Asia

Singapore says Trump-Kim summit cost just $12 million, after some question expenses

U.S. President Trump and North Korea's Kim walk together before their working lunch during their summit in Singapore

FILE PHOTO – U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un walk together before their working lunch during their summit at the Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa, Singapore June 12, 2018. Picture taken June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore said on Sunday it spent S$16.3 million ($12 million) on hosting the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, less than earlier reports that had angered some locals.

Most of the money went on security, the foreign ministry said, without giving a detailed breakdown.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had earlier estimated the event cost Singapore S$20 million. Foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan had said that included the cost of Kim’s hotel room.

Those reports drew anger from some Singaporeans on social media – though one commentator said it was a small price to pay – the cost of a chicken-rice dish for each citizen – to contribute to regional peace.

Marketing experts said the publicity generated from hosting the summit could be worth more than 10 times the cost to the tiny Southeast Asian city-state.

Trump and Kim spent each spent three days in Singapore for the June 12 summit where the two pledged to work on ending North Korea’s nuclear program and improve ties.

($1 = 1.3580 Singapore dollars)

(Reporting by Jack Kim; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

 

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