With U.S. President Donald Trump declaring repeatedly that North Korea can become "one of the great economic powers" in the world, risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft tested that claim and found that the rogue state ranks as the least investable country in the world.
Despite the president's claims, "Kim Jong-un's authoritarian regime has been classified as the world's most perilous investment destination for business," Verisk Maplecroft said in a report published before the talks began.
Other experts have also stressed that even if sanctions on Pyongyang were to be removed some day, risks for investors remain very high, as it is extremely unlikely that North Korea will overhaul itself politically and economically.
Ahead of the failed summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which ended on Thursday without a deal, Trump had dangled the prospect of a stronger economy for the impoverished state — tweeting repeatedly on the topic. Experts say that was part of a negotiating tactic.
Even after talks ended abruptly, the president continued to tout the possibility of the reclusive country becoming "an absolute economic power."
"I think he's got a chance to have one of the most successful countries — rapidly too — on Earth," Trump said of Kim, at a press conference on Thursday at the end of the summit. "There is tremendous potential in North Korea, and I think he's going to lead it to a very important thing, economically. I think it's going to be an absolute economic power."