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Kim’s sister slams an irresponsible nuclear deal

After South Korea’s president offered a disarmament-for-aid deal to the north, the influential sister of Kim Jong Un rejected their efforts.

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According to (Bloomberg) Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has rejected a disarmament-for-aid deal offered by South Korea’s president, calling it a “stupid plan” and saying that North Korea has no interest in talking to South Korea.

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South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol was reportedly told by Kim Yo Jong to “stop dreaming in vain” on Friday, as reported by the state-run Korean Central News Agency. Her remarks added to the heated rhetoric she has directed at Yoon’s government this month, paving the way for Pyongyang to resume testing weapons related to its nuclear program, which had been put on hold while the country dealt with a Covid outbreak.

“As stupid as trying to dry the dark blue ocean and turn it into a mulberry field,” Kim Yo Jong said of Yoon’s proposal, adding that North Korea had no plans to give up its nuclear weapons and that the issue was off-limits for political negotiations.

For his part, Kim Yo Jong has stated, “We just don’t like Yoon Suk Yeol as a human being.” Yoon Suk Yeol is the conservative South Korean leader who took office in May and has vowed to take a hard line toward Pyongyang.

This week, Yoon proposed a “audacious initiative” to provide Pyongyang with food, energy, and infrastructure aid in exchange for the removal of its nuclear weapons. If Pyongyang demonstrates a “firm will” that puts it on a path for denuclearization, he said at a news conference, aid could begin even before the end of the state’s nuclear program.

On the same day as Yoon’s press conference, North Korea defiantly launched two cruise missiles. It was one of the most provocative actions taken by the state since June, when it launched eight ballistic missiles in a single day, in defiance of UN measures.

Kim Yo Jong criticized South Korean authorities, saying it would be interesting to see how they explain the cruise missile launch site mistake to their people.

The presidential office of South Korea released a statement expressing “deep regret” over Kim Yo Jong’s recent comments, calling them rude.

Kim Yo Jong made her first overt threat against Yoon since he assumed power last week. She reiterated unsubstantiated claims that anti-Pyongyang activists in the South had sent leaflets containing the Covid virus into North Korea via balloon. She warned that North Korea would wipe out South Korean authorities if such behavior persisted.

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North Korea is trying to make warheads small enough for tactical devices to hit American allies in Asia and increase the power of weapons that would be carried by intercontinental ballistic missiles to the United States, so the United States, Japan, and South Korea have all warned that it is getting ready to conduct its first nuclear test since 2017.

Military drills between the United States and South Korea are scheduled to begin next week, potentially reigniting tensions. North Korea has long claimed that joint military exercises are rehearsals for an invasion and has warned that its military is ready for conflict.

North Korea’s security concerns have been building while President Joe Biden’s administration has been focused on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; any public display of the country’s nuclear weapons would serve as a reminder of these concerns.

After former President Donald Trump abruptly ended a meeting with North Korea’s leader in 2019, progress toward nuclear disarmament stalled. Since then, the Kim Jong Un regime has ignored requests from South Korea and Vice President Joe Biden to resume negotiations. Even as Kim and Trump were holding their historic face-to-face meetings, North Korea was steadily expanding its nuclear arsenal.

The North Korean government views its nuclear weapons as essential to ensuring its survival and protecting itself from invasion. It has upgraded its ballistic missiles in recent years, increasing the likelihood that it can strike South Korea and Japan and deliver a nuclear warhead to the United States mainland.

Kim Jong Il’s regime quickly rejected a similar proposal from then-South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in 2008, labeling the offer as the work of a “swindler and profiteer” in state media.

(Inserts comment from the presidential office of South Korea.)

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