- The legendary investor and Democratic megadonor George Soros spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday.
- Soros said the US’s unwillingness to recognise North Korea as a nuclear power was setting the two countries on a “course toward nuclear war.”
- Soros also accused President Donald Trump of trying to create a “mafia state” similar to Russia.
George Soros on Thursday said the Trump administration’s refusal to accept North Korea’s nuclear capabilities was putting the countries on a path toward nuclear war.
In a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Soros said that for the US to avoid nuclear war, President Donald Trump and other leaders should accept North Korea as a nuclear power.
“The threat of nuclear war is so horrendous that we are inclined to ignore it, but it is real,” Soros said, according to a text of his prepared remarks. “Indeed, the United States is set on a course toward nuclear war by refusing to accept that North Korea has become a nuclear power.”
Soros, a longtime Democratic megadonor and hedge fund manager, said the US’s concerns about North Korea’s nuclear capability was cultivating a vicious circle that was pushing the two countries toward conflict.
“This creates a strong incentive for North Korea to develop its nuclear capacity with all possible speed, which in turn may induce the United States to use its nuclear superiority preemptively – in effect, to start a nuclear war in order to prevent nuclear war, an obviously self-contradictory strategy,” he said.
The only solution, Soros said, is for the US to recognise North Korea as a nuclear power and align with China, Japan, and South Korea to establish an agreement to prevent a war.
In addition to the threat of nuclear war, Soros expressed concerns about the Trump administration and the populist sentiments the president espouses.
“Clearly, I consider the Trump administration a danger to the world, but I regard it as a purely temporary phenomenon that will disappear in 2020 or even sooner,” Soros said. “I give President Trump credit for motivating his core supporters brilliantly – but for every core supporter, he has created a greater number of core opponents who are equally strongly motivated. That is why I expect a Democratic landslide in 2018.”
Soros compared Trump’s moves in the US to Vladimir Putin’s in Russia.
“I find the current moment in history rather painful,” he said. “Open societies are in crisis, and various forms of dictatorships and mafia states, exemplified by Putin’s Russia, are on the rise.”
He added: “In the United States, President Trump would like to establish a mafia state, but he can’t, because the Constitution, other institutions, and a vibrant civil society won’t allow it.”
Soros said that, in addition to Democratic victories in elections this year, a goal of his was to reestablish a functioning two-party system to uphold US institutions.
“Open society will always have its enemies,” Soros said, “and each generation has to reaffirm its commitment to open society for it to survive.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.