Has this article been updated? Is that why we see the word ‘TRUMP’ in the headline? http://www.themontrealreview.com/2009/Rare-Earth-Metals-North-Korea-New-Trump-Card.php
Is there really 6 or 10 trillion dollars in Kim’s jar?
I’d estimate he / his family would have at least that much. The game Kimmy play, is one that requires an exit plan — and with a few billion in the kitty, he could escape to pretty much anywhere and remain snug as a portly bug in rug.
As for REE — they’re hard to mine (radioactive byproducts; disparately located) and mines required many an environmental hoop to be jumped through in order to received [western] mandate (the reason why the U.S. imprudently dumped all its REE needs in China’s lap). In North Korea, they can mine anywhere; throw the radioactive waste anywhere (perhaps even use it for fissile material… /!\); as well as having access to as much free, expendable labour as they can round up from around the dystopia’s cannibal rife countrysides.
North Korea are no operating on the level playing field, when it comes to REE… In fact, this likely has a little more than a passing relationship with the blowhard bluster concerning the region today.
‘The Middle East has its oil; China has rare earth.’
—Deng Xiaoping (c.1992)
I wonder if there are reliable studies correlating a verified nuclear arsenal and economic leverage? Do you think nations pursue these weapons, in part to acquire the leverage and autonomy necessary for domestic growth? I don’t know but I’d surprise if there were no connection.