Trump: No Economic Future for Nuclear-Armed North Korea

'Brilliant future' depends on denuclearization

During last week’s Hanoi Summit, President Trump promised big things for the economic future of North Korea if they reached a deal, suggesting they could be as wealthy as Vietnam in short order if they denuclearize. Analysts also talked up the merits of liberalizing their frankly disastrous economy in luring outside investment.

But the Hanoi talks ended without a deal, and now Trump is warning that North Korea has no economic future at all until they agree to give up their nuclear weapons. He added that there is an “incredible, brilliant future” to be had, but only if they make a deal.

How dependent North Korea’s future is on giving in to US demands isn’t entirely clear though. Diplomatic rapprochement elsewhere in the world is still to be had, and while the US is slowing the pace of things like normalization with South Korea, they probably can’t stop it entirely.

Most of the US-North Korea split at this point also isn’t about denuclearization so much as specific timing, with President Trump insisting that there is “no rush,” but North Korea wanting to see at least some return on their investment somewhere along the line.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.