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N.K. vows economic development without outside help amid stalled nuke talks

All Headlines 15:00 September 05, 2018

SEOUL, Sept. 5 (Yonhap) -- North Korea reiterated its resolve to push for economic development on its own Wednesday amid a stalemate in nuclear talks with the United States and sanctions in place blocking its economic cooperation with South Korea.

The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, called the United States-led sanctions on the North a plot to completely isolate and take it off the map.

"Never before have we ever thought about developing our economy with the help from outside," the newspaper said in a commentary, adding that solidarity, its own efforts and science and technology are the driving force behind its economic advance.

Its emphasis on economic development without outside support comes amid an apparent impasse in denuclearization talks between the North and the U.S. It is also timed with a South Korean presidential delegation's trip Wednesday to Pyongyang to arrange a third summit between the leaders of the two Koreas.

Washington says that sanctions should remain in place until the North takes substantive steps in giving up its nuclear weapons program. Stalled nuclear talks have taken their toll on burgeoning inter-Korean exchanges as the Seoul government is apparently under pressure from the U.S.

"Sanctions have been slapped on countries that have had any kind of transactions with us," the newspaper said, apparently pointing its fingers at the U.S. "It is aimed at completely isolating us and taking us off the map."

The newspaper earlier emphasized the importance of political self-reliance and rejected "prescriptions by imperialists." It also called for efforts to make hostile forces' plan to suffocate the North through stepped-up sanctions get nowhere.

Some observers said that the North's renewed focus on self-reliance could be seen as propaganda for its own people ahead of its 70th founding anniversary on Sunday.

They also see it as a tactic to raise the North's leverage in nuclear talks with the U.S. by showing that it is not so desperate in developing its economy through concessions it could receive in return for giving up its nuclear weapons.


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