Lee Hsien Loong

And the winner is ... : How a Southeast Asian city-state came to host the Kim-Trump summit

And the winner is ... : How a Southeast Asian city-state came to host the Kim-Trump summit

Mongolia flagged its neutrality. Sweden offered its expertise. South Korea knew a spot. In the end, President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un settled on the tiny, orderly island of Singapore to hold a historic summit on June 12 that could peel open the world’s most reclusive and threatening country.

Yes, a city-state. In Southeast Asia. With palm trees.

This tropical locale of 5.5 million people has always been an anomaly, one of the globe’s most open economies and one of its strictest societies. Its leaders built a backwater into a shiny financial capital through meritocracy — and curbs on political freedoms. A former British colony, Singapore presents itself as the...

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