Seoul, South Korea. In what surely must ring as “deja vu,” it now emerges the real reason the US wants regime change and is lobbying its “partners” like Russia and China for the neutralization of Kim Jong-Un, is simple greed. North Korea turns out to be a resource rich land like no other, that Uncle Sam wants to sample badly.
North Korea is alarming neighbors with its frequent missile tests, and the US with its attempts to field long-range nuclear missiles that can hit American cities. A sixth nuclear test could be imminent.
Deep below the nation’s mostly mountainous surface are vast mineral reserves, including iron, gold, magnesite, zinc, copper, limestone, molybdenum, graphite, and more, all told about 200 kinds of minerals. Also present are large amounts of rare earth metals, which factories in nearby countries need to make smartphones and other high-tech products of special interest to the United States.
CIA estimates as to the value of North Korea’s mineral resources have varied greatly over the years, made difficult by secrecy and lack of access. North Korea itself has made what are likely exaggerated claims about them. According to one estimate from a South Korean state-owned mining company, they’re worth over $6 trillion. Another from a South Korean research institute puts the amount closer to $10 trillion.
China is North Korea’s main customer. Last September, South Korea’s state-run Korea Development Institute said that the mineral trade between North Korea and China remains a “cash cow” for Pyongyang despite UN sanctions, and that it accounted for 54% of the North’s total trade volume to China in the first half of 2016. In 2015 China imported $73 million in iron ore from North Korea, and $680,000 worth of zinc in the first quarter of this year.
With the USA running behind China wherever it goes in Africa trying to buy up rare earth minerals for strategic stockpiles, one can certainly understand why the USA would like to see regime change in North Korea sooner, than later.