Report: US looking to discreetly pick up Kim's hotel bill in Singapore

There are several media reports, confirmed by administration officials, that the U.S. is trying to find a discreet way to pick up the hotel bill for the North Korean delegation attending the summit with Trump on June 12 in Singapore.

Daily Caller:

North Korea, a proud-yet-impoverished country, apparently needs another country to cover the costs of its supreme leader's hotel stay at The Fullerton, an expensive five-star hotel in Singapore preferred by the North Koreans, The Washington Post reported Friday, citing two people familiar with preparations.  The U.S. is reportedly trying to figure out how to discreetly pick up the tab without insulting the easily-agitated North Koreans. 

The president, on the other hand, is expected to stay at the Shangri-La during the highly-anticipated summit.

Paying Kim's hotel bill is one of several important matters being discussed by the U.S. and North Korean teams in Singapore, teams led by White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin and Kim's de facto chief of staff, Kim Chang Son.  The cost of a presidential suite at The Fullerton can run as much as $6,000 a night, reports The Post.

It is unusual that there is a need for discretion given that the North Koreans have a history of demanding that other countries foot the bill for its participation in international events.

During the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, Seoul agreed to spend $2.6 million to cover the costs of North Korea's participation – not the athletes but rather the North's massive collection of cheerleaders. 

For the first inter-Korean summit in 2000, South Korea reportedly paid North Korea $500 million to come to the table.

North Korea "constantly couples its diplomacy with demands for aid, especially cash, as though the international community has to pay for the privilege of engaging," Robert Kelly, a professor of international relations at Pusan National University in South Korea, told The Washington Post back during the Olympics.

In the past, the U.S. has given aid to North Korea simply for negotiating.  The North Koreans also demand aid when negotiating for the release of American prisoners.  Any leverage they can use, they employ to bring badly needed food and medicine into the country.

But this is different.  I think it highlights how truly desperate the North Koreans are.  With China finally joining a meaningful sanctions regime, the North is running out of hard currency, as well as starving to death.  China has cut off almost all North Korean imports, and deliveries of oil and gas have slowed to a trickle.  There are probably black-market connections between the two countries, but the Chinese are tired of the North's brinkmanship, and fear a war on the Korean peninsula would result in millions of refugees flooding into their country.

No matter the reason, Kim will come to Singapore with little leverage and a great need for U.N. sanctions to end.

There are several media reports, confirmed by administration officials, that the U.S. is trying to find a discreet way to pick up the hotel bill for the North Korean delegation attending the summit with Trump on June 12 in Singapore.

Daily Caller:

North Korea, a proud-yet-impoverished country, apparently needs another country to cover the costs of its supreme leader's hotel stay at The Fullerton, an expensive five-star hotel in Singapore preferred by the North Koreans, The Washington Post reported Friday, citing two people familiar with preparations.  The U.S. is reportedly trying to figure out how to discreetly pick up the tab without insulting the easily-agitated North Koreans. 

The president, on the other hand, is expected to stay at the Shangri-La during the highly-anticipated summit.

Paying Kim's hotel bill is one of several important matters being discussed by the U.S. and North Korean teams in Singapore, teams led by White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin and Kim's de facto chief of staff, Kim Chang Son.  The cost of a presidential suite at The Fullerton can run as much as $6,000 a night, reports The Post.

It is unusual that there is a need for discretion given that the North Koreans have a history of demanding that other countries foot the bill for its participation in international events.

During the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, Seoul agreed to spend $2.6 million to cover the costs of North Korea's participation – not the athletes but rather the North's massive collection of cheerleaders. 

For the first inter-Korean summit in 2000, South Korea reportedly paid North Korea $500 million to come to the table.

North Korea "constantly couples its diplomacy with demands for aid, especially cash, as though the international community has to pay for the privilege of engaging," Robert Kelly, a professor of international relations at Pusan National University in South Korea, told The Washington Post back during the Olympics.

In the past, the U.S. has given aid to North Korea simply for negotiating.  The North Koreans also demand aid when negotiating for the release of American prisoners.  Any leverage they can use, they employ to bring badly needed food and medicine into the country.

But this is different.  I think it highlights how truly desperate the North Koreans are.  With China finally joining a meaningful sanctions regime, the North is running out of hard currency, as well as starving to death.  China has cut off almost all North Korean imports, and deliveries of oil and gas have slowed to a trickle.  There are probably black-market connections between the two countries, but the Chinese are tired of the North's brinkmanship, and fear a war on the Korean peninsula would result in millions of refugees flooding into their country.

No matter the reason, Kim will come to Singapore with little leverage and a great need for U.N. sanctions to end.