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What could Kim Jong-un take away from his night stroll around Singapore? Updated: 2018-06-14 18:03:15 KST

In 2015, Singapore hosted a summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwan's then-leader Ma Yingjeou.
Now it's hosted another meeting that'll go down in history -- the first-ever face-to-face between a North Korean leader and a sitting American president.

On the night before the summit, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un took a tour around some of Singapore's most iconic attractions -- the Gardens by the Bay, the Marina Bay Sands, and the Skypark Hotel.
Kim's nighttime stroll on Monday resembled his right-hand man Kim yong-chol's trip to New York, where U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo showed him the skyscrapers outside the window.
It was to send the message that economic prosperity is Pyongyang's to gain if it gives up its nuclear weapons.

"The significance of it of course is to see what it means to develop tourism industry, what it means to develop hospitality industry, what it means to develop basically infrastructure and the center of the city that can serve as a hub and iconic attraction to the rest of the world. And I think that message was not lost on somebody like Kim Jong-un."

"I think the more important is not Kim Jong-un, but people accompanying him -- delegations, North Korean media people as well as the security people. Those people have not experienced the images of economic development and they saw it. And also we know that North Korea's Rodong Sinmun published these photos so that would create additional exposure of outside world to people in North Korea."

According to Pyongyang's Rodong Sinmun newspaper, Kim has said he hopes to learn from Singapore in various ways.
In what aspects would the North Korean leader be able to relate to the prosperous Southeast Asian country?

"One of the most distinguishing aspect of Singaporean economic development is that it generated hugely successful economic development while it's ruling party, the People's Action Party, has maintained their political dominance for decades. So although there are important differences in innstitution, political economy, regional security, environment, I'm sure there are important insights Kim can take away."

"It's was Kim's first trip abroad other than China. All eyes on what impression he got from his visit to Singapore and how that will impact his thoughts on developing the North's economic and making Pyongyang a less reclusive regime. Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News, Singapore."
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