Trump has a great many conflicts of interest spanning the globe, as is becoming more evident every day. He makes money off of decisions he makes in the Oval Office. Or in some cases, decisions he makes at Mar-A-Lago, his Florida resort.
Lately, Trump has been ratcheting up tensions with the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un. This dangerous game of saber-rattling has caused North Korea to announce that they will increase missile tests and even threatened to preemptively strike the United States.
Now, why would Trump want to stir the pot with one of the most dangerous nations on the planet? A nation with nuclear arms capable of instantly ending millions of lives in South Korea alone? Well, let’s follow the money, shall we?
In the late 90s, Trump was selling his name for profit and people around the world were buying. They were paying to put the Trump name on buildings, to raise the property’s value and increase revenue from the project. One such company was Daewoo Engineering and Construction.
Daewoo approached Trump in the late 90s, after having already worked with Trump to build Trump World Tower in Manhattan. Daewoo was seeking to build another Trump World Tower as well as a series of condominium projects in Seoul, South Korea, and neighboring cities. Trump received an annual fee of $8 million USD according to Newsweek.
Shortly after the deal was signed, Daewoo fell into bankruptcy and their chairman fled to North Korea in order to avoid imprisonment for what ended up being about $43 billion in accounting fraud. The chairman would later return in 2005 to face the music and was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
During this bankruptcy, the deal with the Trump Organization had to be revised but the Trump Organization still has financial ties to Daewoo.
According to the report from Newsweek:
“This relationship puts Trump’s foreign policies in conflict with his financial interests. Earlier this year, he said South Korea should plan to shoulder its own military defense rather than relying on the United States, including the development of nuclear weapons. (He later denied making that statement, which was video-recorded.) One of the primary South Korean companies involved in nuclear energy, a key component in weapons development, is Trump’s partner—Daewoo Engineering and Construction. It would potentially get an economic windfall if the United States adopted policies advocated by Trump.”
While involved in nuclear energy in South Korea, Daewoo is also a small arms manufacturer and is also working with Lockheed Martin, as of April 2016 on multi-mission ship designs. Daewoo has also seen their stock steadily rising over the last month, as things heat up between the U.S and North Korea.
So how much could Trump make from a war on the Korean peninsula? That remains to be seen. One thing is for certain, if war does break out, Daewoo will make a fortune selling arms and then rebuilding the South Korean nation as it is also a construction firm.
Featured image via screen capture from CNN