Kim Jong-un may need to make a deal with Donald Trump, several analysts told the New York Times for a new report published Saturday night.
The report says that Jong-un is not happy to see his regime struggle under sanctions, and that he hopes to create rapid economic growth to improve living conditions in his regime.
“Still, his apparent willingness to continue diplomatic efforts does suggest that Mr. Kim, 34, may be under pressure to satisfy rising expectations in North Korea for economic gains and shake off the painful grip of sanctions,” the story says.
The story points out that Jong-un’s decision to react in a conciliatory way to Trump’s abrupt cancelation of the June 12 summit in Singapore.
“North Korea can still survive under sanctions, especially if China helps it,” analyst Shin Beom-chul, a senior fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul told the Times. “But as long as sanctions are there, Kim Jong-un can never deliver the kind of rapid economic growth he has promised for his people.”
That goes double for the elites, who may be chafing under sanctions, said Scott Seaman, a Korea analyst.
“This is a guy who goes to sleep at night not knowing whether he’s going to wake up,” Seaman said.
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