South Korea wants to offer North Korea aid in exchange for denuclearization

Yoon Suk-yeol said that denuclearization is “essential” for lasting peace on the peninsula and explained that the supply includes food and energy, but also improvements in infrastructure such as ports, airports and hospitals.

The plan “will significantly improve North Korea’s economy and the standard of living of its people, in stages, if the North stops developing its nuclear program and engages in a genuine and substantial denuclearization process,” Yoon said in a statement. speech marking the anniversary of the end of Japanese colonial rule in 1945.

Last week, Pyongyang threatened to “eradicate” South Korean officials, accusing Seoul of being behind the country’s Covid-19 outbreak.

In July, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he was “ready to deploy” his nuclear capabilities in the event of war with the United States or South Korea.

Regional experts say Pyongyang’s chances of accepting the offer mentioned in Yoon’s inaugural speech are slim as North Korea, which invests a large part of its Gross Domestic Product in the weapons program, has long made it clear that it will not would enter into such an agreement.

North Korea has carried out a record series of weapons tests this year, including the launch of a full-range intercontinental ballistic missile, the first since 2017.

Washington and Seoul have repeatedly warned in recent months that North Korea was preparing to conduct another nuclear test, which would be the seventh in its history.

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