North Korea is unlikely to give up its nuclear weapons stockpile any time soon but could offer to allow the launch of a western hamburger franchise in Pyongyang instead as a goodwill gesture, NBC News cited a new CIA intelligence assessment as stating on Tuesday.
The assessment, however, did not name the brand likely to get North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s nod. His other options could include American investments, especially in infrastructure.
A hamburger franchise will be an easy give. And, as the NBC News report reminded its viewers, US President Donald Trump had expressed his desire in 2016 to talk peace with the North Korean leader while “eating a hamburger on a conference table”. And the world is aware of Trump’s love of burgers – two at a time, pushed down by a chocolate shake for dinner, while campaigning.
According to the news report, the CIA analysis further says Kim might have wanted to have an establishment up and running by the time of the talks to ensure a steady supply of burgers to the delegations involved. But there would be no shortage of the delicacy in Singapore if the southeast Asian nation does get to host the summit.
The US state department and intelligence agencies across the world are known to put together such assessments ahead of major diplomatic negotiations to explore and anticipate options likely to be touted by the other side. The intelligence assessment that Kim may not end the country’s nuclear programme is largely in accord with the assessment of North Korean watchers, who have cautioned against having high expectations.
“Everybody knows they are not going to denuclearise,” an official who had read the analysis told NBC News. The report was circulated earlier this month, said an intelligence official.
It was not clear when the assessment was put together and if it had traversed through the desk of CIA director Mike Pompeo, who took over his present job at the state department in the last week of April.