A Luxury Holiday – Kim Wants 5-Star Fullerton’s $6,000 / Night Presidential Suite, And He’s Not Gonna Pay

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Jun 02 2018
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President Trump said his on-again, off-again summit with North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un will proceed in Singapore on June 12 after all, as initially planned. His U-turn came after Mr. Kim sent his top official, Kim Yong Chol, to Washington and delivers a letter expressing his interest to meet with Mr. Trump. However, there won’t be any significant concessions.


Kim Yong Chol, a former spy chief and currently North Korea’s top nuclear negotiator, spent more than an hour in the Oval Office talking to the U.S. president. However, there was no handshake, let alone ceremony of any sort. Trump told reporters he does not expect the summit will lead to an agreement about North Korean dismantling its nuclear and missile programs.


As Trump met with Kim Yong Chol at the White House, separate teams of U.S. officials were already making preparations for the summit in Asia. A team of negotiators reportedly were holding talks along the Korean Demilitarized Zone to prepare documents that both leaders could agree to, while a logistics team was in Singapore arranging final details for the talks.

President Donald Trump To Meet Dictator Kim Jong Un

The historical meeting between Trump and Kim at an island resort off the coast of Singapore is so important to the U.S. president that he reportedly would not impose economic sanctions and would refrain from using the phrase “maximum pressure” for the time being. But there’s one issue which has gotten the U.S. event planners cracking their heads.


Although North Korea possesses the deadly nuclear weapon and ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missiles), the hermit kingdom is dead poor. A meeting of such scale in Singapore will cost an arm and a leg, and Kim regime has made it known that they are not going to pay for their supreme leader’s lodging. It appears that even if the meeting doesn’t go well, Kim will emerge victorious.


Kim Jong Un has expressed his preferred hotel – The Fullerton – where one presidential suite costs more than US$6,000 a night. The 5-star hotel, a grand neoclassical landmark built in 1928, is recognised as one of the Top 10 Hotels in Singapore by DestinAsian’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2017. The 400-room hotel was also once home to the prestigious Singapore Club.

North Korea Kim Jong-un - Stay In Singapore The Fullerton Hotel - Summit 2018

Singapore The Fullerton Hotel - Presidential Suite - Bedroom

While the U.S. has no problem covering Kim’s lodging at the luxury hotel, the North Korean is sensitive to it and may view such payment as an insult to their leader. Therefore, the U.S. planners are considering asking the host country of Singapore to pay for the North Korean delegation’s bill. The isolated North Korea, however, has a long history of making bold monetary payments.


In 2014, when former U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper Jr. visited North Korea to retrieve two prisoners, his North Korean hosts served him an “elaborate 12-course Korean meal.” However, Mr. Clapper was shocked when the North insisted he pay for the meal.


Similarly, during the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea was forced to pay US$2.6 million to cover travel accommodations for a North Korean cheering squad, an art troupe and other members of the visiting delegation. International Olympic Committee also had to pay for 22 North Korean athletes to travel to the same event.

Singapore The Fullerton Hotel - Presidential Suite - Bathroom

Singapore The Fullerton Hotel - Presidential Suite - Living Room

Singapore The Fullerton Hotel - Presidential Suite - Piano

Singapore The Fullerton Hotel - Presidential Suite - Balcony

Singapore The Fullerton Hotel - Presidential Suite - Study Room

But picking up the North Korean delegation’s hotel tab is just one of many headaches that White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin has to face. Working with Kim’s de facto chief of staff, Kim Chang Son, they strive to make the June 12 meeting a success. There are also concerns that North Korea’s outdated and underused Soviet-era aircraft won’t make the 3,000-mile trip to Singapore.


To avoid embarrassment, Kim Jong Un may need to borrow a plane from another country, possibly from China. But to do that, the event planner and countries involved need to cook up a cover story. It is believed that Trump and Kim will meet at Capella hotel on the resort island of Sentosa. The resort’s relative seclusion appealed to security-conscious U.S. and North Korean officials.


Donald Trump, on the other hand, is expected to stay at the Shangri-La Hotel, a 747-room hotel that is accustomed to high-security events. The hotel is owned by Malaysian richest man Robert Kuok. Shangri-La Hotel is also the preferred hotel for China’s top official, including President Xi Jinping. Kim obviously will be having a great holiday, even if the summit fails spectacularly.

Singapore Shangri-La Hotel - Top Security


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