North Korea’s ordinary citizens on Tuesday showed keen interest in leader Kim Jong Un’s trip to Singapore for a historic summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, despite a dearth of information on the historic event that was making headlines around the world.
At a subway station in central Pyongyang, some people were seen intently reading the latest edition of the country’s leading Rodong Sinmun newspaper posted on the wall, which reported Kim’s visit to major tourist spots in Singapore on the eve of the summit.
A passerby pointed at one of 14 photos showing Kim at Singapore’s iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel that he visited while sightseeing at night.
On a big screen in front of Pyongyang Station, the hub of North Korea’s railways, a TV announcer also reported Kim’s sightseeing excursion in a regular afternoon program. No video footage was aired, but some citizens paused to listen to the news.
While Kim’s arrival in Singapore to hold talks with Trump has been reported in the country, as of Tuesday afternoon, there was no official announcement of the summit and it appeared to be business as usual in the capital.
At a square in front of Pyongyang Station in the morning, housewives dressed in green were waving red flags to the tune of music, cheering on people going to work. Banners bearing slogans such as “Let’s unite our hearts and band together” were displayed.
A poster put up near the station showed photos of power plants and a message that read, “Let’s gather our full force to build a socialist economy and accelerate the progress of revolution!”
In a sign that North Korea is trying to improve living standards, the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported Tuesday that Kim “learned about the social and economic development” of Singapore while touring various locations there.
In the summit, Trump and Kim pledged to work toward the “complete” denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula while Washington committed to provide security guarantees to Pyongyang.