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Kim Jong-un denounces international sanctions

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un conducted inspections of a massive tourism construction site on the country’s east coast, describing it as the epitome of standing up to international sanctions, the North’s state media said Friday.

According to the Korean Central News Agency, Kim provided field guidance to the Wonsan-Kalma coastal tourist area and reiterated his pledge to complete the tourism project by Oct 10, 2019. He was accompanied by his wife Ri Sol-ju.

While praising the project for completing construction in time for the 73th anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party, Kim stressed that such efforts represent the country’s strong resolve to fight against international sanctions imposed by adversaries.

“Our country has long envisioned giving the people an opportunity to enjoy themselves on the scenic, beautiful coasts of our country. … Now it will soon come true,” the KCNA quoted Kim as saying.

“Such a huge and grand creation campaign such as the construction of the Wonsan-Kalma coastal tourist area is an acute standoff with hostile forces trying to stifle the Korean people through brigandish sanctions and blockade.”

North Korea`s leader Kim Jong-un.
North Korea`s leader Kim Jong-un.

A separate KCNA article published Friday showed that Kim had provided field guidance at a hot spring area in Yangdok County, South Pyongan Province. Kim and his senior aides discussed plans to build sanatoriums and resorts in the area.

According to the KCNA, Kim said while there are many attractive spots for hot spring resorts in North Korea, the country’s lack of a sanitation system and a health complex remains a hurdle to building a popular tourist destination.

Kim went on to say that the hot spring area of Yangdok County would one day grow into the country’s most sought-after leisure facility, as the area is rich in healthy minerals and close to the Pyongyang-Wonsan Highway.

The KCNA reports came after the US government took additional measures to increase economic pressure on North Korea. On Wednesday, the Department of the Treasury announced sanctions targeting companies in Russia and China for violating restrictions on trade with Pyongyang.

Following its nuclear and ballistic missile tests last year, North Korea is under strong sanctions imposed by the US and the United Nations Security Council. UN member states are barred from importing North Korean coal, iron ore and other significant sources of hard currency.