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N.K. paper urges self-reliance amid for protracted fight against sanctions

All News 10:51 February 19, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 19 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official newspaper on Wednesday called for independence from outside help in tacking the challenges confronting the country as Pyongyang braces for a protracted fight against crippling international sanctions led by the United States.

North Korea has emphasized "self-reliance" in all possible areas, with leader Kim Jong-un calling for a "frontal breakthrough" in a New Year's Day message, amid limited prospects for eased sanctions as denuclearization negotiations with Washington remains stalled.

"Securing a power country status and demonstrating an independent dignity come from a march toward reuniting the public and laying the economic and military groundwork on its own solidly and earnestly," the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North's ruling party, said in a commentary.

"Cooperation based on interests of countries can bring about a temporary prosperity and change but it cannot guarantee an existence of a country," the paper added.

It noted that self-reliance and independence are the "only way" for the North, saying that it is a "stupid idea" to strengthen national power depending on outside support.

Denuclearization talks have been stalled since leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump met in February last year. They failed to narrow their differences on how to math out Pyongyang's steps toward removing nuclear weapons and Washington's sanctions relief.

Pyongyang hopes that eased sanctions will help revive its anemic local economy, which has long suffered from restrictions on its trade and exports of key materials.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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