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N. Korean paper calls for strong belief in own power amid sanctions, global pandemic

All News 20:00 May 17, 2020

SEOUL, May 17 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official newspaper called Sunday for strong conviction in building socialism in the face of challenges, saying that there is no challenge that cannot be overcome if one has a strong belief in one's own power.

North Korea has intensified calls for self-reliance in many areas as the country appears to be facing a double whammy of crippling global sanctions and the fallout from the global coronavirus pandemic.

"Our people's conviction and will are firm and strong to open the path toward a new victory of building socialism against harsh crisis under the leadership of our party," the Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the North's ruling party, said.

"No difficulties and challenges would halt our people's continued strong march with soaring belief in victory and unending innovation," the paper added. "There are no ridges and challenges that cannot be overcome once one has a firm belief in his own power and stands up."

The paper noted that it is true that the country desperately needs favorable external conditions to develop its economy but that the country cannot "sell its dignity that it has protected like its own life" to see such a change.

The paper frequently used "harsh crisis," "unbearable difficult challenges and pressure" and "unprecedented tough adversity" to describe situations facing the communist state.

It did not specify what they are, but the expressions appear to be pointing to restrictions posed by global sanctions and the fallout from its ongoing fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

State media has emphasized the importance of building an economy independent of external help since leader Kim Jong-un told a party meeting last December that he has no expectation of the U.S. lifting sanctions anytime soon.

The North has claimed to be coronavirus-free, but it has taken such precautionary measures as shutting down its border with China, which has apparently disrupted imports of key materials from the neighboring ally at a time when it is striving to show the outcome of its five-year economic development plan by year's end.

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