Tue, Jun 05, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Nobel-winning anti-nuclear group offers to pay for summit in Singapore


The Fullerton Hotel stands beyond Esplanade Drive in Singapore’s central business district on Sunday.

Photo: Bloomberg

The Nobel Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has offered to pay for the cost of the historic summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump, including the hotel bill for Kim.

The offer comes after a media report that the cash-strapped North might have trouble bearing the cost of its leader’s stay in Singapore and the large delegation of security and support staff for the meeting scheduled for Tuesday next week.

ICAN, which won last year’s Nobel Peace Prize, said that it was willing to use its prize money to pay for any accommodation or meeting space needed to make the summit a success.

“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,” ICAN vice chair Akira Kawasaki said.

“This is a historic meeting, and once in a generation opportunity” to help establish a world free of the threat of nuclear weapons,” Kawasaki said by telephone from Tokyo.

Kawasaki heads the Tokyo-based Peace Boat, one of ICAN’s 10 international steering groups.

“It’s not about paying for luxury rooms for the leader of the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] or anyone, that’s not our intention,” Kawasaki said.

The Fullerton was North Korea’s lodging of choice, the Washington Post has reported. The presidential suite might set the government back by at least S$8,000 (US$6,000) a night, it said.

Kim Jong-un’s trip to Singapore, which would be the furthest he will have travelled as leader, poses logistical challenges such as the likely use of Soviet-era aircraft to carry him and his limousine, as well as dozens of security and other staff.

Singapore has said it would bear the cost of the summit to do its part to ensure a successful meeting.

The Nobel Prize award differs from year to year, and last year, the prestigious prize was set at 9 million Swedish kron0r (US$1.02 million at the current exchange rate).

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