North Korea economy ‘still growing’ DESPITE sanctions as Kim Jong-un prepares for war
NORTH Korea’s economy remains high despite international sanctions, an academic from within Kim Jong-un’s regime has claimed.
The North Korean claims his nation’s economy remains on track for sustained growth despite increased pressure from international sanctions.
Kim Chol, head of an economic research center affiliated with the North’s Academy of Social Sciences said: “The North Korean economy is steadily taking the path towards improvement, rather than deterioration, thanks to various measures to enhance its economic independence.”
The scholar also praised Kim Jong-un’s policies of localisation and normalisation of industry as he downplayed the impact that UN sanctions are having on North Korea’s economy.
Mr Kim said: “At the time of the ‘Arduous March’ of the 1990s, imports of raw materials and components were inevitable as local production was not normalised. Today, however, localisation is in full swing and is normalising the abnormality.”
The UN Security Council passed toughed sanctions against the dictator-run state last month following its test of an intercontinental ballistic missile on November 29.
The sanctions are expected to cut North Korea’s foreign currency revenue from exports by approximately £185 million ($250 million) a year.
Scholar Kim Chol, however, dismissed any negative impact from the UN sanctions adding that income is steadily increasing thanks to rising business transactions.
Mr Kim said: ”Under the socialist responsible management system, enterprises conclude and implement mutual contracts. As the hostile nations toughen sanctions against us, business to business transactions of new products increase, contributing to a rise in social net incomes.”
He also discussed North Korea’s industrywide efforts to scale down its dependence on petroleum and at the same time increase the use of coal in the energy sector.
In his new year address, dictator Kim Jong-un called for economic self-reliance and independence because of the toughened sanctions.
Meanwhile, North Korea has been warned that it could face a “strong military” response if diplomatic talks with South Korea fail.
The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that while diplomacy was preferred “those diplomatic efforts are backed by a strong military option if necessary”.
Mr Tillerson’s chilling warning comes after Donald Trump hit back at Kim Jong-un saying: “I too have a nuclear button, but it is a much bigger and more powerful one than his and my button works.”
The US President’s comment came as a response to the North Korean dictator’s New Year speech where he threatened the US and claimed “a nuclear button is always” on his desk.
The despotic leader also said Pyongyang was open to talks with South Korea, which have now been scheduled for next Tuesday.
But Mr Tillerson has warned that if denuclearisation talks fail with the US and its South Korean ally that “strong military options” are available.
The US Secretary of State said: ”I think the rhetoric that North Korea understands is that while it is our objective, and the President’s been very clear, to achieve a denuclearisation through diplomatic efforts, those diplomatic efforts are backed by a strong military option if necessary.
“That is not the first choice and the President’s been clear that’s not his first choice, but it is important that North Koreans as well as other regional players understand how high the stakes are, in an effort to ensure our diplomatic efforts are fully supported.
“The North Koreans have to understand that the penalties to them will continue and will only grow more severe in terms of sanctions actions and other actions until they do get on a pathway to achieve that objective that the entire world hopes to achieve.”