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North Korea rejects Seoul’s offer of denuclearization aid

#North #Korea #rejects #Seouls #offer #denuclearization #aid

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s powerful sister Friday rejected Seoul’s offer of economic aid in exchange for denuclearization moves, calling it the “pinnacle of absurdity.”

The statement follows South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who this week unveiled a “bold” relief plan that would include food, energy and infrastructure aid in exchange for the North’s abandoning its nuclear weapons program.

Analysts have previously said the chances of Pyongyang accepting such a deal – first hinted at 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 that it this will not do this trade.

Kim Jong Un’s sister Yo Jong on Friday called Yoon’s offer the “pinnacle of absurdity,” adding that the entire premise that the North could willingly table its nuclear program is wrong.

“Thinking that the plan to trade ‘economic cooperation’ for our honor, (our) nuclear weapons, is Yoon’s big dream, hope and plan, we realized it’s really simple and still childish.” , she said in a statement from the official Korea Central News Agency.

“We make it clear that we will not sit face to face with him,” she added, saying “no one trades their fate for corncake.”

She further accused the South of reusing previous proposals that the North had already rejected, likening Yoon to a barking dog.

South Korea’s presidential office expressed “strong regrets” over Yo Jong’s “rude” remarks, but added that the offer of economic aid stands.

“North Korea’s stance is in no way conducive to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and its own future, and only promotes isolation from the international community,” the statement said.

-‘Ready to mobilize’-

Pyongyang last week warned it was “wiping out” Seoul authorities over a recent Covid-19 outbreak, a threat that came less than a month after Kim Jong Un said his country was “ready to demonstrate its nuclear capabilities in any.” to mobilize war with the United States”. States and the South.

Yoon said Wednesday his government had no plans to pursue its own nuclear deterrent, even as Pyongyang test-launched two cruise missiles on the same day.

Cheong Seong-chang, director of the Center for North Korean Studies at the Sejong Institute, said Yo Jong’s statement on Friday “confirmed unequivocally” that Pyongyang will never give up its nuclear weapons.

Accordingly, the Yoon government’s policy on North Korea’s denuclearization will inevitably require a “substantial overhaul,” he told AFP.

“The weight of the North Korean nuclear threats that South Korea has to live with has already exceeded what it can bear,” he said.

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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