Kim Jong Un vows North Korea will withstand sanctions pressure, prove self-reliance


Kim told top officials of the ruling Workers' Party on Wednesday to push ahead with "self-reliance" to undermine the sanctions, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has doubled down on his regime persevering through tough sanctions that have choked his country's economy, urging his country to deal a "telling blow" to those imposing the sanctions and pitching self-reliance as an "eternal lifeline", state-run media reported Thursday.

Although sanctions have undoubtedly made it more hard for Kim to deliver on his public pledge to provide economic development for the people of North Korea, few experts believe he will cave in to external pressure to surrender his nuclear arsenal.

"Indeed, North Korea has beefed up significant resilience against sanctions over a long period of time", he added. The pair will have a working lunch, a day after Kim Jong-un vowed to deliver a "serious blow" to hostile countries he accused of using sanctions to bring the regime "to its knees".

"The summit is being held based on the shared perception that cooperation between the two countries is important in reviving the momentum for dialogue in the wake of the Hanoi summit", Kim Hyun-chong, second deputy director of the National Security Office, said. -North Korea summit in Hanoi that collapsed in February, and signalled a continued focus on economic development, a strategic direction officially declared a priority last April.

State media have published images and reports of Kim's visits to at least four economic projects in five days over the past week, including a remodelled department store, tourist resorts, and an economic hub near the border with China. Although Kim extended the deadline for the completion of the Wonsan-Kalma resort until April 2020, experts said the trips were created to demonstrate the resilience of North Korea's economy.

Moon has put his political reputation on the line in encouraging negotiations between the United States and North Korea aimed at persuading Kim to give up a nuclear weapons program that now threatens the United States.

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But some believe the carrot of economic development may encourage him to limit the size of that arsenal and eventually submit to limited worldwide inspections.

Moon has suggested that sanctions could be eased to allow inter-Korean economic engagement in return for some nuclear concessions by North Korea, but so far Washington has not agreed.

North Korea has also been careful not to criticise Trump personally, while saying last month that sanctions against it were an "action against humanity to destroy modern civilisation and turn the society back in a mediaeval dark age".

"I want to leave a little space there", he said.

He said U.S. -North Korea diplomatic channels remained open and the two sides have "had conversations after Hanoi about how to move forward", but he did not elaborate. "From time to time, there are particular provisions, if we are making substantial progress, where one might think it's the right thing to do".

Analysts said Kim would not censure officials for their mistakes in the Vietnam summit as that would send a signal to North Korean people that they had failed.