The Singapore Summit is Over. Let the Bribery Begin.
The June 12 Singapore summit seems to have ended with an outcome satisfying to both leaders. President Trump had the chance to look like a statesman and peacemaker (even as critics bemoan the concluding agreement’s resemblance to past statements.) Kim Jong Un was able to present himself as a global player on par with the leader of the world’s most powerful nation – and apparently without giving away much in return.
If history is any indication, though, Pyongyang is highly unlikely to leave it at that.
What might Kim want in exchange for good behavior – more than sanctions relief, international legitimacy, or a White House state dinner? The answer, judging by experience, is simple: money. Pyongyang may financially extort the United States or its allies for “aid” in the form of money transfers, so that Trump can continue to claim credit for “solving” North Korea. And if Trump stops paying, North Korea has many tools at its disposal to hurt Trump’s chances of reelection.