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N.K. paper warns against relying on outside help to achieve five-year economic plan

All News 09:31 February 24, 2021

SEOUL, Feb. 24 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official newspaper on Wednesday called for greater efforts to realize a self-reliant economy without outside help amid struggles to accomplish key goals unveiled in a rare party meeting last month.

"When we face difficulties in the process of achieving our tasks, we must not depend on help from outside or from the top but rather solve the problems in close cooperation with the production, research and development sector," the Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the North's ruling party, said in an editorial.

The paper stressed the importance of cooperation between different sectors and divisions in the economy and warned against "specialization and self-centralism that undermines our collectivist-based socialism."

In a separate article, the paper called on top officials to work with greater devotion and responsibility, saying their high status is a "sign of great trust and expectations" as well as the extent to which it has to be "paid back."

North Korea has intensified calls for efforts to be independent of outside help in its economic development since early last year as leader Kim Jong-un expressed frustration with the little progress in easing or lifting sanctions amid stalled nuclear talks with Washington.

At the eighth congress of the ruling Workers' Party last month, Kim admitted the failure to meet the country's previous five-year development goals and put forward a new five-year plan focusing on self-reliance.

The North appears to be seeking realistic ways to achieve a self-reliant economy amid multiple challenges, including its ongoing antivirus campaign, devastation caused by typhoons and economic woes from global sanctions.

This photo, released by the North's Korean Central News Agency on Feb. 15, 2021, shows one of the new propaganda posters highlighting the five-year economic plan set forth at the eighth congress of the Workers' Party in January this year. This poster reads, "Let's push ahead to achieve the first year's tasks of the five-year economic development plan." (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)


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