N. Korea's official newspaper highlights Kim's military leadership
SEOUL, Dec. 30 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official newspaper highlighted leader Kim Jong-un's leadership and achievements as "supreme commander" of the country's armed forces Monday, saying the country's dignity and happiness all depend on its powerful military force.
The emphasis on Kim's leadership came as North Korea is threatening to take a "new way" in denuclearization talks with the United States if Washington fails to come up with a new proposal before the end of this year, hinting that Pyongyang could end diplomacy and revert to provocative acts.
It also came as the North marked the eighth anniversary of Kim's appointment as "supreme commander" of the Korean People's Army on Dec. 30, 2011, weeks after his father, Kim Jong-il, died of a heart attack.
"(Kim Jong-un) is the general of the generals being respected by all the people due to his exceptional military aptitude, look and cumulative unique achievements in his leadership," the Rodong Sinmun said in an article.
"Changes being realized across the our nation and our land by tackling cumulative obstacles and challenges clearly bespeak the fact that our dignity, happiness and bright future all depend on the most powerful military force," it added.
Calling 2019 a "year of upheaval," the paper said in a separate article it has become evident that only victory and glory come along when the military remains loyal to its leader no matter how serious the challenges and predicament might be.
With its self-imposed year-end deadline for denuclearization talks drawing closer without major concessions from Washington, North Korea has recently called for efforts to beef up its self-defense capability and build an economy independent of outside help.
During a plenary meeting of the ruling party Sunday, the North said it discussed "offensive measures" to ensure the country's sovereignty and security, while urging efforts to bring about a "decisive turn in the development of the country's economy and people's standard of living."
Speculation is mounting that North Korea is preparing to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile in protest of stalled nuclear talks. The North conducted what appeared to be a rocket engine test twice this month at its west-coast satellite launch site, saying it will bolster its "nuclear deterrent."
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