North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has refused to bow down to sanctions, saying those imposing sanctions should be dealt a "telling blow" and Pyongyang cannot be brought to its knees, reported Yonhap News Agency. The leader also underscored the need for "self-reliant" economic development.
"North Korea to deal a telling blow to the hostile forces who go with bloodshot eyes miscalculating that sanctions can bring (North Korea) to its knees", says Kim Jong Un, during a plenary session of the Central Committee of the ruling party here on Wednesday. "Self-reliance and self-supporting national economy are the bedrock of the existence of our own style of socialism, the motive power of its advance and development and the eternal lifeline essential to the destiny of our revolution," he added.
The North Korean leader mentioned "self-reliance" 27 times during the plenary session. This comes a day after Japan decided to extend its sanctions on North Korea for two more years, in a bid to pressurise Pyongyang to dismantle its nuclear weapons programme and to resolve the long-standing issue of abduction of Japanese nationals.
The sanctions impose a blanket ban on bilateral exports and imports and bars the entry of North Korean-registered vessels into Japanese waters, as well as ships which have stopped at a North Korean port, Japan Times reported. Kim's comments were reported on Thursday by Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), hours before South Korean President Moon Jae-in meets his US counterpart Donald Trump in Washington.
Along with Japan, North Korea ties with the United States have also hit a roadblock, after Hanoi summit in February between Kim and US President Donald Trump ended in a stalemate. No joint statement was released following the talks, as it is reported that the two countries could not resolve their differences on sanction waivers. Washington has, until now, reinforced that relief in sanctions would only be given after Pyongyang carries out "complete and verifiable" denuclearisation.
(With inputs from agencies.)