Who will pay for Kim Jong Un’s hotel stay in Singapore?
The question of who will foot the bill for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s anticipated upcoming stay in Singapore is just one of the logistical issues that will need to be hammered out ahead of the June 12 summit. For the cash-strapped nation, the answer may not be North Korea.
Now that, after canceling it last week, it’s a question that may need to be answered swiftly.
On Saturday, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a coalition of non-governmental organizations worldwide, volunteered to pay the tab.
“Our movement is committed to the abolition of nuclear weapons and we recognize that this historic summit is a once in a generation opportunity to work for peace and nuclear disarmament,” Akira Kawasaki, an ICAN international steering group member, said in a statement. “The Nobel Peace Prize included a cash prize and we are offering funds from the prize to cover the costs for the summit, in order to support peace in the Korean Peninsula and a nuclear-weapon-free world.”
It might not be the only entity that offers to foot the bill. The Washington Post, citing two people familiar with the matter, reported that the U.S. is open to covering the costs of lodging at North Korea’s preferred, five-star luxury hotel. But the people told the Post it’s possible North Korea might find a U.S. payment insulting. U.S. planners, the people told the Post, are considering asking Singapore to foot the bill.
A White House official told CBS News Saturday evening, “we aren’t paying for hotels” but did not offer any further details. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert issued a similar statement Sunday morning, denying that the U.S. would foot the bill
“We are not paying for the DPRK delegation and we are not asking others to do so,” Nauert said in a statement to CBS News.
The possibility of a host country covering some of the costs wouldn’t be unprecedented. During talks leading up to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Austria helped pay for security and logistical support for the Iranians.
Mr. Trump has said the June 12 summit is likely only the beginning of talks with North Korea, suggesting he may be in this for the long haul.
“But we’re going to be — June 12th, we’ll be in Singapore,” he told reporters Friday after meeting with top North Korean official Kim Yong Chol at the White House. “It will be a beginning. I don’t say and I’ve never said it happens in one meeting. You’re talking about years of hostility; years of problems; years of, really, hatred between so many different nations. But I think you’re going to have a very positive result in the end.”