According to NK News, she also acknowledged Wednesday’s missile test and said the South’s detected location was wrong. On Monday, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol offered Pyongyang his “audacious initiative” to support reviving its crippling economy once it takes steps toward denuclearisation.
“We will implement a large-scale food program; provide assistance for power generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure; and carry out projects to modernise ports and airports for international trade.
“We will also help enhance North Korea’s agricultural productivity, offer assistance to modernise hospitals and medical infrastructure, and implement international investment and financial support initiatives.”
The initiative includes economic exchanges of North Korean resources, such as minerals and rare earths, for South Korea’s food supplies.
Seoul had said it will plan to kick off the inter-Korean joint economic development committee for cooperation when both countries make a comprehensive agreement on the denuclearisation process.
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Kim Yo Jong said in a KCNA statement that such a plan was ignorant and “the height of folly far from realisation”, adding that the premise of “if North Korea takes denuclearisation measures” itself is wrong.
She said: “Thinking that the idea of exchanging our national core nuclear with ‘economic cooperation’ is a dream, hope and initiative of Yoon Suk-yeol, I cannot help but think he is really innocent and young.
“If the ‘audacious initiative’ doesn’t work, I don’t know with what kind of wild plan he will knock on our door, but I am making it clear that we will never deal with it.”
Following up on Yoon’s address, Kim Tae-hyo, a deputy presidential national security adviser, called the audacious initiative a “bold proposal” and implied that the initiative can be implemented “in the early stage of negotiations” if North Korea shows a sincere attitude toward denuclearisation.
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Similar proposals toward Pyongyang had already been made by Yoon’s predecessors since the late 1990s.
Progressive governments have usually offered humanitarian aid preemptively, even before Pyongyang made any moves toward denuclearisation, in an attempt to rebuild and improve inter-Korean ties.