North Korean newspaper emphasizes “self-sufficient economy” ahead of North’s foundation day

Posted on : 2018-09-03 17:02 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
Rodong Sinmun expresses North’s commitment to economic progress amid US sanctions
North Koreans at a photo exhibition of Chinese architecture in Pyongyang on Aug. 28. (Yonhap News)
North Koreans at a photo exhibition of Chinese architecture in Pyongyang on Aug. 28. (Yonhap News)

Leading up to the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the North Korean government on Sept. 9, the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), has been emphasizing a “self-sufficient economy.” Since there has been no relief from sanctions on North Korea since the North Korea-US summit in June, this appears to be aimed at underscoring the North’s commitment to an economic-focused policy line and encourage the activity of its “economic units.”

“Production centers grounded in North Korean strength, technology and resources are being built all over the country, and an energetic movement is sweeping this land to perfect a self-sufficient economic structure and to establish the subjective production process,” said an editorial titled “Our Great Leader Is Revered by Our Powerful People’s Government” that ran on page two of the Sept. 2 edition of the Rodong Sinmun.

The first page of the paper highlighted accomplishments in each sector of industry, including steel, science and livestock, under the headline, “Continue Leading the Charge to Warmly Welcome the 70th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Republic.”

“Juche Joseon [“Self-Reliant North Korea”] has been progressing and advancing through self-reliance and its own strength and efforts and thwarting the schemes of hostile forces to suffocate us through their blockade of gangster-like sanctions. The fact that so many proud accomplishments demonstrating the strength and massive economic potential of Juche Joseon are occurring one after another clearly demonstrates the wisdom of the leader of our party,” the paper said in its editorial.

The paper also said that “Since economic subjugation naturally leads to political subjugation, the strengthening and development of the people’s government is predicated on a strong foundation of a self-supporting economy” and argued that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had “clearly demonstrated his deeds and methods in regard to paving the way to revitalizing the economy and building a powerful socialist economy on several occasions, including the 7th Party Congress and the Plenary Session of the Central Party Committee in April.”

“Workers and laborers in various sectors of the people’s economy who have fully dedicated themselves to the ‘charge to boost production’ to achieve the strategic goals of the five-year plan to develop the state economy have brilliantly carried out the people’s economic plan in August,” North Korea’s Central Broadcasting Station said on Sunday. The ‘charge to boost production’ is reportedly a new public campaign that North Korea is pursuing in order to implement a five-year economic plan that runs from 2016 to 2020.

“Motivated by the passion to make the 70th anniversary of the Foundation of the Republic shine with the results of our proud efforts, workers and laborers in all units and all sectors of the people’s economy continue to innovate and continue to progress with redoubled courage and soaring energy,” the broadcasting station also said.

By Yoo Kang-moon, senior staff writer

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