N Korea-US ties to feature in Dialogue
Officials at the Shangri-La Dialogue will also discuss the Sino-US trade war
At this time last year, Singapore was beginning to prepare for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's visit to meet US President Donald Trump, here on June 12.
Some headway was made in Singapore and a second summit took place in Hanoi this February, but the impasse could not be broken between the two leaders on North Korea's denuclearisation and the lifting of sanctions imposed by Washington.
Now, as the first anniversary of the Singapore summit approaches, the stalemate continues.
At this year's Shangri-La Dialogue starting today, the state of ties between Washington and Pyongyang will likely figure in discussions during the second plenary session on Korean Security tomorrow.
South Korea's Defence Minister Jeong Kyeong Doo, Japanese counterpart Takeshi Iwaya and the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, will share their views on this issue.
The US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun will have a discussion on the sidelines with Mr Lee Do-hoon, South Korea's Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs, and Mr Kenji Kanasugi, Japan's Director-General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs, on how the three countries can coordinate their efforts to ensure Pyongyang eliminates its nuclear weapons.
Observers will also be hoping for more clarity over the trajectory of the Sino-US relationship at the three-day dialogue at the Shangri-La Hotel.
Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe and US Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan will address plenary sessions on regional security and confidence building measures, with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong emphasising the importance of stable and constructive ties between the two superpowers.
The dialogue comes at a time of heightened trade tensions between Washington and Beijing, which have upended export- and import-led growth calculations for several other economies and are beginning to influence the future direction of their relationships with the US and China as well.
During his keynote address today, PM Lee is expected to highlight the role Singapore and other small states could play in bolstering the world order.
Several other issues will be taken up during the six plenary sessions at the dialogue, focusing on Asia's evolving security order, preventing conflicts in contested domains and ensuring a resilient and stable region.
This year's dialogue will see 33 ministerial-level delegates and over 30 Chiefs of Defence Forces and senior defence officials, a statement from Singapore's Ministry of Defence said yesterday.
President Halimah Yacob will host delegates to a dinner at the Istana tomorrow, it added.
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Road blocks, tighter checks near Shangri-La Dialogue location
The Shangri-La Dialogue starting today is a high security event, and the police released a traffic and security advisory yesterday indicating there will be road blocks and tighter checks at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore and the general vicinity from today to Sunday.
Motorists are advised to avoid the roads near Shangri-La Hotel, especially Anderson Road and Orange Grove Road, and they should be prepared for slow-moving traffic.
Those who are heading to Stevens Road from Tanglin Road, Orchard Road from Stevens Road or Balmoral Road should go by Scotts Road instead.
Also, vehicular traffic in Ardmore Park in the direction of Draycott Drive was reversed from 11pm yesterday and this will continue until 5pm on Sunday to facilitate security arrangements for the dialogue.
Vehicles will not be allowed to turn into Ardmore Park from Anderson Road.
Those heading to Ardmore Park should use Draycott Park or Draycott Drive instead.
Visitors to the hotel are advised to take public transport or carpool as parking facilities at the hotel will be limited.
Police warned that parking restrictions will be strictly enforced and vehicles found to have been parked indiscriminately will be towed.
With the road blocks and security checks, the public are advised to comply fully with the instructions of the police at designated checkpoints. During the period, aerial activities, such as the flying of drones or kites, or hoisting of captive balloons, in the area are discouraged.
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