Singapore deports two South Korean media members ahead of Trump-Kim meeting | News | DW | 10.06.2018
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Singapore deports two South Korean media members ahead of Trump-Kim meeting

Security has been ramped-up on the island nation ahead of Tuesday's historic meeting. Parts of the country are in virtual lockdown as US President Trump and North Korean leader Kim prepare to meet on Tuesday.

Two members of South Korea's national broadcaster have been deported from Singapore after they were arrested for trespassing at the residence of North Korea's ambassador, police said on Sunday.

About 3,000 journalists have descended on the island country for the highly anticipated meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday.

Read more: North Korea's Kim Jong Un arrives in Singapore for historic summit

"The visit passes of the two South Korean men have been cancelled, and they have been repatriated to the Republic of Korea on 9 June 2018," police said in a statement issued Sunday afternoon, local time, shortly after Kim's arrival.

Criminal trespassing

The deportees were two men, 42 and 45, from Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) News. They were detained on Thursday and accused of criminal trespassing. The men were given a "stern warning" before being expelled from the country on Saturday.

Singapore has a reputation for its strict law enforcement, while South Korean journalists are known for their persistence.

The men were accompanied by another KBS staffer and an interpreter for the group. Both were cleared of any wrongdoing.

Police again cautioned journalists against breaking Singapore's laws, warning that any violators will "not be accredited, and thus will not be able to cover, the summit between the United States of America and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea [North Korea]."

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Very tight security

Singapore has engineered a massive security operation in the run-up to the meeting. Parts of the island nation are in virtual lockdown.

Also on Sunday, Home Minister K. Shanmugam told journalists that other people had been denied entry into Singapore.

Shanmugam said a handful of others have also been denied entry into the country in recent days on security grounds, including one man who had search "suicide bombing" on his mobile phone.

In 2015, Singaporean police shot dead a man after he tried to crash through a security barrier near the Shangri-La Hotel, where then-US defense secretary Ashton Carter was attending a security summit. Police subsequently found drugs inside the man's car and authorities ruled out terrorism.

The price tag on the Trump-Kim meeting will cost about S$20 million ($15 million USD, €12.7million). Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told local journalists that much of the cost is tied to security efforts for the highest profile meeting the city-state has ever hosted.

Read more: Background to the Trump-Kim meeting

bik/amp (AFP, Reuters)

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