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N.K. official newspaper urges 'self-reliance' on leader's birthday

All News 09:35 January 08, 2020

By Koh Byung-joon

SEOUL, Jan. 8 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official newspaper urged "self-reliance" on Wednesday, calling it the "core of frontal breakthrough" against challenges facing the communist nation as leader Kim Jong-un marked his presumed 36th birthday in a low-key manner.

North Korea's media outlets have called for self-reliance almost daily since Kim urged stepped-up efforts to build an economy independent of outside support at a recent key party meeting in apparent protest of stalled denuclearization talks with the United States.

"Self-reliance is none other than the core of frontal breakthrough, a revolution and fighting style best suited for the audacity and nature of our people who regard autonomy and dignity as their life and loves justice," the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North's ruling party, said in an article.

"We have the revolutionary spirit of self-reliance, which is a great power and weapon that cannot be found in other countries barely surviving with sycophancy and subservience," the paper added.

Wednesday was Kim's presumed birthday. The young leader is believed to have been born on Jan. 8, 1984, though the North hasn't officially confirmed the date. The country has not designated his birthday as a holiday either, unlike those of his late grandfather and father annually celebrated nationwide.

State media remained mum about Kim's birthday, carrying no articles or editorials commemorating the date. On his birthday last year, Kim was in Beijing for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, ahead of February's second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

The paper also urged its people to stop depending on external help, calling reliance on others an "import illness" that could foster "inability" and "irresponsibility."

At a key party meeting in late December, leader Kim said that there is "no need to hesitate with any expectations" of the U.S. lifting sanctions against Pyongyang, calling for stepped-up efforts to build an economy independent of external help.

He added that there is no reason to be bound by a self-imposed moratorium on testing intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons, warning that the world will witness a "new strategic weapon" in the near future.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (at podium) presides over the second day of the plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang on Dec. 29, 2019, in this photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency the next day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)


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