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N. Korea downplays deadlock in peace process as 'temporary phenomenon'

All News 11:39 December 31, 2018

SEOUL, Dec. 31 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean state media outlet downplayed the deadlock in its negotiating process with the United States as a "temporary phenomenon" that typically happens at times of great changes.

The North's main newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, made the assessment in an editorial reviewing 2018, saying there has been a "dramatic change" in the country's strategic position in the international community.

Referring to the North's historic first-ever summit with the U.S. and three inter-Korean summits, the newspaper said that a new trend has taken shape on the Korean Peninsula and in the region toward peace and reducing tensions.

"Of course, it is true that difficulties have been created in our way forward ... But this is nothing but a temporary phenomenon that happens at a time when old things die out and new things emerge," the editorial said.

The editorial was apparently referring to the denuclearization negotiations with the U.S. that have been stalled over the North's demand for sanctions relief and the U.S. insistence on keeping sanctions until the North takes further denuclearization measures.

The newspaper also said that 2018 is a meaningful year as leader Kim Jong-un made a "significant political decision" to mobilize all resources toward developing the economy in order to break through international sanctions.

"Self-sufficiency" is the only way for the country to move forward, it said.

The newspaper also highlighted the country's fight against corruption as a major achievement of the year.

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