Pyongyang rejects offer of aid from Seoul to avoid denuclearization

Pyongyang rejects offer of aid from Seoul to avoid denuclearization

The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Friday rejected an offer by the South Korean government of economic aid in exchange for denuclearization, calling it “a pinnacle of absurdity.”

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South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol this week offered North Korea an aid package covering food, energy and infrastructure should it abandon its nuclear weapons program.

Analysts said the chances of Pyongyang accepting the offer, first made by Mr Yoon during his inaugural address in May, are slim as North Korea has long said it would never agree to such a compromise.

Kim Yo Jong, Kim Jong-un’s sister, responded on Friday that this offer was a “summit of absurdity”.

“If you think that the plan of ‘economic cooperation’ for our honor to exchange (our) nuclear weapons is Yoon’s big dream, hope and plan, you realize that it is really simple and still childish,” she said, quoted by the official agency KCNA.

“Of course we’re not going to sit face to face with him,” she added.

North Korea has conducted a record string of weapons tests this year, including launching an ICBM for the first time since 2017.

Washington and South Korean officials have repeatedly warned that the North is preparing to resume nuclear testing.