June 10, 2018 / 10:13 AM / 6 months ago

Singapore-North Korea trade can grow if sanctions lifted: PM Lee

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visits a media center for the summit between the U.S and North Korea, in Singapore, June 10, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Trade between Singapore and North Korea could grow if U.N. sanctions against it are lifted, the city-state’s prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, said on Sunday, as his country prepared to host a historic U.S.- North Korea summit.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un landed in Singapore on Sunday for a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, which could end a nuclear stand-off between the old foes and transform secretive, impoverished North Korea.

Trump is due to arrive later on Sunday.

Singapore, which was North Korea’s seventh largest trading partner, suspended trade relations with it last year amid surging tension over its nuclear and missile programs.

“Of course, if there is an agreement, there is progress, the sanctions are lifted, I expect our trade will grow,” Lee said in remarks posted on the Straits Times newspaper’s website.

“And we used to have some trade with them, so there is some potential but it will take some time,” he said.

Lee is due to met Kim later on Sunday and Trump on Monday.

Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Robert Birsel

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