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Dagyum Ji is a senior NK News correspondent based in Seoul. She previously worked for Reuters TV.
North Korea’s main party daily the Rodong Sinmun on Wednesday urged the country to further push towards “self-reliance” as a means to achieve “greater victory” and overcome pressure from international sanctions.
The political essay (Jongron), published to mark Thursday’s 74th anniversary of the foundation of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), stressed that the DPRK was the only country to have existed “for decades under tenacious and persistent sanctions of hostile forces.”
“The atrocities of hostile forces, who try to crush our Republic to death, ran at its height for the last seven and eight years,” the essay, written by Bang Song Hwa, said. “The ‘North Korea collapse theory’ once again roamed the planet.”
Despite international sanctions, the party daily said, the North had “laid the foundations of a far-reaching plan” and “achieved a great work — that has not been achieved by others for hundreds of years — in several years.”
“[The DPRK] established a strong national power that can firmly defend the country and system against the ambition of heinous hostile forces which never gives up their moves to isolate and stifle” it, the article continued, describing the achievement as “historic.”
The country, the party daily said, had learned from the experience of the past several years, in which it “has advanced and taken a leap while overcoming innumerable difficulties with the revolutionary spirit of self-reliance.”
That experience, it continued, helped it realize “more deeply and acutely that the country can further exalt its dignity and status in the world and carry out the construction of socialist power in its way… only when it absolutely believes in its power and continually grows its power.”
Highlighting the importance of self-reliance, the Rodong Sinmun said: “We must go further on a long way and achieve greater victory although we have high pride in the path we have followed so far.”
The intention of the party, the Rodong Sinmun said, is to “activate the whole people’s economy and firmly place it on the upward path during the period of implementing the five-year strategy for national economic development” from 2016 to 2020.
It also aims to “establish an independent and modern socialist economy and knowledge-based economy” during that period.
Despite these plans, the article cautioned, the “path to victory may not be a royal road and may be a steep path… as the atrocities of hostile forces which attempt to prevent our advance are growing.”
“Loyalty to the leader, the revolutionary spirit of self-reliance, and indomitable offensive spirit are the spiritual motivational powers that inspire and promote our march, which aims at a higher leap and faster advance.”
Among them, it said, the “revolutionary spirit of self-reliance is the great impetus which creates the myth of Juche Korea which has leaped ahead centuries.”
“The hostile forces have tenaciously created a death-dealing encircling net of sanctions… and made frantic efforts to suffocating us,” the party daily read.
“But we have been able to unwaveringly make progress over the last seven and eight years because of the stout foundation of the independent economy that the great leaders have laid,” it continued.
“Self-reliance leads to survival and dependence on foreign powers leads to ruin, and this is the truth of the present world that becomes more clear as the days go by.”
The country, it said, “should lift the banner of self-reliance more aloft,” echoing April remarks by Kim Jong Un in which he urged the country to pursue self-reliance in its economy to “deal a telling blow to hostile forces” seeking to coerce it through sanctions and pressure.
“Only a person who is fully implanted with the belief of self-reliance to the bone can be a true patriot and full-blooded revolutionary,” the Rodong argued this week.
Ahead of the 74th anniversary of the party foundation, North Korean media has sought to highlight the important of “self-reliance.”
Tuesday saw state-run Korean Central Television (KCTV) air a new documentary “Glorious history winning the victory with our strength” with the major theme of “self-reliance” and “power of self-development.”
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Featured image: NK News