Security tightens at key sites for Trump-Kim summit in Singapore

All 60 cannons at Fort Siloso, Sentosa, like this one, have been decorated with flowers and olives in a symbolic gesture of peace in honour of the summit between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday.
All 60 cannons at Fort Siloso, Sentosa, like this one, have been decorated with flowers and olives in a symbolic gesture of peace in honour of the summit between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday.PHOTO: SENTOSA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

An advance party of North Korean delegates were likely to have arrived yesterday evening as security preparations around the country were visibly stepped up ahead of the arrival of United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un today.

A black Mercedes-Benz and a black minivan pulled up at around 6.55pm at The St Regis Singapore hotel in 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 yesterday, especially in the areas of St Regis and Shangri-La Hotel in 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 at 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 on buses that usually pass through Tomlinson Road and the Tanglin area.

Military vehicles were also seen parked in the Raffles Girls' School compound in 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 in Orchard Road, was at Shangri-La yesterday 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 an 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.

The bouquets will be left for four days, from today to Wednesday.

The summit is set to take place at Capella Singapore on Tuesday.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 10, 2018, with the headline 'Security tightens at key summit sites'. Print Edition | Subscribe