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Pres. Yoon Offers to Improve N. Korean Economy in Return for Denuclearization

Written: 2022-08-15 14:15:06Updated: 2022-08-15 14:15:54

Pres. Yoon Offers to Improve N. Korean Economy in Return for Denuclearization

Photo : YONHAP News

President Yoon Suk Yeol has offered a "bold initiative" to improve the North Korean economy and livelihood should the regime stop developing nuclear weapons and take practical steps toward denuclearization.

In his first speech marking Liberation Day since taking office in May, President Yoon said the North's denuclearization is essential for sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula, in Northeast Asia and beyond.

The president specifically pledged large-scale food supply programs, support for electricity generation and transmission infrastructure, agricultural production technology, as well as the modernization of ports, airports and health care.

On Seoul-Tokyo relations, Yoon said while the nation had to escape Japan's political control to restore and protect liberty in the colonial era, the two sides are now neighboring partners that must jointly face challenges against civil liberty.

He then promised to uphold the 1998 Joint Declaration signed by former President Kim Dae-jung and former Japanese Prime Minister Keizō Obuchi which put forth a comprehensive vision for the future of bilateral relations, to resolve colonial-era issues and advance two-way ties.

Regarding the economy, Yoon pledged to restructure the public sector, and in better managing state finances, he promised to provide more support to socially vulnerable groups.

The president said he would inherit the spirit of the independence movement and pay the utmost respect to those who had sacrificed their lives for freedom and the independence of the country.

The ceremony marking 77 years of Korea's independence from Japanese colonial rule was held on Monday morning at the Yongsan Presidential Office, attended by 300 guests including independence fighters, their families, government officials, religious figures and members of the diplomatic corps. 

The event included, along with the president's speech, a celebratory performance and award ceremony.

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