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SENTOSA ISLAND, Singapore — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Singapore early Sunday ahead of an unprecedented summit with President Donald Trump.
Kim arrived at Singapore’s Changi Airport wearing his trademark dark Maoist suit and distinctive high cut hairstyle.
He was greeted by Singapore’s foreign minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, who posted a picture on Twitter of him shaking hands with Kim and the message: “Welcomed Chairman Kim Jong Un, who has just arrived in Singapore.”
This is the furthest Kim has traveled since he became leader in 2011, meaning North Korean officials have little to no experience of preparing for diplomatic trips to other nations where they may be vulnerable to hacking, surveillance or even attack.
Despite Singapore’s strict laws and ubiquitous surveillance, the North Korean delegation are not taking any chances when it comes to security.
Four black armored BMWs, on loan from Singapore’s government, were on standby at Changi airport in Singapore on Sunday, while Kim’s limousine was reportedly being flown over for the duration of his visit.
Refrigerator trucks were also at the ready, reportedly to transport food flown over from North Korea for its delegation. Chae Kyou-chir, chief executive of Top Guard, a prominent South Korean security and protection firm said the North Korean leader is likely to be served food prepared by a traveling chef.
Kim is due to stay at the St. Regis hotel in Singapore as neither the North Korean embassy, nor the ambassador’s residence, were reportedly suitable to accommodate the North’s leader. An advance team of officials have reportedly been at the hotel since Saturday.
Experts said that the security measures will likely surpass those seen in April for the inter-Korean summit, where 12 lanky male bodyguards jogged alongside Kim’s Mercedes-Benz vehicle whenever the North Korean leader moved across the border.
The U.S. delegation, en route from the G-7 meeting in Canada, will arrive later Sunday, and Trump is set to meet with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Officials onboard Air Force One include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
Trump said Saturday that the historic summit represents a “one-time shot” for Kim to show he’s serious about nuclear disarmament.