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North Koreans in dark about time, location of Trump, Kim summit

By Elizabeth Shim
North Koreans in dark about time, location of Trump, Kim summit
North Korea has made public the meeting between Kim Jong Un and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo but has yet to announce the decision on the upcoming Trump-Kim summit. Photo by KCNA/UPI | License Photo

May 11 (UPI) -- Ordinary North Koreans may still not know U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un are scheduled to meet on June 12 in Singapore.

State media, including KCNA and Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun, have yet to make public the summit's time and location, South Korean news service SP News reported Friday.

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The move contrasts with the attention being drawn to the meeting, most notably from Trump.

"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!" Trump tweeted Thursday.

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While North Koreans are being kept in the dark about the details, the regime's elites who work out of overseas embassies are better apprised of the situation.

KCNA did announce earlier Kim welcomed the meeting with Trump, according to Yonhap.

South Korean news service MBC reported Friday North Korean diplomats in Singapore acknowledged the summit.

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One North Korean diplomat who spoke anonymously to MBC said inter-Korea relations are just as important as the highly anticipated breakthrough in U.S.-North Korea relations.

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"North and South, we are still the center" of importance, the diplomat said.

The South Korean network reported Singaporeans were willing to tolerate a "little inconvenience."

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Singapore will play big role for world peace, said Singaporean Shiva Kumar.

Employees at Singapore's Shangri-La Hotel, where leaders of China and Taiwan previously held a major a summit a few years back, expressed confidence the hotel will be picked as the site of the summit.

But Chinese analysts who spoke to their local media said the choice of Singapore is more advantageous to the United States than to North Korea.

The Singapore location presents a "major challenge" to the North Korean leader because Pyongyang will need to refuel in China and Kim may need to lease a plane from Beijing, according to Lu Chao, a Korea specialist at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences.

Wang Junsheng of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said Singapore has military ties to the United States, which guarantees Trump's security.

"But it is far from Pyongyang," Wang said, according to the Global Times.

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