May 09, 2019 13:52
North Korean state media on Wednesday defended the country's "historic" mission to acquire nuclear weapons while developing its economy, even as the regime holds out the begging bowl for food aid to the international community.
The small impoverished nation is an "invincible power that has fulfilled the historic cause of parallel development" of the economy and nuclear weapons, the official Rodong Sinumn daily crowed, and has "taken the initiative in policy trends towards peace amid a death-defying confrontation with hostile forces."
It added the North's "independent dignity and strategic status have reached a zenith over the past three years. We now have a self-sustaining war deterrence with which we can resolutely subdue and smash any kind of tyranny and fanaticism."
In April last year, the regime declared "victory" in the policy of parallel development of the economy and nuclear weapons, and now its foreign currency reserves are forecast to last barely a year and the food shortage is reaching alarming proportions.
But the North dialed down its rhetoric about the parallel development of nuclear arms and the economy until leader Kim Jong-un's second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi in February collapsed.
Two months later, in a speech to the Supreme People's Assembly on April 12, Kim was back on message. "The strategic status and influence of our republic, which has fulfilled the historic cause of parallel development despite a recent death-defying confrontation with imperialists and taken the initiative in policy trends towards peace, are increasing each day," he claimed.
Observers said this renewed insistence on the doctrine suggests the North still hopes to strong-arm the U.S. into concessions with nuclear threats.
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