Kim Jong Un’s financial resources are quickly depleting and participation in the Winter Olympic Games is part of a scheme to save North Korea’s economy, according to a new report.
Two Chinese sources familiar with North Korea’s ruling elite told Radio Free Asia, that Kim’s inherited slush fund doesn’t have enough money to govern North Korea.
“Due to Kim Jong Un’s extravagant spending, the slush fund from his father, Kim Jong Il, is running out,” one source said.
The source isn’t confident that there will be any changes to Kim’s expenditures.
“It won’t be easy to control North Korea’s high-level executives, who are (cunning) like raccoons,” he said.
The source is reportedly “well-aquainted” with executives from Office No. 39.
This secretive organization’s job under the North Korean Worker’s Party is to provide $500 million to $1 billion in annual funds “through a number of illicit activities, including counterfeiting, drug production, and international insurance fraud.”
“I heard them worrying about insufficient funds in Office No. 39 a number of times,” the source said.
President Donald Trump has called the North Korea dictator “Little Rocket Man” in the past, and the sources say that Kim’s actions that have given him that nickname could be one of the reasons the funds are so low.
“We can speculate that he spent a lot of money from the number of missile (and nuclear weapons) tests he carried out,” the source said. “Most of the funding for nuclear weapon and missile development is coming from Kim Jong Un’s slush fund.”
Four out of six nuclear weapons tests and nearly 20 missile tests have been conducted under Kim’s rule, according to Radio Free Asia.
The source also noted that Kim has spent money on “showpiece projects” such as the Masikryong Ski Resort.
“International sanctions on North Korea have made it extremely difficult to earn foreign cash, and the slush fund is now running out,” he said.
A different source warned that North Korea has other motives for participating in the Winter Olympics: “improve relations and solicit charity from its rival neighbor.”
“North Korea’s warm gestures toward South Korea have underlying intentions: to use the Pyongchang Winter Olympics that will be held there from Feb. 9 as a breakthrough for their financial difficulties,” the source said.
South Korea’s “Sunshine Policy,” where subsidies were exchanged with peaceful relations between the North and South in the late 1990s and early 2000s, helped North Korea’s economy, but international sanctions will not make it easy for South Korea to help its neighbors.
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