TOKYO – While raising hopes for denuclearization, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's new focus on diplomacy could be a godsend for his generals.
Kim's thinking on how his military fits in to his plans to foster detente on the Korean Peninsula and negotiate security guarantees may become clearer when he sits down with President Donald Trump next week in Singapore.
But one thing is clear. Kim cannot survive without his loyal troops. His strategy will strongly reflect their interests — and that includes the ability to make money.
Virtually every part of the North Korean economy has the military's fingerprints on it, from growing food to fixing roads to running mines. So if Kim's charm offensive succeeds in depleting support for sanctions, his generals could win big.