North Korea tells South Korean president to ‘shut up’ after providing aid

SEOUL, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said on Friday the South Korean leader should keep his mouth shut. Nuclear disarmament.

His comments were the first time a senior North Korean official has commented directly on what South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol called a “bold” plan – which was first proposed in May and which he reiterated at a news conference on Wednesday. First 100 days in office.

Kim Yo Jong said in a statement released by state news agency KCNA that “it would have been more favorable for his image to keep his mouth shut than to talk nonsense because he has nothing better to say,” adding that Yun “is very simple and even childish.” To think he could trade economic cooperation for arms.

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“Nobody is changing its fate for corncake,” he added.

South Korea’s unification minister, who handles relations with North Korea, said Kim’s comments were “very disrespectful and indecent.”

While Yoon has said that he is willing to gradually provide economic aid to North Korea if it stops developing nuclear weapons and starts denuclearization, he has also urged South Korea to increase its military deterrence against North Korea. South Korea has resumed long-suspended joint exercises with the United States, including major field exercises set to begin next week.

A US State Department spokesman on Wednesday said Washington supported Yun’s policies, but Kim said the joint exercises showed the allies’ talk of diplomacy was insincere.

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“We make it clear that we will not sit down with him face to face,” he said of Yoon.

Kim Yo Jong has been a vocal critic of South Korea in recent years, with some experts seeing her as playing “poor cop” to her brother’s more subdued statements.

Friday’s statement was his harshest personal attack on Yoon to date, but this month he blamed the South for the outbreak of COVID-19 in the North and threatened “deadly retaliation” if there were more cases.

Experts say the South’s latest economic plan is similar to proposals by previous leaders during the summit between then-US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.

“Yun’s initiative adds to a long list of failed concessions that include South Korean promises of economic benefits to North Korea… The same assumptions were behind the failed attempts to open denuclearization talks,” Scott Snyder, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, said in a blog post Thursday. .

North Korea test-fired two cruise missiles at sea on Wednesday, the first such test in two months. This comes after the country declared victory against COVID-19 last week. read more

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Statement of Jury Row; Additional reporting by Josh Smith and Su-Hyang Choi; Editing by Richard Pullin and Edwina Gibbs

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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