Trump-Kim summit: Helping peace process in the interests of all, including Singapore, says Shanmugam

Police presence yesterday at Shangri-La Hotel, where US President Donald Trump will reportedly stay during the summit. Local security forces have been "working around the clock" to ensure a successful summit, said Mr K. Shanmugam.
Police presence yesterday at Shangri-La Hotel, where US President Donald Trump will reportedly stay during the summit. Local security forces have been "working around the clock" to ensure a successful summit, said Mr K. Shanmugam.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

It is important for the world - including Singapore - to help the peace process through a historic summit on Tuesday between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam.

Describing the summit taking place at the Capella hotel on Singapore's Sentosa island as a "major show of confidence" in the Republic, Mr Shanmugam also explained Singapore's interests in contributing to the peace process.

 

With Singapore seven hours away by flight from the Korean peninsula and about 20 minutes away by missile, any incident in that region will affect the country badly, he told reporters yesterday.

"You have a nuclear-capable North Korea. You have American troops in South Korea. And, saying the obvious, the US is a nuclear state," said Mr Shanmugam.

"You have a stand-off with the United States and DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), and you have a nervous South Korea and Japan."

Any incident during this "period of tension" will be bad for the world, including Asia and Singapore, said the former foreign affairs minister, stressing that Singaporean jobs, trade and investment could be affected.

With all these at stake, local security forces have been "working around the clock" to ensure a successful summit, said Mr Shanmugam, adding that "very detailed" plans are in place, with thousands of security personnel being deployed and national servicemen recalled.

IMPORTANT FOR WORLD

For the world, it is absolutely good if there is a successful summit. The fact that they have come to speak to each other itself is seen by many as a good thing.

MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS AND LAW K. SHANMUGAM, on most Singaporeans understanding the importance of the summit.

 
 
 
 

He said it "says much" that both nations, with leaders who are high-profile targets and take security very seriously, have agreed on Singapore as the venue.

"They believe that we, Singapore, can provide a safe and secure venue... We are a little red dot, but we are a serious member of the international community," he added.

While there has been online chatter showing displeasure at the fact that Singapore is footing the bill for the security and logistics of the summit, Mr Shanmugam said he believed most Singaporeans understood the importance of the event.

"For the world, it is absolutely good if there is a successful summit. The fact that they have come to speak to each other itself is seen by many as a good thing."

He said Singapore takes a "no-nonsense approach" to security, and highlighted the incident on Wednesday where Australian Zeky Mallah, 34, was denied entry on account of his previous terror-related activities.

He also touched on the case on Thursday where two South Korean media personnel were arrested for trespassing on the North Korean ambassador's home, saying it is being investigated.

"We take this sort of thing seriously and, of course, we will put a stop to it and will investigate if people are reported or if we find out," said Mr Shanmugam.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2018, with the headline 'Shanmugam: Helping peace process in the interests of all, including S'pore'. Print Edition | Subscribe