After weeks of speculations, US president Donald Trump has finally announced that he will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, June 12.
Trump made the announcement on Twitter and said: "The highly anticipated meeting between Kim Jong Un and myself will take place in Singapore on June 12th. We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!"
Singapore, after initially saying that they haven't been approached to host the meet, have also confirmed the venue. "We hope this meeting will advance prospects for peace in the Korean Peninsula," the Agence France-Presse quoted Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs as saying Thursday, May 10.
Trump and Jong Un are likely to discuss several topics, but the highlight of the meet is set to be the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Trump is also likely to try and convince the reclusive leader to shut down the nation's nuclear programme.
The decision came just after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Pyongyang for the second time Wednesday and arranged the details of the meeting. This will be the first time a sitting US president is meeting a North Korean leader.
The highly anticipated meeting between Kim Jong Un and myself will take place in Singapore on June 12th. We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2018
While the two leaders have been trading barbs over the US and North Korea's capabilities and nuclear power, the two nations have, of late, been trying to build a relation. Before Trump and Jong Un meet, Pyongyang also released three US detainees, who were welcomed home by the president and the first lady.
The White House then said that Pyongyang releasing the detainees was a goodwill gesture and Trump added that this way the meet would be a "big success."
"I really think we have a very good chance of doing something very meaningful," BBC quoted Trump as saying.
Why Singapore seems to be a good idea for the US and North Korea
Conjecture over the venue has been going on for weeks, with Pyongyang, Mongolia, Sweden, Switzerland, Indonesia, and Thailand being named as possible places. However, Singapore has snagged the opportunity and it looks like for good reason.
The sovereign city-state and island country of Singapore is known for its security. The nation is known for its vibrancy, efficiency, the absence of corruption and extremely well-managed public order.
"Singapore's neutrality is a draw for both. Public security is not a worry. The US is also favourable towards a location with prestige and glamour," the Straits Times quoted Dr Lim Tai Wei, adjunct research fellow at East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore, as saying.
Singapore is also popular for hosting high-profile diplomats, the most well-known being in 2015 when Chinese President Xi Jinping met former Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou. Additionally, the US, as well as, Pyongyang have missions in the country.
While Jong Un, who rarely visits nations, may have to travel quite a bit but has agreed to meeting in Singapore due to its neutral environment.