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Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un to Meet in Singapore's Sentosa, the 'Island of Death from Behind'

The June 12 meeting will be the first between sitting leaders of the United States and North Korea, and will focus on denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

Agencies

Updated:June 6, 2018, 9:08 AM IST
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Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un to Meet in Singapore's Sentosa, the 'Island of Death from Behind'
Sentosa houses the luxurious Capella Hotel, which is connected to the Singapore main island by a single causeway that can be easily closed off to traffic. (Reuters)
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Washington: The much-vaunted summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un will take place on Singapore's resort island of Sentosa, the White House said on Tuesday.

"The venue for the Singapore summit between @POTUS and Leader Kim Jong Un will be the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island. We thank our great Singaporean hosts for their hospitality," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a tweet.

The June 12 meeting will be the first between sitting leaders of each country and will focus on denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

Sentosa is home to palm-fringed beaches, casinos, tourist sites and some of the best golf courses in Asia. It also houses the luxurious Capella Hotel, which — at a distance from centres of population — can be more easily secured.

Sources familiar with the arrangements told AFP that American diplomats had picked the island resort, which is connected to the Singapore main island by a single causeway that can be easily closed off to traffic. It is also home to some of the city-state's richest residents with waterfront villas costing up to Sg$39 million ($29 million).

The luxury location, however, had a dark past. According to a report in The Guardian, Sentosa island was used by Japan as a camp for British and Australian prisoners of war after allied forces surrendered to the Japanese in 1942.

The beach, which now houses the Serapong golf course, was also the site where Singaporean Chinese accused of anti-Japanese activities were executed in large numbers.

The Guardian also reported that until 1972, Sentosa was known as ‘island of death from behind’ and was renamed by the Singaporean government as part of the campaign to turn the island into a luxury destination.

Singapore authorities on Tuesday marked out a part of the island surrounding the Capella hotel a special security zone on the days around the June 12 summit.

According to a posting on the government gazette, weapons, flares, loud hailers, sound systems and banners will be banned in the special zone, with police allowed to conduct body searches on those entering the area. Drones are also not allowed.

Set on 30 acres of lush, manicured greenery, the Capella's 112 rooms and villas were built in restored colonial buildings that once included an officers mess for the British army.

Designed by British architect Norman Foster, it has played host to A-listers like queen of pop Madonna and Lady Gaga when they stopped over in the city-state on tour.

Basic rooms start at Sg$663 ($496), with the opulent three-bedroom colonial manor going for Sg$10,000 for a night's stay.

The entire hotel has been booked out in the period leading up to the summit.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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