BEIJING – North Korea strongly and disdainfully rejects the South Korean proposal for economic aid in the face of the abandonment of its nuclear ambitions. Kim Yo-jong, the powerful sister of leader Kim Jong-un, called the offer “the pinnacle of absurdity” and ruled out the possibility of face-to-face talks between the leaders of the two countries.
The clear stance matured within days of the South Korean president’s words on a “bold” aid plan that would include food, energy and infrastructure support in exchange for Pyongyang’s cancellation of its nuclear weapons program.
In a comment on Rodong Sinmun, the voice of the Workers’ Party, Kim Yo-jong said that his country had no intention of giving up its weapons in exchange for economic aid: “Nobody trades their fate for corn cake” thundered Kim, whose comment was re-launched by the KCNA agency.
According to analysts, Yoon’s proposal had little chance of success, having long ago made clear that Pyongyang would not give up its nuclear weapons. Kim Yo-jong, who oversees inter-Korean affairs and plays an increasingly central role as his brother’s close confidant, also questioned Yoon’s sincerity in calling for improved cross-border ties with Seoul, which continues to take part in the joint military maneuvers with the United States and not to prevent activists from throwing propaganda leaflets across the border along the 38th parallel.
The bartering of nuclear weapons for economic cooperation “is Yoon’s great dream, hope and plan”, defined as “simple and still childish. We exclude in sharp terms that we can sit face to face with him.”
Last week, North Korea threatened to “wipe out” Seoul authorities over the Covid-19 outbreak, less than a month after Kim Jong-un said his country was “ready to mobilize” its nuclear capability in any war with the United States and South Korea.