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Preparations underway for historic summit at likely venues

SINGAPORE — Throughout Thursday (June 7), there were signs of activity at the three likely venues involved in the historic talks between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Preparations underway for historic summit at likely venues

There were signs of activity at the three likely venues involved in the historic talks between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

SINGAPORE — Throughout Thursday (June 7), there were signs of activity at the three likely venues involved in the historic talks between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

At St Regis Hotel, where Mr Kim is rumoured to be putting up, more than 30 Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers in plain clothes were locked in a lengthy discussion at the lobby around noon, while at least three portable closed circuit television (CCTV) camera systems could be seen being placed around the hotel.

When approached by TODAY, an officer confirmed that they are from SCDF, but declined to comment on whether the hotel — which has previously hosted high-level Chinese delegations including former Chinese president Hu Jintao and current president Xi Jinping — is involved in the upcoming summit.

Over at Shangri-La Hotel, a venue traditionally favoured by American presidents, a large section of its car park had been cordoned off from June 4 to 15. Several huge white tents, with air-conditioning, had been set up inside, with designated eating and resting areas.

Meanwhile, summit venue Capella Hotel on Sentosa has been closed to non-guests, with a growing group of foreign journalists staking outside.

From Tuesday to next Sunday, public access to the Capella Hotel has been closed, in preparation for the Trump-Kim summit that will be held next Tuesday. A security guard at hotel’s only entrance via Artillery Avenue turned away members of the public and journalists, allowing only authorised vehicles to enter.

Summit venue Capella Hotel on Sentosa has been closed to non-guests, with a growing group of foreign journalists staking outside. Photo: Justin Ong/TODAY

When TODAY briefly visited the hotel’s premises on Thursday afternoon, there were no visible signs or banners announcing that the historic summit was slated to take place there. A few guests were waiting at the hotel lobby and reception, and maintenance work was being done at the side of the building.

Besides private vehicles, a number of marked vehicles, including police cars and vans, a utility vehicle from SP Group, and a lorry owned by TKH Singapore, could be observed entering and leaving the hotel grounds. TKH Singapore is a company rendering services such as festival lighting and external power supply.

Shortly before 1pm, a truck carrying three portable CCTV systems entered. They were subsequently installed along The Knolls, the road connecting Artillery Avenue to Capella Hotel.

A group of press corps, including reporters from France and South Korea, could also be seen camped out by the curbside along Artillery Avenue capturing the comings and goings.

Speaking to TODAY, a reporter from South Korean news agency Yonhap, who declined to give his name, said he had been staking out at the hotel for more than an hour. He had flown in from Jakarta, where he is based, on June 2, and had been “everywhere relating to this event”.

Mr Pierre Francois, a reporter from TF1, a national French TV channel, said he was there because the Singapore Summit is news that concerns the world.

“If (the summit) ends well, that means that it’s peace and not war, and it can be a historical moment. That’s why everyone cares about this in France, we are all looking at peace around the world,” Mr Francois said.

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