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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Kim Yo-jong calls Yoon’s ‘audacious initiative’ repulsive

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Kim Yo-jong, the North Korean leader’s sister, speaks in Pyongyang on Aug. 10. The photo is a screen grab from North Korean state-controlled Korean Central Television. [YONHAP]
Kim Yo-jong, the North Korean leader’s sister, speaks in Pyongyang on Aug. 10. The photo is a screen grab from North Korean state-controlled Korean Central Television. [YONHAP]

The sister of the North Korea leader lambasted the so-called “audacious initiative” of the Yoon Suk-yeol government, stressing that the regime will not give up its nuclear weapons.

“The most repulsive point,” said Kim Yo-jong in a statement released by the state-controlled Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Friday, “was when he [Yoon] recited absurd words impertinently … proposing us [an audacious initiative] to radically improve the economy and public welfare if we would stop nuclear development and turn towards substantial denuclearization.” 

In his inauguration speech in May and again on Monday, Yoon proposed an “audacious initiative” to persuade the North to give up its nuclear weapons with offers of aid for the country’s economy. In the English-language KCNA report Friday, Kim called the plan “the height of absurdity,” adding that it wasn’t very new.

“The ‘bold plan’ is not a new one, but a replica of ‘denuclearization, opening and 3,000’ raised by traitor Lee Myung Bak 10-odd years ago,” she said. 

Former conservative President Lee Myung-bak proposed a North Korea policy called “Vision 3000” in 2008 that was supposed to help Pyongyang reach $3,000 in per capita annual income in 10 years if it denuclearized.  

North Korea will not give up its nukes, Kim said.

“No one barters its destiny for corn cake,” she said, calling the North’s nuclear program its “destiny” and “honor,” and describing Seoul’s offers of economic assistance to the North as “simple” and “childish.”

Kim’s statement was also released in the state-controlled Rodong Sinmun and on Korean Central Television. It came four days after Yoon stressed his initiative in a Liberation Day speech.

Kim is vice department director of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

The presidential office in Seoul responded to Kim’s statement with “deep regret” on Friday.

BY ESTHER CHUNG [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]