As preparations are underway for a US-North Korea summit, US officials are trying to solve the logistical issue of who will pay for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s housing, according to a new report.
A week after abruptly scrapping the summit with Kim, President Donald Trump announced Friday that the historic talks were back on for June 12 in Singapore.
With its economy weakened from tough sanctions, Pyongyang is requiring that another country pay for Kim and his delegation’s hotel bill, The Washington Post reported Friday.
According to the Post, Kim is demanding to stay at the luxury, five-star Fullerton hotel, where a presidential suite costs more than $6,000 a night.
The Post said the State Department initially declined to comment on the issue, but on Saturday spokeswoman Heather Nauert ruled out the possibility that the United States would pay for North Korea’s accommodations.
Nauert said in a statement, “We are not paying for the DPRK delegation, and we are not asking others to do so.”
Citing two people familiar with the talks, the Post reported earlier that the US is open to covering the costs, but is considering asking the host country, Singapore, to foot the bill.
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons also offered to pay for Kim’s lodging with the cash received as part of its Nobel Peace Prize ($1.1 million) it won last year “in order to support peace in the Korean Peninsula and a nuclear-weapon-free world.”
“Our movement is committed to the abolition of nuclear weapons and we recognize that this historic summit is a once in a generation opportunity to work for peace and nuclear disarmament,” ICAN International Steering Group member Akira Kawasaki said in a statement.
The Post is also reporting that the US is expected to request a waiver of sanctions from the United Nations and US Treasury Department for expenses associated with North Korea’s travel.
Trump is expected to stay at another five-star hotel, the Shangri-La, which has hosted high security events before, according to the Post.
Determining who will pay Kim’s hotel bill is one of many logistical issues still being hammered out ahead of the summit, including the aircraft Kim will use to fly to Singapore and the venue where Trump and Kim will meet, the Post reported.
The relatively secluded Capella hotel on the island of Sentosa is being considered for the site of the summit, people familiar with the talks told the Post.
CNN’s Kevin Liptak and Elise Labott contributed to this report.