Kim Jong-un's Singapore Hotel Leaves Nothing to Chance

  • By Ahn Jun-yong

    June 14, 2018 12:25

    The luxury St Regis Hotel in Singapore refused until Wednesday to make rooms available between the 17th and 20th floors where North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his entourage stayed until Tuesday night.

    A hotel staffer said, "We cannot reserve rooms until Thursday." The aim seems to be to prevent outsiders from sniffing out physical evidence of Kim like any hair samples that may remain on the upholstery or in the plugs.

    For his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, Kim stayed at the presidential suite on the 20th floor, which measures around 335 sq.m and costs 9,639 Singapore dollars (W7.8 million) a night (US$1=W1,078). He is rumored to have brought his own toilet in order to prevent outsiders from gaining access to stool samples. 

    A presidential suite at the St. Regis Hotel in Singapore

    When Kim's sister Yo-jong visited South Korea during the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in February, the North was apparently very wary of hotel staff cleaning up the room she used.

    Kim ate his meals in his room, apparently food brought with him from Pyongyang to be on the safe side. But North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho and other officials used the hotel's restaurants.

    The most popular items at the buffet restaurant were rice, noodles and kimchi. North Korean bodyguards also used the restaurants at the hotel, but sometimes ate McDonald's.

    Some of the bodyguards had never been outside North Korea and had problems communicating with Singaporean staff. A bodyguard to Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui did not know how to operate a key card in the elevator and became embarrassed when Choe asked him, "What's wrong?"

    Most of the bodyguards stayed on the 17th floor of the hotel, where smoking is allowed. One local source said, "They may have appeared stiff, but in their rooms, they smoked freely and even drank liquor."

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