Asia Minute: Location Uncertain for Potential Trump-Kim Summit

Jan 14, 2019

President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, participate in their bilateral meeting at the Capella Hotel in Singapore, June 12, 2018.
Credit Shealah Craighead / The White House

While a lot of attention remains focused on the partial government shutdown, the White House is also in talks to arrange a possible second summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. There are many questions about what that meeting might accomplish — and even before that, where it might take place.

South Korea’s President says he believes a second summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is “imminent.” He made the comment late last week following Kim’s trip to Beijing — a move that preceded his June summit with President Trump in Singapore.

It’s not clear what another summit would accomplish at this point — economic sanctions remain in place, the North Koreans want them removed and the Americans first want “a complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”

But apart from the substance of any meeting, the location is uncertain — although several potential spots have emerged.

The Korea Herald reports Singapore and Vietnam are the top contenders.

Singapore’s Straits Times says Vietnam is the leading candidate.

Thailand and Indonesia have been mentioned by diplomats talking with other media organizations in Southeast Asia.

One consideration may be a location that is within flying distance of Kim Jong Un’s private plane — which is reported to be about 7,000 kilometers, or roughly 4,400 miles.

Credit Dan Scavino Jr. / Twitter

CNN reports White House teams have scouted several locations — including Hanoi, Bangkok, and Hawaii.

But don’t break out the lei just yet.

The Korea Herald says Hawaii would be “an unrealistic location” because unlike Hanoi, Singapore, Bangkok or Jakarta, Honolulu has no North Korean embassy.