North Korea has rejected South Korea's offer called an “audacious plan” through Kim Yo Jong, a top official and the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, four days after President Yoon Suk-yeol proposed it in his Liberation Day speech on August 15. Kim Yo Jong reproached the proposal, saying, “It’s as stupid as trying to dry the dark blue ocean and turn it into a mulberry field.” South Korea's presidential office said it regretted her "rude" remarks, and “such attitude will only accelerate its international isolation further.”
In fact, the North’s rejection had been predicted beforehand. There is nothing new about the North dismissing the South’s offer. However, its recent one, done by the leader’s closest next of kin, was filled with rude and obscene remarks that a gangster would say without any dignity. N.Korea once made sarcastic remarks at its dialogue partner, former President Moon Jae-in, that “a person who had sought to take the questionable driver’s seat”, was gone. In addition, North Korea taunted South Korea about the South’s intelligence on the North saying the S.Korean military was wrong about the North’s cruise missile provocation.
The North’s attitude would mean that it is willing to continue the tensions between the two. Kim Yo Jong repeated that North Korea will never give up its nuclear weapons, saying, “South Korea's ‘audacious offer’ of economic support in exchange for denuclearization is absurd.” As North Korea receives protection from China and Russia in this New Cold War era, the North would never accept the South’s proposal no matter how extraordinary it is. However, this kind of opportunist approach would bring turbulence within the regime and make it vulnerable to international situations.
The government should maintain a steady stance and solidify its national security readiness against North Korea’s provocations. Through next week’s Ulchi Freedom Guardian military exercise between South Korea and the U.S., we need to review our defense readiness and show North Korea how strong the ROK-US combined forces’ readiness for combat is against its huge nuclear provocations so that it can’t miscalculate. We need to be composed and maintain our door open to dialogues by fleshing out the audacious initiative with the international community including the U.S.