Trump-Kim Singapore summit

Summit Snippets: North Korean music star spotted in Singapore

Media reports said the plane used by Mr Kim Jong Un was Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's private jet.
Ms Hyon Song Wol
Media reports said the plane used by Mr Kim Jong Un was Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's private jet.
Media reports said the plane used by Mr Kim Jong Un was Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's private jet.PHOTO: REUTERS

N. Korean music star spotted in S'pore

Ms Hyon Song Wol, the leader of North Korea's Samjiyon Orchestra who has been at the forefront of recent inter-Korea cultural exchanges, has been spotted in Singapore after the arrival of Mr Kim Jong Un's entourage from Beijing on Sunday.


Dressed in black and wearing sunglasses, Ms Hyon was spotted at the lobby of the St Regis hotel, where Mr Kim is staying.

It is not clear what role she will play in Singapore.

But Ms Hyon has spearheaded Mr Kim's charm offensive to South Korea since the beginning of the year, including headlining two sell-out concerts in Seoul and Pyongyang, watched by South Korean President Moon Jae In and Mr Kim, respectively.

North Koreans learn about summit on TV

North Koreans found out about their leader's visit to Singapore a day after Mr Kim Jong Un touched down at Changi Airport.


A seven-minute news bulletin by state broadcaster Korean Central Television yesterday was among the first in North Korea to offer details on Mr Kim's planned summit with US President Donald Trump today.

The bulletin was helmed by star presenter Ri Chun Hee, who is known for her passionate, and at times melodramatic, delivery of important news on Mr Kim's regime.

Wearing her trademark pink and black traditional Korean dress, Ms Ri delivered the news seated in front of a frequently used backdrop of Mount Paektu, a dormant volcano on the Chinese border symbolic of Korean nationhood.

Though the 75-year-old officially retired in January 2012, she has returned to the air now and then, and is reported to be a favourite of the Kim family.

The bulletin also showed photos of Mr Kim inspecting a guard of honour at Pyongyang airport before his departure to Singapore.

Air China jet provided on request: Beijing

BEIJING • The Air China Boeing 747 jet that flew North Korean leader Kim Jong Un from Pyongyang to Singapore on Sunday was provided at the country's request, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang has said.

Mr Geng was asked yesterday at a regular press briefing whether the plane was loaned to North Korea for a fee or free.

While he refused to divulge additional details, North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency said the plane was chartered from Air China.

Various media reports also said the plane was the private jet of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

Analysts say the use of the plane is meant to demonstrate the crucial support China has provided to North Korea.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2018, with the headline 'Summit Snippets'. Print Edition | Subscribe