Kim Jong Un 'not planning on giving up nukes' but may consider a McDonald's in North Korea

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  • According to US officials citing a CIA intelligence report, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is not planning on giving up his nuclear weapons any time soon, but is open to the idea of opening a Western hamburger franchise.
  • The CIA analysis, which was circulated in early May, comes amid preparations for President Donald Trump’s upcoming summit with Kim in Singapore on June 12, where the two leaders will meet for the first time.
  • A special adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in previously floated examples of Kim’s desire to modernise his economy through international investment, such as a McDonald’s franchise.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is not planning on giving up his nuclear weapons any time soon but is open to the idea of opening a Western hamburger franchise, according to US officials familiar with a CIA intelligence report.

“Everybody knows they are not going to denuclearize,” one intelligence official told NBC News.

Recently, a special adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in floated examples of Kim wanting to modernise his economy through international investment, such as a McDonald’s and a Trump Tower.

“They want to be a normal country, a normal state to be recognised by the United States,” Professor Moon Chung-in said during a CNN International interview.

“They want American investment coming to North Korea,” he said. “They welcome American sponsors and multilateral consortiums coming into North Korea.”

The CIA analysis, which was circulated in early May, comes amid President Donald Trump’s upcoming summit with Kim in Singapore on June 12. The meeting, if it happens, would mark the first time a sitting US president meets with a North Korean leader.

A growing consensus of foreign-policy experts have echoed the CIA’s assessment that Pyongyang is not planning on relinquishing its nuclear arms – a talking point the White House has stressed to North Korea as a precondition to easing its “maximum pressure” campaign.

Despite doubts of a denuclearized North Korea, Trump expressed optimism during the ongoing negotiations ahead of the summit.

“We have put a great team together for our talks with North Korea,” Trump said in a tweet. “Meetings are currently taking place concerning Summit, and more.”

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