South Korea offers northern aid in exchange for ending nuclear weapons

South Korea offers northern aid in exchange for ending nuclear weapons

South Korean President Yoon Sukyeol announced today that he would offer North Korea a major aid package in exchange for the country’s denuclearization, which Pyongyang has refused in the past.

The proposal came after the North threatened to “eliminate” Seoul authorities over a recent outbreak of Covid19 on its territory. And less than a month after leader Kim Jong Un said his country was “ready 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 presented 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 North Korea’s economy and the lives of its people when the North stops developing its nuclear program and embarks on a real and substantial process of denuclearization,” Yoon said in a speech on the day. which marks the anniversary of the end of Japanese colonialism in 1945.

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

North Korea has conducted a record number of weapons tests this year, including the launch of a longrange ICBM, which has not happened since 2017.

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