Singapore Celebrates Trump's Birthday with Lobster and Cake

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong surprised President Donald Trump with a birthday cake during their luncheon on Monday, a day ahead of the historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

A picture of Trump smiling at the cake, decorated with fresh fruit, was shared on Twitter by Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan with the message: "Celebrating birthday, a bit early," as Trump turns 72 on Thursday.

Blowing out the cake's single candle, Trump's wish is no doubt for a good show during tomorrow's high-stakes meeting with Kim, which will mark the first time a sitting U.S. president has met with a North Korean leader. "Excitement is in the air," the president posted on Twitter after landing in Singapore on Sunday night and ahead of his meeting with Prime Minister Lee on Monday.

06_11_Trump_cake President Donald Trump blows out the candle on his birthday cake as he attends a lunch with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana in Singapore June 11, 2018. Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore/Handout via Reuters

Lee welcomed Trump for a one-on-one meeting at the Istana palace and invited the president to return to the island state on an official visit in November, an invitation Trump accepted, according to The Straits Times. The prime minister then hosted Trump and the American delegation for lunch, with a menu including Lobster bisque, beef tenderloin and ice cream, Reuters reported. “We appreciate your hospitality and professionalism and friendship...You’re my friend,” Trump told Lee, according to the news agency.

Singapore has also shown generosity towards the two leaders by offering to foot the $15 million bill for the summit. Almost half of the money was spent on security measures, but also included costs such as accommodation for the North Korean delegation at the five-star St. Regis hotel—whose 3,600 square foot presidential suite costs 13,410 Singapore dollars ($10,050) a night, according to the Singapore Business Review—and the media center. “It is our contribution to an international endeavor which is in our profound interest,” Lee told reporters on Sunday.

Trump is staying at the Shangri-la Hotel, less than half a mile away from the St. Regis, where he is expected to remain for the rest of the day ahead of the meeting on Tuesday, which will take place at the Capella hotel on Singapore's Sentosa island. Once known as the Pulau Blakang Mati, loosely translated as "island of death from behind," the island was renamed in 1972 with the malay word for "peace" and "tranquility." A fitting location for the first meeting of two leaders who, after exchanging belligent words for the best part of the past 18 months, will sit down face-to-face to discuss North Korea's nuclear disarmament. 

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has met Kim twice in the past two months, spoke to Trump on the phone on Monday. Moon too referenced Trump's birthday after the 40-minute call. "If the summit is successful, it will be a great gift not only to people around the world but also to the birthday of President Trump on June 14," he said, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.

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