South Korea wants to help North in exchange for ending nuclear weapons

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol announced today that he will offer a comprehensive aid package to North Korea in exchange for the country’s denuclearization, something Pyongyang has rejected in the past.

The proposal came after the North threatened to “eliminate” Seoul authorities over a recent outbreak of Covid-19 in its territory. And less than a month after leader Kim Jong Un said his country is “prepared to mobilize” nuclear weapons in a war against the United States and South Korea.

Yoon said denuclearization is “essential” to achieving lasting peace on the Korean peninsula. He detailed an aid plan that would include food and energy, as well as support to modernize ports, airports and hospitals.

“The bold initiative I envision will greatly improve the North Korean economy and the lives of its people if the North stops developing its nuclear program and starts a genuine and substantive process of denuclearization,” Yoon said in a speech on the day. which marks the anniversary of the end of the Japanese colonial period in 1945.

Analysts warn that the possibility of Pyongyang accepting the offer is slim. The North, which invests a large part of its GDP in nuclear programs, has already said that it would not accept such a plan.

North Korea has carried out a record number of weapons tests this year, including the launch of a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile, which has not happened since 2017.

The US and South Korean governments have warned that the North is preparing to carry out its seventh nuclear test.

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