Planning Trump-Kim Meeting: Who Sits Where, What Will They Consume and Who Pays?
TOKYO &mdash It appears as if all they would actually require is a area with a table and some chairs.
The reality, nonetheless, is that arranging the coming summit meeting among President Trump and Kim Jong-un to talk about North Korea&rsquos nuclear future will need deciding countless, infinitesimal details, often by means of tricky diplomatic negotiations.
It doesn&rsquot help that any of those information could be thrown out at the last minute by either leader, both of whom have shown a tendency to depart from any script.
Even ahead of Mr. Trump declared final Friday that the summit meeting was back on, delegations from the United States and North Korea had arrived in Singapore final week to perform out the logistics of the June 12 conference.
The two sides will be negotiating everything from the internet site of the meeting to which leader sits exactly where at the table, who is allowed in the area with them, the number of meals and breaks, what to use in a toast between the two leaders (offered that Mr. Trump does not drink alcohol), what gifts could be exchanged and who will spend for what.
Without having query, the top priority for both sides is safety. As the host nation, Singapore will be in charge of making certain security on roads and in other public facilities, but the United States and North Korea will oversee the safety of their personal leaders.
Any time the American president makes an international trip, he is accompanied by a legion of Secret Service personnel, as effectively as by limousines, helicopters and other protective automobiles. Mr. Kim has tiny encounter traveling abroad as leader. Singapore will be the farthest distance he has traveled given that coming to energy in 2011.
It is uncommon for two leaders to hold a one-on-a single summit meeting in a third nation unless they are meeting on the sidelines of an international gathering. With Singapore as the venue, Mr. Trump may possibly have an upper hand, veteran diplomats mentioned.
Mr. Kim is probably to really feel far more uncomfortable &ldquothe farther away you do it from the Korean Peninsula,&rdquo said Evans J.R. Revere, a former State Division diplomat who specializes in East Asia. &ldquoThat would operate to Trump&rsquos benefit.&rdquo
Officials have not but announced exactly where the landmark meeting will take place in Singapore. The Shangri-La Hotel has been favored by previous American presidents as a location to keep, although a former Singaporean official recommended that the meeting was likely to take spot on the resort island of Sentosa, just off the southern tip of Singapore.
Joe Hagin, a deputy White Home chief of employees, has been staying on the island. One more Singaporean official suggested that there could be a series of events held at different places.
On Friday, The Washington Post reported that the team led by Mr. Hagin was haggling with a group of North Korean officials led by Kim Chang-son, the director of North Korea&rsquos state affairs commission secretariat, over who would pay the hotel bill for Mr. Kim and his entourage.
North Korea has been identified to push other governments to pay its costs when its officials travel abroad. For the duration of the Pyeongchang Olympics in South Korea in February, for instance, the South Korean government paid the hotel, meal and transportation costs, about $225,000, for a North Korean delegation that integrated Kim Yo-jong, Kim Jong-un&rsquos sister.
South Korea also paid an additional $121,000 for a delegation from North Korea to attend the Paralympic Games.
Speaking more than the weekend at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue, a regional safety conference, Ng Eng Hen, the Singaporean defense minister, stated his government was willing to pay for some of the expenses of the North Korean summit meeting. He did not specify how a lot Singapore would pay or what exactly it would cover.
The query of who will spend for what goes to the heart of who is really hosting the meeting. That query hovers more than a lot of other decisions, such as who will establish the menus for meals, as properly as who walks into the meeting venue first.
&ldquoIt will all be choreographed by means of with the president and Mr. Kim,&rdquo stated Wendy R. Sherman, a seasoned former American diplomat who accompanied Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to Pyongyang in 2000 to meet Mr. Kim&rsquos father, Kim Jong-il. Each and every side, she stated, will &ldquotry to add some steps to get advantage.&rdquo
Whilst Mr. Trump is recognized to strategy encounters with foreign leaders in a casual manner or to disregard formal protocol, diplomats who have planned prior meetings with North Korean officials say they are extremely status conscious and will pay attention to particulars such as which side of the table Mr. Kim is seated.
Normally, the individual with the greater status enters the summit venue final and sits farthest from the door, said a Japanese official who had attended previous dialogues amongst Japanese and North Korean officials. One particular answer: Decide on a room with two entrances.
Speaking of entrances, event planners will verify locks on the doors beforehand. In 2005, when President George W. Bush met President Hu Jintao in Beijing, Mr. Bush briefed reporters in a space and then attempted to go out a door that was locked.
Details down to how many steps every leader need to take prior to stopping for cameras will be meticulously planned. In staging photo opportunities, the two sides could negotiate whether flags from both nations will appear in any official photographs from the summit meeting.
&ldquoWill they recognize North Korea formally as a country?&rdquo mentioned Mitoji Yabunaka, a longtime diplomat and former vice minister at Japan&rsquos Foreign Ministry, explaining the significance of a North Korean flag possibly being displayed when the United States and North Korea do not formally have diplomatic relations.
Possibly the most significant benefit for the United States in holding the meeting in Singapore is that it is not in Pyongyang, where the North Koreans would control each detail.
&ldquoHaving this in Singapore is a big plus since you&rsquore not at the mercy of the North Koreans,&rdquo Ms. Sherman said.
For the duration of Ms. Albright&rsquos trip to Pyongyang in 2000, North Korean officials were &ldquounable actually to commit to particular instances and places, and we did not locate out where and when Secretary Albright would meet with Kim Jong-il till she arrived,&rdquo said Thomas Hubbard, a former American diplomat and ambassador to Seoul and the Philippines who helped plan Ms. Albright&rsquos trip and accompanied her to Pyongyang.
With optics most likely to play as large a function as substance in the Singapore meeting, the third-country location ought to avert North Korea from staging a propaganda coup as it did when Kim Jong-il took Ms. Albright to a mass stadium event in Pyongyang, exactly where she had to sit subsequent to him at a spectacle of performers celebrating the cult of their leader.
The younger Mr. Kim could nevertheless pull off a propaganda victory even if he&rsquos not at residence. In his 1st meeting with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea in April at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas, Mr. Kim captivated the planet with a basic gesture when he held out his hand and recommended that Mr. Moon briefly step more than the demarcation line to the North.
Diplomats who have previously met with North Korean officials said the North Koreans could foil properly-laid plans merely by refusing to participate or by changing their tone.
&ldquoThe American diplomats should be careful,&rdquo said Takeo Harada, a former Japanese diplomat who was the chief desk officer for the North Korean desk in the Foreign Ministry when Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited Pyongyang. &ldquoEven though they could be extremely friendly during preparation talks, you never know how the North Korean side would behave in the final moment throughout the meeting in between Trump and Kim Jong-un.&rdquo
Published at Mon, 04 Jun 2018 03:59:00 +0000