The North Koreans appear uninterested in trading their nuclear arsenal for food, based on a hostile reaction by its leader’s sister.
Kim Jong Un, Dictator for life of the hermit kingdom, let his plain-speaking respond to South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol’s offer to provide economic assistance if North Korea abandoned its nuclear program.
“No one barters its destiny for corn cake,” Kim Yo-jong exclaimed, according to the country’s official KCNA news agency.
In a Friday commentary published in the Communist country’s official newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, Kim Yo-jong said her country had no plans to exchange nuclear weapons for economic aid.
The dictator’s sister, in fact, told the president of South Korea to “shut his mouth” after he offered the exchange, according to a Fox News report.
“It would have been more favorable for his image to shut his mouth, rather than talking nonsense as he had nothing better to say,” Yo Jong said in a statement.
Analysts reportedly viewed chances of Pyongyang accepting President Yoon Suk-yeol’s offer as exceedingly slim, according to a report in The Guardian. The North invests much of its annual budget in improving and expanding its nuclear arsenal. Kim Jong Un has repeatedly stressed he will not make that trade.
The closest he probably came was during tet-a-tets with former President Donald Trump, which ended up failing. Trump blamed former National Security Adviser John Bolton for blowing the deal by insisting North Korea follow the Libya model of nuclear disarmament.
“He made some very big mistakes when he talked about the Libyan model for Kim Jong-un,” Trump told reporters at the White House in 2019. “That was not a good statement to make. You just take a look at what happened with Gaddafi. That was not a good statement to make. And it set us back.”
Within a decade after former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi renounced nuclear weapons, his regime was toppled by a U.S.-led allied coalition. Gaddafi was hunted and killed in the aftermath of that military action.
Trump probably called it correctly because Libya put every tinpot dictator with nuclear ambitions on alert that giving them up was like signing their own death warrant.