Seoul : North Korea has rejected South Korea’s offer of economic support in exchange for denuclearisation, saying the proposal showed President Yoon Suk-yeol is “really simple”, state media KCNA reported Friday.
South Korea’s Unification Ministry responded immediately expressing “strong regret” over North’s “disrespectful comments”.
Kim Yo-jong, a top official and the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, criticised the South Korean President’s offer to improve North Korea’s economy and the livelihood of its people as “pipedream-like remarks”.
Yoon first proposed what she called the “audacious plan” to swap economic cooperation for an end to North Korea’s nuclear program during his inauguration speech in May.
He has since continued to raise the idea, reiterating the offer this week during his Liberation day ceremony speech.
In the speech on Monday, Yoon said his government would implement a large-scale food program, provide help for power generation, enhance agriculture, and other measures to modernize North Korea’s ports, trade routes, hospitals and economy in exchange for denuclearization.
The KCNA report on Friday said Kim Yo-jong rejected the proposal. A report in Yonhap showed she leveled personal attacks at the South Korean President.
“To think that the plan to barter ‘economic cooperation’ for our honor, nukes, is the great dream, hope and plan of Yoon, we came to realize that he is really simple and still childish,” said Kim Yo Jong, according to KCNA. “We make it clear that we will not sit face to face with him.”
Seoul said North Korea had “distorted our ideas and mentioned its intention to continue nuclear development instead of responding to the audacious initiative,” adding that such an attitude would not only threaten peace on the Korean Peninsula but worsen North Korea’s own economic situation.
In the KCNA report, Kim Yo-jong also said South Korea had pinpointed the wrong location for missiles that North Korea launched on Wednesday, and questioned why the South and the US had not released their analysis of the weapons.
North launched two cruise missiles from the coastal town of Onchon into waters off its west coast on Wednesday, according to the South Korean military. However, Kim Yo-jong claimed the test had been conducted from the Kumsong Bridge in Anju city, located in South Pyongan Province, just north of the capital Pyongyang. She did not give further details of the test.
Wednesday’s test marks North Korea’s 18th missile launch this year, according to CNN’s count.