That could be a signal that Trump will use the easing of economic sanctions as a lever in this week’s talks, said Anwita Basu, country risk service manager for Asia at the Economic Intelligent Unit’s (EIU), who added that it would be something that North Korea will also push for.
“The EIU expects President Trump to build upon this context by offering economic sweeteners which will include some easing of sanctions against the hermit state, in exchange for a credible plan towards disarming the country of its nuclear weapons,” she said.
In fact, economic ties are “much more efficient” in solving conflicts than sanctions, according to a report by the Lowy Institute, a think tank based in Australia.
“A more prosperous North Korea will be the best-case scenario for the peace process in the Korean Peninsula. And as a rule of thumb, it is always much harder to negotiate with someone who has nothing to lose,” the report said.
Kim will likely “not really giving up anything” while also making “clear demands for the United States to give up things very much in the present” — such as military exercises, troop deployments and current sanctions on the rogue state, said Victor Cha, Korea chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, at a discussion in Washington last week.