Yoon Suk-yeol, South Korea’s new President, has on Tuesday, called on North Korea to submit its entire nuclear arsenal in exchange for huge economic assistance, while highlighting Pyongyang’s rockets (missiles) as a danger to regional and global security. ayokinews.com reports
Yoon, 61, took office at a time when tensions on the peninsula are at an all-time high, with Pyongyang completing a record 15 missile tests since January, including two launches last week, resumes his first duty in a secret underground bunker.
In his first speech, the former prosecutor turned president, who won by a razor-thin margin in March, said he would contemplate delivering North Korea revolutionary amounts of economic help provided Pyongyang first submit its nuclear weapons.
“If North Korea genuinely embarks on a process to complete denuclearization, we are prepared to work with the international community to present an audacious plan that will vastly strengthen North Korea’s economy and improve the quality of life for its people,” Yoon said.
Moon Jae-in, the former president and Yoon’s predecessor, adopted an engagement policy with Pyongyang, brokering summits between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and then-US president Donald J Trump. However, discussions broke down in 2019 and diplomacy has been stuck since then.
Read Also: North Koreans Banned From Laughing, Drinking
“While North Korea’s nuclear weapon programmes are a threat not only to our security and that of Northeast Asia, the door to dialogue will remain open so that we can peacefully resolve this threat,” Yoon added.
Analysts say the offer of “audacious” aid is a total flop, considering the fact that North Korea spends a large amount of its GDP on weapons, and has long stated that it will not make such a deal.
“Since 2009, North Korea has stated it will not give up its nukes for economic incentives,” Park Won-gon, a professor at Ewha University, told AFP.
“Yoon’s comment will only trigger Pyongyang, who will see it as an attack.”
According to a tweet by Chad O’Carroll of the Seoul-based specialized site NK News, Kim does not desire significant economic development since doing so would necessitate opening up North Korea’s information environment.
“Ideological pollution would rapidly steep in, a key risk for Pyongyang’s ruler… Yoon’s denuclearization plans won’t go anywhere… because the ‘carrot’ is actually poisonous,” he said.