Trump Says North Korea Could ‘Thrive Like Vietnam’ After Denuclearization

Morgan Stanley sees investment opportunities during liberalization

Speaking Wednesday at the Hanoi summit, President Trump declared North Korea to have “awesome” potential for growth, saying they could enjoy a level of prosperity rivaling Vietnam if they successfully denuclearize.

Trump said Vietnam, which is hosting the summit, is “thriving like few places on earth,” and that North Korea could have the same results “very quickly.” That’s a tall order, but Trump doesn’t appear to be alone in thinking that.

Morgan Stanley has issued a research statement, saying that with a gradual Vietnam-style liberalization, would produce a $9 billion per year investment opportunity. This would come in two primary forms, cheap labor and transportation.

The bank said that North Korea’s 18 million potential workers could expect to be had at a lower hourly wage than Vietnam’s and would be a big source of low-cost labor. Potentially even more importantly, rail links from South Korea through North Korea and into China and Russia could provide overland trade connectivity from South Korea all the way to Europe.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of