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NK raises pressure on Seoul while receiving aid from China

North Korea continued its criticism of South Korea on Monday, calling on Seoul to reject interference from foreign powers and taking issue with a meeting of a Seoul-Washington working group.

Meanwhile, Chinese data showed that Pyongyang received aid from Beijing last year despite UN Security Council resolutions. 


A North Korean propaganda outlet on Monday accused the South Korean government of fueling discord by working with the US, focusing on a recent meeting of a Seoul-Washington working group.

Formed in November, the working group coordinates the allies’ North Korea policies. The latest meeting was held earlier this month, after the North launched short-range missiles.

“It is a foolish act to expect the requirements and environment for improving inter-Korean relations to be established by requesting, begging for resolution to problems within our people,” Uriminzokkiri, a North Korean propaganda website, said in an article published Monday.

Saying South Korea is “tightening the snare of subjugation” by cooperating with the US, the article called on Seoul to put inter-Korean agreements into action.

“(South Korea) should depart from the policy of relying on foreign powers that goes against the demands and good of the people, and take a stance of faithfully carrying out joint inter-Korean declarations.”

President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have signed two joint declarations that outline measures for improving relations, including reducing military tension and increasing cooperation. The first was signed at the first Moon-Kim summit in Panmunjom in April 2018, and the second was signed in Pyongyang in September.

The North Korean media’s attack on South Korean polices came three days after Seoul announced plans to contribute $8 million to international agencies’ aid projects in North Korea.

The North has maintained silence on the plans, but its media outlets have criticized Seoul for considering such measures before the plans were made official, accusing Seoul of making a mockery of hopes for improving inter-Korean relations.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that Pyongyang received aid from China.

China’s customs service data showed that Pyongyang received 1,000 tons of rice, valued at about $1 million, in July last year. It was the first time Beijing had provided North Korea with rice since Kim took power in December 2011.

Beijing also provided North Korea with 162,000 tons of fertilizer, worth more than $55 million, between May and October last year, according to Chinese government data.

The shipments followed Kim’s first official visit to China in March 2018, when he held his first summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing. Kim has since met Xi on two more occasions, in May and June last year.

By Choi He-suk (