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Summit: A PR coup for tiny city-state

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FILE PHOTO: Tourists pose for photos with the Marina Bay Sands and the Merlion statue (unseen) at a popular tourist spot along Marina Bay in Singapore July 24, 2015. REUTERS/Edgar Su

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – As images of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un strolling by revellers at a rooftop bar the night before an unprecedented meeting with President Donald Trump circulated around social media sites, US citizens started asking: ‘Where is Singapore?’.

‘Singapore’, the tiny Southeast Asian city-state that played host to nuclear talks earlier this week, was the most searched term on internet search engine Google in the US on Monday with over 2 million hits.

Related searches during those 24 hours included ‘Where is Singapore’, ‘Singapore summit’ and ‘time in Singapore’.

Blanket media coverage on Monday included Kim’s surprise tour of the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel and its surrounding gardens, and the first hours of the meeting with Trump in the resort island of Sentosa.

Singapore said it spent S$20 million ($15 million) on the summit, a figure that drew the ire of some citizens. However, marketing experts say the coverage generated from the event could be worth more than 10 times that.

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