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After offering to help, N Korea tells South Korea’s Yoon to ‘shut up’

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News Politics: Kim Jo Yong, the powerful sister of the North Korean leader says the country will not ‘barter’ away its ‘honour’.

North Korea’s Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of leader Kim Jong Un, has bluntly rejected a South Korean offer to help boost the isolated country’s economy if it gives up nuclear weapons.

Yoon reiterated the offer on Wednesday at a news conference to mark his first 100 days in office.

The North invests a vast chunk of its GDP into weapons programmes, and has long made it clear that it views its nuclear capability as self-defence, and necessary to protect itself in the face of “hostile” policies from the United States, South Korea, and Japan.

“The acuteness of North Korea’s economic vulnerability will make the leadership all the more resistant towards South Korean-proposed infrastructure projects,” he added.

“Though he may knock at the door with what large plan in the future as his “bold plan” does not work, we make it clear that we will not sit face to face with him,” Kim Yo Jong said of Yoon. The KCNA report also confirmed that North Korea test-fired two cruise missiles into the sea on Wednesday.

They were the first tests in weeks and followed Kim’s declaration of “victory” over the COVID-19 pandemic. North Korea has carried out an unprecedented wave of weapons tests this year, including the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time since 2017.

It last tested a nuclear weapon in September 2017; however, officials from South Korea and the US believe that preparations for a new nuclear test are underway. Pyongyang is banned from conducting ballistic missile tests under international sanctions imposed over its nuclear weapons programme.

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