Why Doesn't the US Just Buy out North Korea?

We were sold on Trump as being a commander and CEO, to run the country like a successful business.

The US once had a monopoly on nuclear weapons and we want it back. So, Since Trump was supposed to bring the deal-making business acumen from the boardroom into the oval office, why not try to get nuclear dominance back the way companies used to gain market share… by buying out the competition? Apple didn’t rain hell fury like the world has never seen down upon Dr. Dre when they acquired Beats. Jeff Bezos didn’t send in infantry to shoot up Whole Foods and drag its spoils back to Amazon. That’s not how business gets done. So why doesn’t Mr. deal maker make a deal and buy out, not just the North Korean nuclear program, but North Korea altogether? 

How much could it possibly cost? Their GDP is only 12 Billion, just 0.07% of that of the US and the entire country is not much bigger than the state of Tennessee. Though people are starving, I have heard that Kim Jong Un personally has a net worth of about 5 billion USD. I don’t have a source for that so let’s just assume that’s correct. Feel free to correct me in the comments if you have actual data. But let’s go with the 5 billion for now. I'm sure we can do way better than that, so let's buy him out. 

It seems to me that the Kim dynasty really has only two real desires. 
1. Unify Korea.
2. Keep the Kim family rich and fat.


A buyout fills both of these goals. 

Let's give him say… 20 billion dollars to personally buy out his stake in North Korea. Then we buy out their investment in the nuclear program plus a little markup. It’s kind of hard to get the numbers of what they have invested in it but let’s guess it by the rumors that they spent about 1.3 billion USD on the program last year. Let’s assume they’ve been doing that for 10 years and say they have about 13 billion invested in the program. 30% is a pretty respectable markup for just about any product, so let’s do a bit better than that and offer them 18 billion for the nuke program. Next, we need to buy out the land. It doesn't seem like there are hardly any good structures outside of Pyongyang, so it would kinda be a lot like buying Detroit or Juarez, as most of what is there is would need to be knocked down if you wanted to make anything worth a damn. I think $20,000 per square mile is way more than fair, considering the condition. So that’s just under a billion dollars, which brings us to a rough total of 39 billion dollars.  

Kim Jong Un can take his 39 billion dollars and go move to an island somewhere in the Caribbean or buy a chateau in the south of France or whatever. Just let him go there and live his life rich, sleeping on thousand thread count sheets, eating the most delicious foods, hanging out with famous basketball players, snorting blow, and banging the highest caliber call girls... whatever he wants to do, EXCEPT be in charge of a nuclear power (or any country for that matter). 


A war with North Korea would be a horrible, bloody nightmare.

They have a strong army for a country of that size, but let's be honest, if nukes were out of the picture we could level it in no time. They’d have to go nuclear. They would have no other option. Who knows what the human cost would be? I hate to be so obtuse, but I don’t even know how to begin to quantify it so, let’s let our Commander in CEO think of it only in terms of dollars. I saw it estimated that war with North Korea would cost the somewhere in the neighborhood of 350 billion dollars. I can’t imagine it would be so low, and I don't think that factors in long term radiation effects, but let’s go with it. By buying them out, we get regime change, all of their nukes, any technology they’ve developed, lots and lots of developable land, and a population of people literally starving for change, and we get it all for less than a tenth of the cost of a very messy war. Oh, and we also get a unified Korea. Think of all the iPhones we can sell! Can't you just imagine the Pyongyang Apple Store? I can already smell the Cinnabon!

311 billion dollars in cost avoidance is fantastic but there’s no reason why the United States buying out North Korea should not also be a profitable venture for us. 

We could turn the day to day operations of the northern portion of Korea over to the government that currently manages the South, integrating it into that capitalist society with no violence. When that happens a lot of new production will take place. Companies from the South will expand north. Companies from offshore will flood in. North Korean farmers and other industrious folks can start up new ventures. Revenues will grow, production will increase, profits will soar, and taxation can become possible. There will be revenue streams for the livelihoods of the people, for the organizations, as well as for the government. The relief will be felt immediately and the standard of living of the average North Korean citizen will increase dramatically over the subsequent years. 

But not for free, mind you.

Basically, what we'd have done is to have loaned South Korea the money to buy out the North. We pay the upfront cost and the new, unified Korea pays us the current rate of 3.92 % in a monthly fixed rate mortgage payment of $184,397,745 for 30 years, totaling up to $66,383,188,200 over that time. That leaves the US with a profit of over 27 billion dollars. 

So we’ve avoided nuclear war, liberated 25 million people from starvation level communism, better secured our nuclear position, made the world safer, made ourselves some money, increased the standard of living for nearly everyone on the peninsula, and we haven’t fired a shot. We didn’t lose one American life, nor one Korean life. We caused no collateral damage, only collateral improvements. 

The only thing it costs us is the opportunity to exact vengeance on Kim Jong Un.

The American war hawks and likely a lot of the North Korean proletariat would like rip him limb from limb or stab him in the ass to death like Gaddafi, and frankly, I can’t say that I blame them, but is it worth the deaths of millions of people in flames of a nuclear furnace and all of the fallout (both literal and figurative) that goes with it to get your vengeance? Is it worth that to look tough on the world stage? C’mon, Mr. President… Let’s make a deal. I hear it’s an art.