Singapore, June 5: US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who will be meeting in Singapore later this month for the highly-anticipated historical summit, will be guarded by the Gurkhas – the elite warrior tribesman of Nepal, according to a Reuters report.
While the two leaders will be protected by their personal security personnel, the Singapore Police, including its Gurkha Contingent, will be securing the Shangri-La Hotel – where the summit is likely to take place – along with roads and other hotels.
During the weekend, the Gurkhas were present in large numbers at the Shangri-La Hotel where a security conference was being held that included Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other regional ministers.
Their deployment at the security conference is believed as a dry run for the Trump-Kim Jong summit. The Gurkhas were seen equipped with body armor, Belgian-made FN SCAR combat assault rifles and pistols in leg holsters.
Despite being replete with the modern-day warfare, Gurkhas do not prepare for battle without the Khukri – their traditional weapon which is a heavy curved knife.
“They are among the best Singapore can offer, and I am sure they will be involved (in the summit),” Tim Huxley, an expert on Singapore’s armed forces at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), was quoted by Reuters as saying.
“They remain very much a substantial and frontline force, and the demands of this kind of event are precisely the sort of special operation that the Gurkhas are trained to handle,” he added.
An essential part of the Singapore Police, Gurkhas have been linked to a British tradition that has recruited and paid for elite regiments of soldiers from Nepal for the last 200 years.