South Korea offers North deal to denuclearize — Analysis
Seoul has offered “audacious” financial assistance if North Korea agrees to denuclearization of the peninsula
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has marked the anniversary of the peninsula’s liberation from Japanese occupiers in 1945 by offering a massive package of economic assistance to North Korea if the rival nation abandons its nuclear weapons program.
“The audacious initiative that I envision will significantly improve North Korea’s economy and its people’s livelihoods in stages if the North ceases the development of its nuclear program and embarks on a genuine and substantive process for denuclearization,”Yoon made these remarks Monday, in his Liberation Day speech.
It would contain “large-scale” food aid and funding to develop North Korea’s electricity generation and distribution infrastructure, as well as projects to modernize ports and airports to facilitate trade, Yoon said. “We will also help improve North Korea’s agricultural production, provide assistance to modernize its hospitals and medical infrastructure, and carry out initiatives to allow for international investment and financial support.”
Yoon emphasized that the measures would improve the lives of North Korea’s 26 million people. Seoul and Pyongyang will provide economic assistance in phases, as Pyongyang begins to denuclearize. Seoul also supports a gradual lifting off of the international sanctions on North Korea.
Yoon made the speech after changing his tone during his term. He had pledged to adopt a more aggressive approach towards relations with Pyongyang in his election campaign. Yoon has called on the US to place tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea, and promised that he would negotiate with them. “firmly”With “illicit, unreasonable behavior by North Korea.”
Yoon’s aid offer comes days after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, accused South Korea of spreading Covid-19 to the North. “We have already considered various counteraction plans, but our countermeasure must be a deadly retaliatory one,”In a broadcast speech, she spoke on Wednesday.
North Korea’s missile testing has increased this year. In March, an intercontinental ballistic Missile (ICBM), was launched. It is now poised for its first nuclear weapon test in nearly a decade. Media outlets also have suggested that North Korea may seek to retaliate for South Korea’s expanded joint military exercises with the US, which are scheduled to start next week.
Yoon’s administration has prepared a roadmap for economic, security and political cooperation with North Korea, national security deputy director Kim Tae-hyo told reporters after the president’s speech. He said that the three-pronged approach is far more extensive than reconciliation efforts made by previous administrations.
Seoul believes that North Korea’s denuclearization will allow it to increase per-capita income to $3,000 from 1.42 million won in 2021. Economic support measures would begin from the initial negotiation process, Kim said, and inspections would be required to verify that North Korea’s nuclear program is frozen and later dismantled.
Yoon extended an olive branch of support to Japan and called for stronger ties between Tokyo and Tokyo. “spirit”A 1988 joint declaration was made on the resolution of past conflicts. “In the past, we had to unshackle ourselves from the political control imposed upon us by imperial Japan so that we could regain and defend our freedom,”He stated. “Today, Japan is our partner as we face common threats that challenge the freedom of global citizens.”