North Korea’s official newspaper on Tuesday lauded this year’s “achievements” by the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, in military affairs and diplomacy in an apparent bid to consolidate internal unity amid rising tensions with the US.
The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the country’s Workers’ Party, said in a commentary titled “Our party’s record of revolution in 2019 will be long remembered in history” that hostile forces maneuvered to put North Korea under their control this year, and Kim “consistently stood up against them with a strong spirit of self-reliance.”
The newspaper said the two historic meetings this year between Kim and US President Donald Trump showed the party’s “revolutionary position that it would not yield or retreat from its principle of self-reliance.”
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (Yonhap)
The Rodong Sinmun mentioned Kim’s 60-hour train trip to and from Hanoi in February for his second summit with Trump, and Kim’s visit to a military unit on the islet Changrin, just north of the inter-Korean maritime border, where he gave a firing order in October.
The paper also lauded the “outstanding progress” of the country’s continued weapons tests.
North Korea has conducted 13 rounds of short-range ballistic missile and projectile tests this year.
On Saturday, Pyongyang conducted what it called a “very important test” at its western satellite launch site, saying its results would alter the country’s “strategic position” in the near future.
Observers say it may have been an engine experiment for an intercontinental ballistic missile. The North has not carried out an ICBM test since late 2017.
Trump warned on Sunday that Pyongyang could lose “everything” if Kim acts in a hostile manner. North Korea’s former nuclear negotiator Kim Yong-chol said a day later that his country “has nothing more to lose.”
The Rodong Sinmun’s commentary appears to be aimed at strengthening internal unity by propagandizing Kim’s achievements amid rising tensions ahead of the year-end deadline that the North set for the US to present a new proposal for the stalled denuclearization talks.
In another commentary, published Tuesday, the Rodong Sinmun stressed that the North must “hold fast to its path of self-rehabilitation to construct a strong socialist nation.”
By Kim So-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org