Trump and Mr Kim, while meetings in Singapore are more focused on logistics, officials have said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 05, 2018, with the headline 'S'pore-S. Korea phone call over summit'. Print Edition | Subscribe