US triggers sniggers by describing Singapore as part of Malaysia
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Lumpured together

US triggers sniggers by describing Singapore as part of Malaysia

State Department ridiculed for posting transcript of US secretary of state's press briefing at a hotel in 'Singapore, Malaysia'

Zach Wen, 34, co-founder of Harmony Nasi Lemak, poses in front of an advertisement  showing cartoon caricatures of US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, supposedly the inspiration behind a local dish, the "Trump-Kim Chi Nasi Lemak," in Singapore, on June 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
Zach Wen, 34, co-founder of Harmony Nasi Lemak, poses in front of an advertisement showing cartoon caricatures of US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, supposedly the inspiration behind a local dish, the "Trump-Kim Chi Nasi Lemak," in Singapore, on June 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

SINGAPORE — As the US prepared for a summit some hoped may bring peace to the long-divided Korean peninsula, Washington accidentally hinted at another unlikely reunion by listing Singapore as part of Malaysia.

The US State Department published on its website remarks made Monday by top diplomat Mike Pompeo ahead of the historic meeting, in a post initially stating they were delivered at a hotel in “Singapore, Malaysia.”

The wealthy financial hub and its larger neighbor were part of the same country for two years between 1963 and 1965, until Singapore was expelled over ethnic divisions with Malaysia, and they have been separate nations ever since.

The slip-up was quickly corrected after it started to go viral, but not before triggering online sniggers, with one Facebook user lamenting, “To the average American, the world is America.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo waits for President Donald Trump’s press conference to start after the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island in Singapore, June 12, 2018 (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

People from both countries, whose histories have been marked by constant bickering and diplomatic flare-ups, were put out by the suggestion that they may still be one and the same nation.

One commentator posted that the remark was “definitely a bigger let down for Singapore and Singaporeans,” while a Malaysian angrily posted on Facebook that there should be no mix-up as Malaysia was “more famous” than the city-state.

Pompeo’s comments came ahead of Tuesday’s meeting in Singapore between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which focused on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

North and South Korea were divided by the US and Soviet Union in the closing days of World War II.

Trump and Kim have hailed their summit as a breakthrough in relations between Cold War foes, but an agreement they produced was short on details about the key issue of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons.

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