S Korea offers North economic benefits for denuclearization

Aug 14, 2022, 8:58 PM | Updated: Aug 15, 2022, 3:49 am
People attend a rally against North Korea on Korea's Liberation Day in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, ...

People attend a rally against North Korea on Korea's Liberation Day in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday offered "audacious" economic assistance to North Korea if it abandons its nuclear weapons program while avoiding harsh criticism of the North days after it threatened "deadly" retaliation over the COVID-19 outbreak it blames on the South. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol offered “audacious” economic assistance to North Korea on Monday if it abandons its nuclear weapons program, while avoiding harsh criticism of the North days after it threatened “deadly” retaliation over a COVID-19 outbreak it blames on the South.

In a speech celebrating the end of Japan’s colonization of the Korean Peninsula, Yoon also called for better ties with Japan, calling the two countries partners in navigating challenges to freedom and saying their shared values will help them overcome historical grievances linked to Japan’s brutal colonial rule before the end of World War II.

Yoon’s televised speech on the liberation holiday came days after North Korea claimed a widely disputed victory over COVID-19 but also blamed South Korea for the outbreak. North Korea insists leaflets and other objects flown across the border by activists spread the virus, an unscientific claim Seoul describes as “ridiculous.”

North Korea has a history of dialing up pressure on South Korea when it doesn’t get what it wants from the United States, and there are concerns that North Korea’s threat portends a provocation, which could possibly be a nuclear or missile test or even border skirmishes. Some experts say North Korea may stir up tensions around joint military exercises the United States and South Korea start next week.

Yoon, a conservative who took office in May, said North Korea’s denuclearization is key for peace in the region and the world. If North Korea halts its nuclear weapons development and genuinely commits to a process of denuclearization, South Korea will respond with huge economic rewards that would be provided in phases, Yoon said.

Kim Tae-hyo, Yoon’s deputy national security director, said Seoul is willing to provide economic rewards at each step of a phased denuclearization process if North Korea commits to a denuclearization “roadmap” and proceeds with the “freezing, declaration, verification and dismantlement” of its nuclear weapons program.

Yoon’s proposal isn’t meaningfully different from previous South Korean offers that have already been rejected by North Korea, which has been accelerating its efforts to expand its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles programs, seen by leader Kim Jong Un as his strongest guarantee of survival.

“We will implement a large-scale program to provide food, providing assistance for establishing infrastructure for the production, transmission and distribution of electrical power, and carry out projects to modernize ports and airports to facilitate trade,” Yoon said.

“We will also help improve North Korea’s agricultural production, provide assistance to modernize its hospitals and medical infrastructure, and carry out initiatives to allow for international investment and financial support,” he added, insisting that such programs would “significantly” improve North Korean lives.

Inter-Korean ties have deteriorated amid a stalemate in larger nuclear negotiations between North Korea and the U.S. which derailed in early 2019 because of disagreements over a relaxation of crippling U.S.-led sanctions on the North in exchange for disarmament steps.

North Korea has ramped up its missile testing activity in 2022, launching more than 30 ballistic missiles so far, including its first intercontinental ballistic missiles since 2017. Experts say Kim is intent on exploiting a favorable environment to push forward his weapons program while the U.N. Security Council is divided and effectively paralyzed over Russia’s war on Ukraine.

North Korea’s unusually fast pace in weapons tests also underscores its brinkmanship aimed at forcing Washington to accept the North as a nuclear power and at negotiating badly needed economic benefits and security concessions from a position of strength, experts say. The U.S. and South Korean governments have also said North Korea is gearing up to conduct its first nuclear test since September 2017, when it claimed to have detonated a nuclear warhead designed for its ICBMs.

In the face of the growing North Korean threats, Yoon has vowed to bolster South Korea’s defense in conjunction with its alliance with the United States and also strengthen security ties with Japan, which also is alarmed by the North’s nuclear and missile programs.

South Korea’s relations with Japan declined to post-World War II lows over the past several years as the countries allowed their grievances over history to extend to other areas including trade and military cooperation.

While Yoon has called for future-oriented cooperation with Japan, history may continue to pose an obstacle to relations. The countries have struggled to negotiate a solution after Japanese companies rejected South Korean court rulings in recent years to compensate South Koreans who were subject to wartime industrial slavery, an issue that could cause a further diplomatic rupture if it results in the forced sales of the companies’ South Korean assets. Even as Yoon called for improved relations with Japan, his Foreign Ministry issued a statement expressing “deep disappointment and regret” after three members of Japan’s Cabinet visited and prayed at Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japanese war dead, including some convicted war criminals. The shrine is seen in South Korea as a symbol of Japanese militarism.

“In the past, we had to unshackle ourselves from Imperial Japan’s political control and defend our freedom. Today, Japan is our partner as we face common threats that challenge the freedom of global citizens,” Yoon said. “When South Korea and Japan move toward a common future and when the mission of our times align, based on our shared universal values, it will also help us solve the historical problems that exist between our two countries.”

While Washington has said it will push for additional sanctions if North Korea conducts another nuclear test, the prospects for meaningful punitive measures are unclear. China and Russia recently vetoed U.S.-sponsored resolutions in the U.N. Security Council that would have increased sanctions on the North over its ballistic missile testing this year.

North Korea’s state media said Monday that Kim exchanged messages with Russian President Vladimir Putin and celebrated their strengthening ties.

Kim said the countries’ relations were forged by Soviet contributions to Japan’s World War II defeat and that they were strengthening their “strategic and tactical cooperation and support and solidarity” in the face of enemies’ military threats. Putin said closer ties between the countries would help bring stability to the region, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said.

North Korea has repeatedly blamed the United States for the crisis in Ukraine, saying the West’s “hegemonic policy” justified Russian military actions in Ukraine to protect itself.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


              People attend a rally against North Korea on Korea's Liberation Day in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday offered "audacious" economic assistance to North Korea if it abandons its nuclear weapons program while avoiding harsh criticism of the North days after it threatened "deadly" retaliation over the COVID-19 outbreak it blames on the South. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
            
              Veterans shout slogans during a rally against North Korea on Korea's Liberation Day in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday offered "audacious" economic assistance to North Korea if it abandons its nuclear weapons program while avoiding harsh criticism of the North days after it threatened "deadly" retaliation over the COVID-19 outbreak it blames on the South. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
            
              People cheer during a rally against North Korea on Korea's Liberation Day in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday offered "audacious" economic assistance to North Korea if it abandons its nuclear weapons program while avoiding harsh criticism of the North days after it threatened "deadly" retaliation over the COVID-19 outbreak it blames on the South. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
            
              People attend a rally against North Korea on Korea's Liberation Day in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday offered "audacious" economic assistance to North Korea if it abandons its nuclear weapons program while avoiding harsh criticism of the North days after it threatened "deadly" retaliation over the COVID-19 outbreak it blames on the South. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
            
              People stage a rally against North Korea on Korea's Liberation Day in front of the statue of King Sejong in the Joseon Dynasty, in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday offered "audacious" economic assistance to North Korea if it abandons its nuclear weapons program while avoiding harsh criticism of the North days after it threatened "deadly" retaliation over the COVID-19 outbreak it blames on the South. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
            
              A child and her parents visit the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Citizens walk along Changjon Street past a festive poster reading "The great victory in the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle" to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Residents walk along Changjon Street during the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Citizens celebrate the in the plaza of the Arch of Triumph dressing in traditional costume to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Residents walk along Changjon Street past a billboard poster reading "Conviction of sure victory"  commemorating the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Children carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Visitors bow in front of the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Citizens visit the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              People attend a rally against North Korea on Korea's Liberation Day in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday offered "audacious" economic assistance to North Korea if it abandons its nuclear weapons program while avoiding harsh criticism of the North days after it threatened "deadly" retaliation over the COVID-19 outbreak it blames on the South. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
            
              People attend a rally against North Korea on Korea's Liberation Day in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday offered "audacious" economic assistance to North Korea if it abandons its nuclear weapons program while avoiding harsh criticism of the North days after it threatened "deadly" retaliation over the COVID-19 outbreak it blames on the South. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
            
              Veterans shout slogans during a rally against North Korea on Korea's Liberation Day in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday offered "audacious" economic assistance to North Korea if it abandons its nuclear weapons program while avoiding harsh criticism of the North days after it threatened "deadly" retaliation over the COVID-19 outbreak it blames on the South. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
            
              People cheer during a rally against North Korea on Korea's Liberation Day in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday offered "audacious" economic assistance to North Korea if it abandons its nuclear weapons program while avoiding harsh criticism of the North days after it threatened "deadly" retaliation over the COVID-19 outbreak it blames on the South. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
            
              People attend a rally against North Korea on Korea's Liberation Day in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday offered "audacious" economic assistance to North Korea if it abandons its nuclear weapons program while avoiding harsh criticism of the North days after it threatened "deadly" retaliation over the COVID-19 outbreak it blames on the South. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
            
              People stage a rally against North Korea on Korea's Liberation Day in front of the statue of King Sejong in the Joseon Dynasty, in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday offered "audacious" economic assistance to North Korea if it abandons its nuclear weapons program while avoiding harsh criticism of the North days after it threatened "deadly" retaliation over the COVID-19 outbreak it blames on the South. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
            
              A child and her parents visit the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Citizens walk along Changjon Street past a festive poster reading "The great victory in the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle" to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Residents walk along Changjon Street during the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Citizens celebrate the in the plaza of the Arch of Triumph dressing in traditional costume to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Residents walk along Changjon Street past a billboard poster reading "Conviction of sure victory"  commemorating the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Children carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Visitors bow in front of the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Citizens visit the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              People attend a rally against North Korea on Korea's Liberation Day in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday offered "audacious" economic assistance to North Korea if it abandons its nuclear weapons program while avoiding harsh criticism of the North days after it threatened "deadly" retaliation over the COVID-19 outbreak it blames on the South. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
            
              People attend a rally against North Korea on Korea's Liberation Day in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday offered "audacious" economic assistance to North Korea if it abandons its nuclear weapons program while avoiding harsh criticism of the North days after it threatened "deadly" retaliation over the COVID-19 outbreak it blames on the South. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
            
              Veterans shout slogans during a rally against North Korea on Korea's Liberation Day in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday offered "audacious" economic assistance to North Korea if it abandons its nuclear weapons program while avoiding harsh criticism of the North days after it threatened "deadly" retaliation over the COVID-19 outbreak it blames on the South. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
            
              People cheer during a rally against North Korea on Korea's Liberation Day in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday offered "audacious" economic assistance to North Korea if it abandons its nuclear weapons program while avoiding harsh criticism of the North days after it threatened "deadly" retaliation over the COVID-19 outbreak it blames on the South. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
            
              People attend a rally against North Korea on Korea's Liberation Day in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday offered "audacious" economic assistance to North Korea if it abandons its nuclear weapons program while avoiding harsh criticism of the North days after it threatened "deadly" retaliation over the COVID-19 outbreak it blames on the South. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
            
              People stage a rally against North Korea on Korea's Liberation Day in front of the statue of King Sejong in the Joseon Dynasty, in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday offered "audacious" economic assistance to North Korea if it abandons its nuclear weapons program while avoiding harsh criticism of the North days after it threatened "deadly" retaliation over the COVID-19 outbreak it blames on the South. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
            
              A child and her parents visit the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Citizens walk along Changjon Street past a festive poster reading "The great victory in the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle" to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Residents walk along Changjon Street during the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Citizens celebrate the in the plaza of the Arch of Triumph dressing in traditional costume to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Residents walk along Changjon Street past a billboard poster reading "Conviction of sure victory"  commemorating the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Children carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Visitors bow in front of the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Citizens visit the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              People attend a rally against North Korea on Korea's Liberation Day in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday offered "audacious" economic assistance to North Korea if it abandons its nuclear weapons program while avoiding harsh criticism of the North days after it threatened "deadly" retaliation over the COVID-19 outbreak it blames on the South. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
            
              A child and her parents visit the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Citizens walk along Changjon Street past a festive poster reading "The great victory in the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle" to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Residents walk along Changjon Street during the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Citizens celebrate the in the plaza of the Arch of Triumph dressing in traditional costume to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Citizens visit the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors bow in front of the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Residents walk along Changjon Street past a billboard poster reading "Conviction of sure victory"  commemorating the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Children carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Visitors carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              A child and her parents visit the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Citizens walk along Changjon Street past a festive poster reading "The great victory in the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle" to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Residents walk along Changjon Street during the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Citizens celebrate the in the plaza of the Arch of Triumph dressing in traditional costume to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Citizens visit the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors bow in front of the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Residents walk along Changjon Street past a billboard poster reading "Conviction of sure victory"  commemorating the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Children carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              A child and her parents visit the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Citizens walk along Changjon Street past a festive poster reading "The great victory in the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle" to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Residents walk along Changjon Street during the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Citizens celebrate the in the plaza of the Arch of Triumph dressing in traditional costume to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Citizens visit the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors bow in front of the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Residents walk along Changjon Street past a billboard poster reading "Conviction of sure victory"  commemorating the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Children carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              A child and her parents visit the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Citizens walk along Changjon Street past a festive poster reading "The great victory in the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle" to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Residents walk along Changjon Street during the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Citizens celebrate the in the plaza of the Arch of Triumph dressing in traditional costume to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Citizens visit the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors bow in front of the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Residents walk along Changjon Street past a billboard poster reading "Conviction of sure victory"  commemorating the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Children carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              A child and her parents visit the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Citizens walk along Changjon Street past a festive poster reading "The great victory in the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle" to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Residents walk along Changjon Street during the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Citizens celebrate the in the plaza of the Arch of Triumph dressing in traditional costume to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Citizens visit the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors bow in front of the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Residents walk along Changjon Street past a billboard poster reading "Conviction of sure victory"  commemorating the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Children carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              A child and her parents visit the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Citizens walk along Changjon Street past a festive poster reading "The great victory in the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle" to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Residents walk along Changjon Street during the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Citizens celebrate the in the plaza of the Arch of Triumph dressing in traditional costume to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Citizens visit the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors bow in front of the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Residents walk along Changjon Street past a billboard poster reading "Conviction of sure victory"  commemorating the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Children carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              A child and her parents visit the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Citizens walk along Changjon Street past a festive poster reading "The great victory in the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle" to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Residents walk along Changjon Street during the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Citizens celebrate the in the plaza of the Arch of Triumph dressing in traditional costume to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Citizens visit the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors bow in front of the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Residents walk along Changjon Street past a billboard poster reading "Conviction of sure victory"  commemorating the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Children carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              A child and her parents visit the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Citizens walk along Changjon Street past a festive poster reading "The great victory in the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle" to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Residents walk along Changjon Street during the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Citizens celebrate the in the plaza of the Arch of Triumph dressing in traditional costume to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Citizens visit the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors bow in front of the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Residents walk along Changjon Street past a billboard poster reading "Conviction of sure victory"  commemorating the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              Children carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
            
              Visitors carry flowers to the statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Korea's Liberation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)
            
              South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol speaks during a ceremony to celebrate Korean Liberation Day from Japanese colonial rule in 1945, at the presidential office square in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, Pool)
            
              South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and his wife Kim Keon Hee pay a silent tribute during a ceremony to celebrate Korean Liberation Day from Japanese colonial rule in 1945, at the presidential office square in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, Pool)
            
              South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, second from left, and his wife Kim Keon Hee give three cheers for his country during a ceremony to celebrate Korean Liberation Day from Japanese colonial rule in 1945, at the presidential office square in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, Pool)
            
              South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol salutes to a national flag during a ceremony to celebrate Korean Liberation Day from Japanese colonial rule in 1945, at the presidential office square in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, Pool)
            
              South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol speaks during a ceremony to celebrate Korean Liberation Day from Japanese colonial rule in 1945, at the presidential office square in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, Pool)
            
              South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol waves a national flag during a ceremony to celebrate Korean Liberation Day from Japanese colonial rule in 1945, at the presidential office square in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, Pool)

AP

FILE - Then Economic revitalization minister, Yasutoshi Nishimura speaks during a press conference ...
Associated Press

Japan, Belgium to cooperate in chip production, development

TOKYO (AP) — A newly founded Japanese semiconductor company aiming to revive Japan’s chip industry will collaborate with a Belgian research organization in research and development of next-generation chips for production in Japan. Economy and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura told reporters Tuesday that the new company, Rapidus, which was launched last month by eight corporate […]
5 hours ago
A protester waves a Mongolian national flag as protesters gather on the steps of the State Palace i...
Associated Press

Mongolians protest alleged theft of coal sold to China

ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia (AP) — Protesters angered by allegations of corruption linked to Mongolia’s coal trade with China tried to force their way into the State Palace in the capital, demanding dismissals of officials involved in the scandal. The U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar issued an alert Monday saying that several hundred protesters had gathered in the […]
5 hours ago
FILE --A man stands at the entrance of a hospital in Frankfurt, Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Mi...
Associated Press

Panel proposes major overhaul of German hospital financing

BERLIN (AP) — An expert panel unveiled a proposal Tuesday for a major overhaul of Germany’s system for funding hospitals that it says would promote quality over quantity, ending what some described as a “hamster wheel” system where clinics tried to perform as many procedures as possible. The government-appointed panel of independent experts suggested putting […]
5 hours ago
Alexandra, 11, draws at a school building, a "Point of Invincibility," a government-built help stat...
Associated Press

Russian airfield hit, day after drone strikes on bases

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A fire that broke out at an airport in Russia’s southern Kursk region that borders Ukraine was the result of a drone attack, the regional governor said Tuesday, a day after Moscow blamed Kyiv for drone strikes on two air bases deep inside Russia and launched a new wave of missile […]
5 hours ago
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden walk on the South Lawn of the White House in Washingt...
Associated Press

White House invites in state lawmakers before 2023 sessions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is playing host to roughly 50 Democratic state lawmakers from 31 states this week as legislatures prepare for their upcoming sessions, aiming to talk over strategy on top issues like climate change, gun violence, abortion rights and voting rights. Those expected to attend the meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday […]
5 hours ago
FILE - Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin speaks to supporters as he attends a campaign rally on Monday, ...
Associated Press

Youngkin’s early shine faces test as he eyes White House bid

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Glenn Youngkin swept into office as a Republican sensation with a fresh formula for victory as the GOP contemplated its future beyond Donald Trump. But one year after Youngkin became the first Republican in more than a decade to win the Virginia governorship, some in his party believe the shine of […]
5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
S Korea offers North economic benefits for denuclearization