A return to byungjin? Signals from North Korean state media
Unusual emphasis of defense industry suggests DPRK may go back to simultaneous defense-economic development
The North Korean party daily on August 31 published a “special article [ronsol]” that justified the necessity of strong defense for economic development and said the defense industry will “lead” the national economy, evocative of the key concepts of the byungjin line. It echoed comments Kim Jong Un made a week earlier, during his guidance of a weapon test.
Such rare prioritization of the defense industry builds on state media’s emphasis over the past month of defense scientists and “self-defensive national defense capabilities,” unusual DPRK media behavior for the post-byungjin era.
This appears to suggest
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