The Corporate Gangs Who Could Profit From Trade With North Korea | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

The Corporate Gangs Who Could Profit From Trade With North Korea

South Koreans so far have responded with overwhelming optimism to Donald Trump’s June 12 summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Buoyed by hopes of rapprochement with their northern neighbor, about 66 percent of South Korean respondents view the summit favorably. Moreover, President Moon Jae-in, who had pressed hard for peace in the months leading up to the summit, now enjoys a 76 percent approval rating and his Democratic Party so thoroughly swept last week’s by-elections that two opposition party leaders have since resigned.

As with any restoration of relations, there are likely to be economic benefits. But one potential hazard of economic integration with North Korea, though rarely talked about in the United States, is that through premature sanctions relief and economic partnerships between Seoul and Pyongyang, the summit could vastly empower South Korea’s family-run conglomerates, or chaebol. Chaebol are authoritarian militaristic groups often led by criminals who mistreat their employees—corporate North Koreas with a thin veneer of respectability. They wield vast power in South Korean society, and their leaders are almost never punished for their crimes.