SINGAPORE: While the Trump-Kim summit on June 12 will be closely followed by the South Korean community here, their anticipation and excitement is not matched by Americans living in Singapore, as most are generally indifferent to the visit by United States President Donald Trump.
Many of the American residents here whom TODAY approached were cautious about speaking to the media, with a number declaring that they had “nothing to say” on the topic. This was in stark contrast to the South Koreans’ optimism and enthusiasm for the historic summit between the two countries.
Those who spoke were interested in the outcome of the talks, but some were also sceptical about whether the talks would lead to the denuclearisation of North Korea.
While the summit has been lauded as an opportunity to help move the peace process forward, American Nikki Draper, 55, a senior lecturer at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, is “not convinced” by Trump’s handling of international issues. She feels that Trump is the wrong person for the job, and that he may inadvertently make things worse.
“He’s not shown himself to be deeply understanding of issues… but somebody who’s (full) of ego… It feels like a great opportunity, and we’re sending in the B team,” she said.
An American expatriate, who declined to be named, feels that the Trump-Kim summit is merely a “ratings” platform for the US President. He added: “I am not a fan at all of Trump, and he is doing this to get the validation and recognition he desperately wants.”
Aaron Akins, 39, a commercial manager in the oil and gas industry, said that while the negotiations could have a positive short term impact, the North Korean regime has a history of having “repeatedly broken their promises to the international community”.
However, he conceded that “almost any outcome is possible” due to the unpredictability of the two leaders involved, as he added that it should be “pretty suspenseful to watch”.
A US citizen who only wanted to be known as Joyce, also said she is interested to see what would happen.
She said: “With Trump’s background as a successful businessman, this could serve to his advantage if he sees the meeting as a business deal. “(But) If the world expects him to negotiate as a politician, he will disappoint because he does not prioritise placating people.”
While not a fan of Trump, American Lauri Jayaraman, 45, said she is still proud that such a significant event is being held in her country of residence.
“Nobody thinks Trump is cool… But it’s really neat that a monumental event is happening here... I’m hopeful that something really great could come out of this,” she said.
Outside of the summit, there appears to be little effort to organise any related activities to get the American community together.
When contacted, the American Association of Singapore said it will not be involved in any activities, while the United States Embassy and American Chamber of Commerce also said there were no official programmes planned as of now. – TODAY ONLINE
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