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N. Korea calls for self-reliant economy on late founder's death anniversary

North Korea 10:16 July 08, 2019

SEOUL, July 8 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official newspaper on Monday urged its people to build a powerful economy based on the principle of "self-reliance" as the communist state marks the 25th anniversary of founding leader Kim Il-sung's death.

Kim Il-sung, who founded North Korea in 1948, died of a heart attack in 1994, and his son, Kim Jong-il, took over as leader. Kim Jong-il also died of a heart attack in late 2011, and one of his sons, Kim Jong-un, succeeded him as leader in the communist country's second hereditary succession of power.

"Today's grand advance in economic development is (the continuation of) a sacred and rewarding struggle of our great leaders to realize their aspirations for a patriotic and powerful country," the Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the country's ruling party, said in an editorial.

"Raising high the slogan for self-reliance and self-sufficiency and achieving a miraculous myth once again, (we) should demonstrate to the world the reviving status of the DPRK (North Korea) of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il," it added.

The paper said that there are challenges from hostile forces standing in the way of the North's advance but that the country's future remains bright as it has powerful political and military foundations and growth potential for a self-reliant economy.

The renewed emphasis on self-reliance appears aimed at consolidating social unity and urging its people to follow the party's new strategic line focusing more on economic development on the occasion of the anniversary of Kim Il-sung's death.

North Korea has made a pitch for self-reliance since the breakdown of leader Kim Jong-un's second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in February. The summit ended without a deal as they failed to find common ground over the scope of Pyongyang's denuclearization steps and Washington's sanctions relief.

Nuclear talks have since been stalled, but Kim and Trump agreed to resume working-level dialogue within a few weeks after their recent surprise meeting at the inter-Korean border.

The Rodong Sinmun, meanwhile, did not report whether Kim Jong-un visited the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, a mausoleum where the bodies of his late grandfather and father are enshrined.

Since taking office after his father's death in late 2011, Kim had visited the mausoleum every year until 2017 on the anniversary of his late grandfather's death. The North's media, however, did not report on his visit there last year.

Delegates to the celebrations of the 73rd founding anniversary of the Korean Children's Union gather at Mansudae Hill, where bronze statues of founder Kim Il-sung and his late son Kim Jong-il stand, in Pyongyang on June 4, 2019, in this photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency on June 5. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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