Recent reports, most notably by Quartz.com, are pointing to speculation that casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, a friend of President Donald Trump, is interested in opening a casino in North Korea.
The reasoning behind this story gaining traction and the concept of a country with the militaristic stigma that North Korea and its leader maintain building such a grandiose establishment is mainly in service to a vision of a peaceful future for the country.
As part of his heavily publicized meetings with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, President Trump attempted to instill a vision of the country as a vacation destination.
This purportedly a way of talking the country down from its military aggression and looking towards a more peaceful future with less threat of nuclear activity.
As part of a presentation that included this fake movie trailer as promotional material aimed at convincing Kim to open his country to the rest of the world, Trump aimed to push the economic promise of North Korea and the glory that Kim could receive as a historical figure.
“As an example they have great beaches. You see that whenever they’re exploding their cannons into the ocean. I said, boy, look at that view. Wouldn’t that make a great condo? And I explained, I said, you know, instead of doing that you could have the best hotels in the world right there.”
Secretary of state Mike Pompeo visited North Korea over the weekend to continue discussing the denuclearization of the country. Despite being criticized he claimed that both he and President Trump believe North Korea could follow the path of Vietnam towards economic prosperity that began in 1995.
“In light of the once-unimaginable prosperity and partnership we have with Vietnam today, I have a message for chairman Kim Jong Un: President Trump believes your country can replicate this path.”
Speaking at a charity event in Israel over the weekend, Adelson, a veteran of the Korean War said that he hoped Trump would get “North and South Korea to finish the war” so that he could return to the country under better circumstances to “open up [his] business.”
This falls far short of any kind of official announcement of groundbreaking, but there were additional reports leading up to the summit that Korea had asked for help building a casino resort on the Wonsan-Kalma coast.
That resort is planned to be completed by April 15 of next year and whether or not the casino will be part of those plans or not remains to be seen. It’s purely speculation with a few hints perhaps pointing that way.
Adelson, CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation, is worth over 40 billion dollars per reports and obviously would be an ideal choice to provide a first-rate casino option for a resort. His friendliness with Trump would also no-doubt make him an interesting candidate to eventually carry out this seemingly ridiculous proposition.
Trump’s work with North Korea has been his most lauded as president and many believe if he could continue to work with the country it would go a long way towards his overall image and legacy. While there are plenty of doubters, he’s already surpassed past presidents’ efforts at communication with the dangerous military dictatorship.
There’s hope that Trump can greatly contribute to a peaceful North Korean solution and in doing so his odds of winning a Nobel Peace Prize would dramatically rise. For many that concept is as bizarre as a casino existing in a country led by a fierce dictator, but both events could very well be on the horizon.
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