Seoul: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister rejected Seoul’s denuclearisation steps in exchange for economic benefits, calling it a ‘stupid idea’.
The premiere’s powerful sister accused Seoul of recycling proposals Pyongyang already rejected.
According to the state media, Kim Yo Jong stressed that her country has no intentions to give away its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles programme for economic cooperation, saying no one barters its destiny for corn cake.
Earlier on Monday, South Korea president Yoon during a nationally televised speech proposed an audacious economic assistance package to North Korea if it takes steps to abandon its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles programme.
Kim Yo Jong, one of the most powerful officials in her brother’s government who oversees inter-Korean affairs, said Yoon displayed the ‘height of absurdity with his offer, saying it was realistic as creating ‘mulberry fields in the dark blue ocean’.
She also ridiculed South Korea’s military capabilities, saying the “South misread the launch site of the North’s latest missile tests on Wednesday, hours before Yoon used a news conference to urge Pyongyang to return to diplomacy”.
“It would have been more favourable for his image to shut his mouth, rather than talking nonsense as he had nothing better to say,” she said about Yoon.
She said South Korea’s words and actions would only incite surging hatred and wrath from North Koreans and insisted Pyongyang has no immediate plans to revive long-stalled diplomacy with Seoul.
She questioned the sincerity of South Korea’s calls for improved bilateral relations while it continues its combined military exercises with the United States and fails to stop civilian activists from flying anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets and other dirty waste across their border.
South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs, expressed strong regret over Kim Yo Jong’s comments and Yoon’s office called for Pyongyang to show self-restraint and think deeply about Seoul’s offer.
“This attitude from North Korea will not only threaten peace on the Korean Peninsula but result in further difficulties for the North by worsening its international isolation and economic situation,” Lee Hyo-Jung, a Unification Ministry spokesperson, said during a briefing.
Inter-Korean ties have worsened amid a stalemate in larger nuclear negotiations between North Korea and the U.S. That derailed in 2019 because of disagreements over a relaxation of crippling U.S.-led sanctions on the North in exchange for disarmament steps.