The Week in Numbers: First Inter-Korean Summit In 10 years

North Korean leader, Kim Jung Un and South Korean president met on Friday in what was the first inter-Korean summit in more than 10 years. The previous summits were held in 2000 and 2007 in Pyongyang. Since this is the first time that an Inter-Korean summit was held in the south, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has also become the first North Korean leader to step foot on South Korean soil since the end of the 1950-53 Korean war, around 65 years ago.

During the meeting, the pair talked about bringing a formal end to the Korean war, denuclearisation and reunification of the Korean Peninsula.

Malaysia plans to double Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s capacity in the next 10-20 years from 75 million to 150 million passengers. The move is prepare KLIA for the growth of around 2.1 billion passengers expected in the Asia Pacific region over the next two decades. Malaysia’s tourism board is targeting foreign visitor arrival to reach 36 million by 2020, a 39 percent increase from 2017.

Meanwhile, Changi airport handled 5.56 million passengers in March, an 8.7% increase from the same period last year. There were 5.4% more aircraft movements with 32,590 landings and takeoffs. Cargo Shipments, however, dipped slightly by 0.6% to 187,550 tonnes.

Over the first quarter of 2018, aircraft movements increased 4.7% to 94,770 landings and takeoffs. Airfreight movements grew 3.6% to 512,080 tonnes. First quarter traffic increased to 15.8 million passengers, a 5% increase year-on-year.

The consumer price index in Singapore edged up 0.2% in March from a year ago. The month’s figures was below February’s 0.5% rise and the forecast of 0.5% by economists. Services inflation slowed to 1.4%, down from 1.9% the previous month. Cost of private road transport declined 0.6% in March, a reversal of the 0.6% increase seen in February. Food inflation came in at 1.4% in March, slightly below February’s 1.5% increase. Core inflation, which excludes accommodation and private road transport costs (to better gauge daily expenses) came in at 1.5% in March, down from 1.7% in February.

Meanwhile, Japan’s exports rose 2.1% in March on a yearly basis, below economist’s forecast of 4.7%. The slower growth was mostly due to a strong yen (the yen was 6.3% higher than the US dollar from a month ago) hindering the country’s export growth. The trade surplus with the United States narrowed by 0.2% to 623.1 billion yen (S$7.6 billion) last month.

In volume terms, Japan’s exports rose 1.8% last month from a year ago, a reversal of the 2.1% decline in February. Japan’s exports to China surged 10.8% last month compared to last year, improving strongly from the 9.7% decline in February.

Singapore’s well-loved polar bear, Inuka, died on Wednesday surrounded by keepers, past and present who had cared for him. Inuka lived to a ripe old age of 27 years. In comparison, polar bears in the wild typically live between 15-18 years, while those in human care often live to around 25 years.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Jeremy Chia doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.