Trump-Kim summit: North Korean advance delegation arrives in Singapore as security preparations intensify

Security check at the junction of Tomlinson Road and Tanglin Road on June 9, 2018.
Security check at the junction of Tomlinson Road and Tanglin Road on June 9, 2018.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - An advance party of North Korean delegates are likely to have arrived on Saturday evening (June 9), just as security preparations around the country visibly went up a notch ahead of US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's likely arrival on Sunday.

At 6.55pm, a black Mercedes-Benz and a black minivan pulled up at the The St Regis Singapore hotel on Tanglin Road, where Mr Kim, who is Chairman of the State Affairs Commission, is likely to be staying.

 

Data from plane-tracking website Flightradar24 showed that an Air China Airbus A330 aircraft flew directly from Pyongyang to Singapore, landing at Changi Airport around 4.20pm.

Meanwhile, security was visibly more pronounced on Saturday especially in the areas of St Regis and Shangri-La Hotel at Orange Grove Road, where Mr Trump will reportedly stay.

Bag scanners and metal detectors have been installed at the entrances of St Regis while white tentage, concrete barricades and security barriers and cameras were already in place along Tanglin Road in the late afternoon.

Bomb squad personnel were also seen heading into St Regis around 6pm as well as plainclothes Gurkhas.

The Cuscaden Road junction outside the hotel was also blocked with staff from bus operator SBS Transit waving buses that usually pass through Tomlinson Road and the Tanglin area along.

Military vehicles were also seen parked in the Raffles Girls' School compound at Anderson Road.

 
 
 
 

Similar security preparations were also seen in the vicinity of Shangri-La, where a police check area had been set up with concrete barriers. A police tent was also seen along Anderson Road.

While more than 30 foreign and local members of the media had gathered outside St Regis, it was much quieter at Shangri-La.

People were seen gathering at the lobby and taking pictures, with most of them leaving after having lunch at the hotel.

Hotel staff were seen briefing guests who were checking in on the security checks imposed during their stay. Staff were also heard telling guests that taxis would not be readily available due to the road closures.

Farmer Greville Hay, 65, who is visiting from Australia and staying at a hotel along Orchard Road, was at Shangri-La on Saturday to "just take a look".

He said: "I was pleasantly surprised to be able to just walk in but I would think it wouldn't be the case from tomorrow.

"This is a world issue and nuclear war can have devastating effects. As a Australian, I hope something good comes out of the talks so I just wanted to come and see the hotel and what was going on here because I heard that Mr Trump might be staying here during the summit."

Meanwhile, all 60 cannons at Fort Siloso, Sentosa, have been decorated with flowers and olives in a symbolic gesture of peace in honour of the summit on Sentosa.


A cannon at Fort Siloso, Sentosa, which been decorated in a symbolic gesture of peace in honour of the summit on Sentosa. PHOTO: SENTOSA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

The bouquets will be left for four days, from Saturday to Wednesday. The summit is set to take place at Capella Singapore hotel on Tuesday.