(ATTN: ADDS details on another article by newspaper, background info in paras 8-11)
By Koh Byung-joon
SEOUL, Oct. 21 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official newspaper accused the United States on Monday of using sanctions in order to bring disobedient countries to their knees, stressing the country should stand up to such attempts without giving in to pressure.
North Korea has intensified its criticism of the U.S. since the breakdown of their Stockholm working-level denuclearization talks earlier this month. It has increased calls for strengthening "self-reliance" in the face of U.S.-led sanctions.
"Western powers, including the U.S., are pressuring disobedient countries with sanctions," the Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary. "A step of compromise would lead to ten steps, a hundred steps and eventually a collapse."
Citing the cases of Iraq and Libya, the paper said those countries went down a "self-destruction" path with their sovereignty violated as if from self-inflicted wounds.
The paper was apparently referring to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who allowed U.N. inspectors access to its weapons program from 2002-2003 but later was executed in the wake of a U.S. invasion.
Libya surrendered its weapons of mass destruction program in 2003, but its leader Muammar Gaddafi was removed from power and killed by NATO-backed rebel forces in 2011.
The paper said the objective of sanctions is to destabilize economies, push for regime change and eventually achieve subjugation, emphasizing that self-reliance and national dignity can be achieved only through a fight against imperialists.
In a separate article, the paper also said that sanctions being sought by Western powers are serving as a major hindrance to global peace and stability.
"Sanctions draw only resistance and counteraction from those affected countries, without providing any help in solving problems," it said.
The North and the U.S. met in Stockholm on Oct. 5 for the first time since their second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump collapsed in February as they failed to reconcile differences over how to match Pyongyang's denuclearization steps and Washington's sanctions relief.
Declaring the breakdown of the latest meeting, Pyongyang denounced Washington for returning to the negotiation table without any new proposal acceptable to it. Washington claimed that it provided "creative" ideas and had "good" discussions.
In his recent horseback ride up Mt. Paekdu, considered one of the country's most sacred places, North Korean leader Kim lashed out at the U.S. for the "ceaseless sanctions and pressure by the hostile forces," calling for greater self-reliance efforts to frustrate them.
In an editorial Saturday, the Rodong Sinmun urged its people to maintain their stepped-up drive for self-reliance in the face of sanctions.
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