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South Korea offers large-scale aid package for Nord nuclear weapons

#South #Korea #offers #largescale #aid #package #Nord #nuclear #weapons

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said Monday he would offer the north a wide-ranging aid package in exchange for denuclearization, a deal long seen as a non-starter for Pyongyang.

The proposal comes days after the North threatened to “wipe out” Seoul authorities over a recent Covid-19 outbreak and less than a month after leader Kim Jong Un said his country was “ready to expand its nuclear capabilities in any to mobilize war with the United States”. States and the South.

However, Yoon called denuclearization “essential” for a lasting peace on the peninsula and on Monday unveiled a large-scale relief plan that would include food and energy and help modernize infrastructure such as ports, airports and hospitals.

“The bold initiative I envision will incrementally significantly improve North Korea’s economy and the livelihoods of its people as the North halts development of its nuclear program and embarks on a real and substantial denuclearization process,” Yoon said in a speech marking the anniversary of Liberation from Japanese colonial rule in 1945.

Analysts say the chances of Pyongyang taking up such an offer – first made during Yoon’s inaugural speech – are vanishingly small, as the North, which invests a large chunk of its GDP in weapons programs, has long made it clear it will not do will act.

North Korea has conducted a record-breaking blitz of weapons tests this year, including firing an ICBM at full range for the first time since 2017.

Officials from Washington and South Korea have repeatedly warned that the North is preparing to conduct its seventh nuclear test.

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