‘No One Barters Their Destiny for Corn Cake’


The sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has come out swinging against South Korea’s president Yoon Suk-yeol, whom she calls a “really simple” man who should “shut his mouth.” Kim Yo Jong made the comments Friday in rejecting an offer of economic aid in exchange for denuclearization. “To think that the plan to barter ‘economic cooperation’ for our honor, nukes, is the great dream, hope and plan of Yoon,” she said. “We came to realize that he is really simple and still childish,” and should “shut his mouth,” she continued, per CNN. “No one barters their destiny for corn cake,” she added, per the BBC.

Yoon’s office responded that the offer still stands despite Kim’s “rude” comments. “North Korea’s attitude is in no way helpful to the peace and prosperity of the Korean peninsula, as well as its own future,” it said, per the BBC. Yoon first put forth the “audacious plan” to offer phased economic aid to North Korea if it took steps toward denuclearization during his inauguration speech in May, saying it would improve the quality of life for North Koreans and strengthen the country’s economy. He reiterated the offer this week as he marked his first 100 days in office, saying the deal would include a large-scale food program and assistance for agriculture and power generation.

But experts say this is similar to past proposals, including those offered during summits involving former President Trump, per Reuters. Kim said the offer was the “height of absurdity.” Her brother has acknowledged that food shortages resulting from border closures, flooding, and international sanctions are creating a “tense” situation in North Korea but has refused to back down from its nuclear program. On Wednesday, the country test-fired two cruise missiles into the sea for the first time in two months. “It would have been more favorable for [Yoon’s] image to shut his mouth, rather than talking nonsense as he had nothing better to say,” Kim said. (Read more North Korea stories.)