Singapore is also welcome ground for the United States. It is a large trading partner, the second-largest Asian investor, and a longtime supporter of its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region.
The country is also the regional headquarters of large U.S. companies including Google, Facebook and Airbnb. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1966.
It is a regional hub whose free enterprise philosophy welcomes trading partners from everywhere, regardless of politics.
“Singapore is an ideal site for the summit because Singapore historically has been an honest broker between East and West. Singapore has been a great friend to the U.S. but also Singapore has carefully worked to be a friend to all, which has earned it trust in capitals around the world,” former U.S. Ambassador to Singapore David Adelman said.
Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the country is pleased to host the summit. “We hope this meeting will advance prospects for peace in the Korean Peninsula,” it said in a statement.
Singapore has experience hosting such meetings. In 2015 it was the site of another unprecedented summit between two leaders burdened with a legacy of bad blood and mutual distrust, Chinese President Xi Jinping and rival Taiwan’s then-President Ma Ying-jeou, the first such meeting since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
The city-state has hosted a number of high-level regional meetings, including Association of Southeast Asian Nations summits in 2007 and 2018. Since 2002, an annual security conference has been held there, featuring defense chiefs and officials from countries including the U.S., China and South Korea.
Roadblocks are set up around the summit venues, where armed Nepalese Gurkhas stand guard. Police check every vehicle that enters the area.
In 2015, Gurkha officers fired at a car that breached four roadblocks and crashed into a concrete barrier. The driver was killed and two passengers arrested in what turned out to be a drug-related misadventure rather than an attack.
Valued foreign guests won’t be troubled by protesters, either. Demonstrations in Singapore can only be held in a designated area, the 2.4-acre Hong Lim Park.
Amnesty International says amendments to the country’s Public Order Act have given authorities more power to restrict public assembly, and participants in peaceful protests have been arrested.