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South Korea’s new president used diplomatic language during his Tuesday inaugural, acknowledging the threat from North Korea while offering to help the communist country’s economy if it gives up its nuclear weapons.
The conservative Yoon Suk Yeol offered the deal while speaking to assembled dignitaries, including Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris. Emhoff led a White House delegation ahead of a planned visit later this month by President Joe Biden.
“While North Korea’s nuclear weapon programs are a threat, not only to our security but also to Northeast Asia, the door to dialogue will remain open so that we can peacefully resolve this threat,” Yoon said May 10 at his inaugural ceremonies in Seoul.
“If North Korea genuinely embarks on a process to complete denuclearization, 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.
North Korea has recently ratcheted up its nuclear muscle-flexing, testing a series of nuclear-capable missiles that could reach the mainland United States. North Korea’s bombastic ruler, Kim Jong Un, warned that his nuclear arsenal would not be limited to deterrence if North Korea’s interests were threatened.
The offer from Yoon is both genuine and designed to appeal to the United States, security insiders told Just the News. During his inaugural speech, Yoon pledged a “comprehensive strategic alliance” with the United States.
The new president will meet this month in South Korea with Biden, in a sign that both leaders hope to move forward with the alliance.
During the May 20-24 trip, Biden will also visit Japan, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters last month.
The trip is meant to advance the Biden administration’s “rock-solid commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific and to U.S. treaty alliances with the Republic of Korea and Japan,” Psaki said.
“The leaders will discuss opportunities to deepen our vital security relationships, enhance economic ties, and expand our close cooperation to deliver practical results,” she said.
During his Tuesday inaugural remarks in Seoul, Yoon also pledged to improve the economic situation in South Korea. A poor job market along with gaps between economic classes are contributing toward “internal strife and discord,” he said.
Yoon on March 9 won a tight contest against his Democratic Party opponent, Lee Jae-myung.