North Korea 'Essentially Bankrupt': Expert Explains Why Kim Jong Un Willing to Meet With Trump
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An expert on North Korea joined Tucker Carlson to react to the news that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un extended an invitation to meet with President Trump, which has been accepted.
The historic meeting will take place by May, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will also have a meeting with Kim, who claimed to be "committed to denuclearization," according to South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong.
"He (Kim) pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear missile tests," Chung said, adding that Trump's "leadership" and "maximum pressure" brought us to this juncture.
On "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Director of Defense Studies at the Center for the National Interest Harry Kazianis pointed out that the South Korean press has reported in recent weeks that the Hermit Kingdom is on the edge of financial bankruptcy, which could help explain why Kim is ready to talk.Article continues below
"By October, their foreign exchange reserves are probably going to be exhausted and their dollar reserves are going to be exhausted. So that means North Korea is essentially bankrupt," Kazianis said. "You can't build a lot of nuclear weapons and a lot of missiles when you have no money to do it."
He acknowledged that North Korea may simply be trying to buy time while they continue to develop their nuclear weapons program, but he believes Kim's "newfound pragmatism" may be a better explanation.
Kazianis said Trump should throw the "Hail Mary" and meet with Kim, but the U.S. must not offer any bribes or incentives, because the North Koreans have asked for those in the past as a condition for coming to the negotiation table.
"Time is against them. Their economy is a disaster," Kazianis said, noting that North Korea's economy is worth approximately $14 billion, compared to South Korea's $1.2 trillion. "Someday the North Korean state will collapse. And I think Kim realizes this. So this may be a historic moment. ... So I think Trump has to explore it."
Watch more from Kazianis above, including an explanation of the "astronomical" effects of a reunified Korea.