US President Donald Trump met Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, on two occasions. The first was the historic summit in Singapore in June last year when both parted on a positive note with Kim agreeing for denuclearization.

However, the next follow-up summit in Hanoi did not deliver the goods. It should have laid down a roadmap for the future so Pyongyang could implement the all-important denuclearization.

However, Kim chose to assign priority to the lifting sanctions because it was hurting the economy of North Korea. The result was a failed experiment.

The Straits Times reports Kim Jong-un insisted on relaxing the sanctions. Donald Trump painted a rosy picture of a North Korea that could bask in the glory of foreign investment if it agreed to denuclearization. However, Kim remained unmoved because to him.

his arsenal of nuclear weapons is “the regime's so-called treasured sword.” He values his nuclear deterrent more than the possible investment opportunities.

Kim Jong-un wants his own terms

North Korea is today one of the world's poorest countries hemmed in by powerful neighbors in the form of China, Japan, and South Korea. It is obvious that Kim Jong-un would like to emulate nations that are more affluent but he wants to do it on his own terms.

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He knows that he has acquired nuclear powers and will not surrender them easily. US National Security Adviser John Bolton said last week that Kim’s regime could have a "bright economic future" if it agreed to denuclearization, otherwise it may have to face tighter sanctions.

Moon Jae-in, president of South Korea had hoped for progress on a couple of inter-Korean projects that were frozen.

The Straits Times says one of these was a mountain resort, the other a joint factory park in the North Korean border city of Gaeseong operated by South Korean firms. It was a symbol of economic cooperation for a unified Korea but closed because of political unrest. The Hanoi summit did not address these issues.

Donald Trump must draw up new strategies

According to Bloomberg, President Donald Trump tried to convince Kim Jong-un about the positives of calling an end to his nuclear ambitions.

Trump explained denuclearization would mean an end to sanctions and will open up possibilities of foreign investment. That, in turn, will lay the groundwork for all-round development. However, recently released satellite imageries suggest that Kim believes his nuclear strength is more valuable than the investment opportunities on offer. Hence, the US is back to square one and will have to come up with a proposal that will be more appealing to the leader of North Korea.

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