The North Korean state news agency, KCNA, expressed optimism about the US – North Korean summit in Hanoi, the second summit between Trump and Kim that was abruptly ended with both sides making demands that were deal-breakers. The statement was more upbeat than comments from the Western press, and especially the US anti-Trump media outlets that continue to blame the President for all US foreign policy issues.
Trump drops a bomb on Kim, asks him to shut down a secret complex.
According to sources, the Trump team requested that North Korea shut down clandestine uranium-enrichment complexes that Pyongyang has never acknowledged, clearly catching Kim Jong-un and his team completely off balance. Trump wanted Kim to give up more on the denuclearization front and Kim wanted sanctions lifted on 5 of the 11 categories, and of course these are the five areas that inflict the most pain in the North Korean economy.
Shin Boem-chul of the Asian Institute for Policy studies said, “the ball is in the North Korean court. It has to choose between giving up nukes or living in poverty forever.” While some say that North Korea still wants to come to the table, but is unable because of the hard-liners within the Party and military, the President of South Korea was more upbeat in terms of the personal relationship developing between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump.
According to President Trump, North Korea can be a great economic power, despite some analysts calling it one of the most challenging countries in which to invest. Risks to investors remains high and many state that North Korea will need an overhaul both politically and economically.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said yesterday that the summit resulted in stronger personal ties and “meaningful progress” was made on many levels between Mr Kim and Mr Trump. More on this topic in the coming weeks.