US to Help Build Casino Resort in North Korea

US to Help Build Casino Resort in North Korea

Isn’t this the most unlikely headline you’ve read, if not ever, than at least in the last couple of years? Well, there you have it – and, apparently, it’s all true. True as much as truth can be derived from a secretive North Korean regime and the pending historical summit with the US high officials led by President Trump.

According to reports from South Korea’s newspaper, Donga Ilbo (which is always close to the source of these types of news), in exchange for giving up their nuclear program, North Korea is asking the US to invest and help build a casino resort on their own soil!

The nation is asking for concessions from the US to finance the casino resort in the coastal region of Wonsan-Kalma which would – wait for it – thus become the first tourist spot in the country, with shopping, gaming and skiing available. That’s right; it’s a casino AND tourists that Kim Jong-un has in plans for North Korea’s future. That is quite a change from the old, isolationist ways this enigmatic country has followed for decades now.

This was, apparently, proposed by the senior North Korea official who met with Donald Trump last Friday. The construction, taken on by both civilians and military, is to be complete by April 15th 2019, which is the birthday of North Korea’s founder, Kim Il Sung. An annual revenue of $50 million is projected while first estimates predict that the amount of South Korean tourists to the North could reach 2.6 million per year.

South Korean analyst with the Industrial Bank of Korea, Cho Bong-hyun, comments: “If North Korea denuclearization is realized, investment in North Korea will take place in earnest. The Wonsan area, from the position of the United States, would have merit.”

With Trump’s previous experience in building and managing casino resorts (he owned the Trump Taj Mahal and other properties in Las Vegas and Atlantic City), Kim Jong-un may have noticed a golden opportunity. North Korea does have a gambling scene at the moment, but its online casinos are generating quite the revenue. The opening of the official international casino resort would probably mean new regulatory mechanisms that would prevent any predatory behavior.

Next week’s summit between North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, and US President, Donald Trump, to be held in Singapore will be the most historic event in modern times, as the tensions between the two countries and the rising threat of the North Korean nuclear program endangering world peace. This will be the first meeting of the officials since the Korean war more than 60 years ago. The two sides will discuss the possibilities of North Korea halting its nuclearization processes while the US will withdraw their weapons and soldiers from military bases. Unofficially, Kim Jong-un agreed to this and the official formalities are left to be done during the Singapore summit.


“Report: North Korea’s Kim Yong Chol proposed casino to Trump”,, June 5, 2018.