North Korea rejects South’s offer of aid, calls President Yoon ‘really simple’

Kim Yo-jong, a senior official and sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, criticized Yoon’s proposal to improve North Korea’s economy and the livelihoods of its people, calling it “crazy dreams.”

Yoon first proposed what he called a “daring plan” to trade economic cooperation for ending North Korea’s nuclear program during his inaugural address in May. He has since continued to raise the idea, repeating the proposal this week.

In a speech on Monday, he said his government would implement a large-scale food program, provide assistance in generating electricity, improve agriculture and take other measures to upgrade North Korea’s ports, trade routes, hospitals and economy in exchange for denuclearization.

But in a KCNA report, Kim Yo-jung rejected the offer and directed personal attacks at the South Korean president.

“If we think that the plan to exchange ‘economic cooperation’ for our honor, nuclear weapons, is Yoon’s great dream, hope and plan, we came to the conclusion that it is really simple and still childish,” said Kim Yo-jeong, according to KCNA. . “We are making it clear that we will not sit face to face with him.”

South Korea’s unification ministry responded on Friday, expressing “deep regret” over Kim Yo-jong’s “disrespectful comments”.

It says that North Korea “distorted our ideas and mentioned its intention to continue nuclear development instead of responding to an audacious initiative,” adding that such an attitude would not only threaten peace on the Korean Peninsula, but also worsen North Korea’s economic situation. .

In the KCNA report, Kim Yo-jong also stated that South Korea gave the wrong location for the missiles North Korea launched on Wednesday and asked why the South and the United States did not release their analysis of the weapons.

The isolated hermit kingdom launched two cruise missiles from the coastal city of Oncheon into the waters off its western coast on Wednesday, according to the South Korean military.

But Kim Yo-jeong said the test was conducted from the Kumsong Bridge in Anju, a city in South Pyongyang province, north of the capital Pyongyang. She did not provide other details of the test.

Wednesday’s test marks North Korea’s 18th missile launch this year, according to CNN’s tally.

In comparison, in 2020, the hermit kingdom conducted only four tests, and in 2021, eight.

Tensions between the two Koreas have escalated this year, with the US military and intelligence agencies warning that North Korea appears to be preparing for its first nuclear test in five years.

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