North Korea’s Kim on sovereignty, sanctions and strategy

SEOUL (AFP) – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has announced that Pyongyang no longer considers itself bound by its moratoriums on nuclear and intercontinental ballistic tests, threatening a demonstration of a new strategic weapon.

The declaration came during a full meeting of the central committee of the ruling Worker’s Party of Korea – Kim is its chairman – giving it significant authority in the North’s monolithic society.

The official Korean Central News Agency carried a lengthy report on the meeting yesterday. Here are some key Kim quotes from the document, and what they could mean:

“It is true that we urgently need external environment favourable for the economic construction.

“We struggle to direct our efforts to the economic construction owing to the United States (US) gangster-like acts.”

Kim acknowledges the impact of sanctions on the North Korean economy, and blames them on Washington.

“We cannot give up the security of our future just for the visible economic results and happiness and comfort.”

Kim rejects United States (US) President Trump’s suggestions that the North will prosper if it denuclearises, epitomised by the video the US President showed the North Korean leader at their first summit in Singapore, featuring high-speed trains and electricity pylons.

A visitor looks at ribbons wishing for peace and reunification of the Korean Peninsula on a fence near the Demilitarised Zone. PHOTO: AFP