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N.K.'s paper stresses 'self-reliance' after Kim rejects outside flood aid

North Korea 11:30 August 19, 2020

SEOUL, Aug. 19 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official newspaper said Wednesday the country should stick to the principle of "self-reliance" even as its impoverished economy is struggling with flood damage, the coronavirus pandemic and economic sanctions.

The Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the North's ruling party, made the appeal after Kim Jong-un said last week that the country should reject any outside help even though the country suffered serious damage from recent heavy downpours.

"Building a socialist powerhouse is a war that can be waged only by those who have a strong will against any kinds of pressure, vilification and temptation," the paper said.

"A banner of self-reliance and self-prosperity is being highly hoisted as we are rejecting any slight hope for a change in circumstances or outside assistance," the paper added. "It is an inevitable challenge that should be overcome under any circumstances."

The paper called global sanctions imposed on North Korea a "hostile act" and "crime against humanity" aimed at stifling the country and its people.

It also emphasized the importance of strengthening its political and military power to safeguard the country against oppression by imperialists, apparently referring to the United States.

North Korea has intensified calls for self-reliance since leader Kim called for a "frontal breakthrough" to tackle challenges late last year amid little prospect for global sanctions to be lifted or eased anytime soon due to stalemated nuclear talks with Washington.

Last week, Kim presided over a politburo meeting of the Workers' Party and warned against accepting any outside flood aid, saying it could increase the risk of a coronavirus outbreak.

In this photo, captured from the Korean Central Television Broadcasting Station on Aug. 7, 2020, many houses are damaged and flooded at a flood-ravaged village in Unpha, North Hwanghae Province, which North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited. The broadcaster stopped short of saying when he made the visit, but Kim is believed to have visited the village the previous day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)


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