News ID: 321527
Published: 0719 GMT May 10, 2022

South Korea’s Yoon calls on North to trade nukes for aid

South Korea’s Yoon calls on North to trade nukes for aid

South Korea’s new President Yoon Suk-yeol waves to his supporters while leaving his inauguration ceremony at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, on May 10, 2022.

South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol called on the North to give up its nuclear weapons in exchange for massive economic aid at his swearing-in Tuesday, describing Pyongyang’s missiles as a threat to regional and global security.

Yoon, 61, who started work in an underground bunker with a security briefing on North Korea, took office at a time of high tensions on the peninsula, with Pyongyang conducting a record 15 weapons tests since January, including two launches last week, according to AFP.

The former prosecutor, who won a close election by a razor-thin margin in March, said in his inaugural speech that he would consider sending transformative levels of economic aid to the North – but only if Pyongyang first gives up its nuclear weapons.

“If North Korea genuinely embarks on a process to complete denuclearisation, we are prepared to work with the international community to present an audacious plan that will vastly strengthen North Korea’s economy and improve the quality of life for its people,” he said.

Yoon’s predecessor Moon Jae-in pursued a policy of engagement with Pyongyang, brokering summits between Kim and then-US president Donald Trump. But talks collapsed in 2019 and diplomacy has stalled since.

“While North Korea’s nuclear weapon programs are a threat not only to our security and that of Northeast Asia, the door to dialogue will remain open so that we can peacefully resolve this threat,” Yoon added.

During his inauguration speech, Yoon said that South Korea was facing “multiple crises,” citing the pandemic, global supply chain issues and economic woes, and new armed conflicts and wars.

“Such complex, multi-faceted crises are casting a long and dark shadow over us,” he said, adding that he was confident the country would emerge from its current difficulties.








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