The Korea Herald


North Korea sought nuclear status to boost economy: NK journal

By Joel Lee

Published : March 11, 2018 - 17:20

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Amid growing speculations about North Korea’s possible denuclearization, a report published by a North Korean academic journal shows North Korea advancing its argument that it has created propitious conditions for economic development on the back of nuclear statehood.

“Our party’s ‘Byeongjin Line’ policy is the most righteous path for our nation. It enables us to guard our revolutionary core interests and realize radiantly the achievements of architecting a powerful socialist nation,” read a paper published in the North’s quarterly academic publication, The Journal of Social Sciences Academy, according to Yonhap News Agency, which obtained a copy of the journal published on Nov. 15.

The “Byeongjin Line,” adopted as official state policy in 2013, stipulates the simultaneous pursuit of nuclear capability and economic growth on the rationale that nuclear arms will allow the state to reduce the costs of maintaining its military and use greater resources to develop its economy.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (Yonhap) North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (Yonhap)

“For our nation, which has already become the most powerful nuclear state capable of preventing war using our formidable deterrent capabilities, favorable conditions have been fomented to pour all our funds and efforts into our struggle for enhancing people’s lives and economic construction,” the paper said.

The Byeongjin Line is “the most surefire insurance for simultaneously guaranteeing the protection of our homeland and construction of an economically sovereign nation,” it added.

The publication of the paper preceded Pyongyang‘s test-firing of the intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-15 on Nov. 29, and its declaration of the “completion of national nuclear strength.”

Although US President Donald Trump seems to have taken up North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s offer of a summit after Pyongyang expressed its willingness to denuclearize, with the two leaders are expected to meet by May, the paper is an indicator of the direction the communist regime was intent on taking following the completion of its nuclear weapons development.

“North Korea will focus all of its efforts on reaping results in creating an economically powerful nation, which is stated as an objective by 2020 in its five-year national development plan,” said Cho Bong-hyun, a senior analyst at IBK Institute.

By Joel Lee (