Singapore spent $12 million on Donald Trump-Kim Jong-un summit, says its foreign affairs ministry; largest part spent on security

Singapore: Singapore said on Sunday it spent Singaporean $16.3 million ($12 million) on the historic US-North Korea summit, adding it was less than initially anticipated after some in the city-state complained about the high cost.

US president Donald Trump and the North's leader Kim Jong-un met in Singapore on 12 June for talks aimed at ending a tense nuclear standoff.

Supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un and US president Donald Trump. Reuters

File image of US president Donald Trump met Kim Jong-un in SIngapore. Reuters

The meeting was the culmination of a rapid detente between Pyongyang and Washington and saw Kim commit to working towards denuclearisation, although critics noted the summit agreement was vague and non-binding.

Singapore, an affluent financial hub, was seen as a good choice for the summit due to its warm ties with both the US and North Korea, and reputation for strict order.

But some Singaporeans thought welcoming the mercurial leaders was more an annoyance than an honour, particularly when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong estimated the tiny state would have to shell out Sg$20 million ($14.7 million) to host the meeting.

However in the end, the cost incurred by the government was about Sg$16.3 million, the biggest part of which was spent on security, said a ministry of foreign affairs spokesman in a statement.

It noted that Singapore had "supported the international efforts to achieve peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula".

Tightly-controlled Singapore rolled out a massive security operation for the meeting, deploying thousands of police, setting up road-blocks and banning flares and loudhailers near summit venues to prevent protests.

As well as the security operation, the Singapore government footed the bill for the delegation from the sanctions-hit North, including Kim's stay at the luxury St Regis hotel, according to the BBC.

They would have also had to pay a substantial amount for facilities for the huge number of journalists that covered the summit.

The clampdown was disruptive for many residents in the usually placid city-state of 5.6 million - although some observers said hosting the summit amounted to a PR coup that would ultimately benefit Singapore.

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Updated Date: Jun 25, 2018 07:21 AM

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