For the back-on denuclearization summit in Singapore, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reportedly wants to stay at a five-star hotel where a night at a presidential suite costs more than $6,000—but doesn’t plan to pay for it.
As a result, American officials planning the summit are trying to work around sanctions that prohibit the U.S. from picking up the bill, or may ask Singapore to pay for Kim’s hospitality at the Fullerton, a neoclassical hotel along the Singapore River, two people with knowledge of the matter told The Washington Post on FridayKim has invested heavily in North Korea’s nuclear weapons development program while starving the country financially and demanding luxury accommodations from foreign nations, including South Korea which covered $2.6 million in travel expenses for him during the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.
“North Korea can build nukes and ICBMs, but claim they are too poor to pay for foreign travel costs,” Sung-Yoon Lee, a Korea expert at Tufts University, told the Post.
In order to pay for Kim’s hotel, the Office of Foreign Assets Control would have to approve a waiver to “temporarily suspend the applicability of sanctions” of the Treasury Department, Elizabeth Rosenberg, a former official with the department, told the newspaper.Singapore’s defense minister Ng Eng Hen on Saturday told reporters the small yet rich city-state in Southeast Asia is open to pitching in to cover some expenses for the summit.
“It is a cost that we’re willing to bear to play a small part in this historic meeting,” Ng said, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump, who on Friday called the summit back on for June 12, is expected to lodge at the luxury Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore. According to Reuters, the Shangri-La Suite in the hotel’s Valley Wing had a price tag of 10,000 Singapore dollars, or about $7,471, for the night of June 12.