SEOUL — North Korea’s official newspaper on Thursday repeated its call on South Korea not to follow foreign forces’ sanctions on Pyongyang, saying sanctions pressure and relationship improvement cannot be compatible.
The Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the ruling Workers’ Party, said in a commentary that inter-Korean relations can hardly move forward in the interests of the Korean people if sanctions pressure from foreign forces is blindly supported and followed by the South.
The commentary was published in apparent response to South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s Liberation Day address the previous day, which called for complete denuclearisation and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula ahead of full-fledged inter-Korean economic co-operation.
Besides the Rodong Sinmun, the North’s external propaganda media outlets have recently stepped up calls on the South to choose between sanctions and relationship improvement.
"If the (South) joins and blindly follows sanctions pressure by foreign forces maneuvering to deter inter-Korean exchanges, the North-South relations cannot be advanced in the interests of the Korean people and the implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration cannot be pushed," said the Rodong Sinmun, referring to the inter-Korean agreement reached at the April 27 summit.
The newspaper then accused the United States of exerting pressure on the South’s authorities, corporations and private organisations not to engage in exchanges and co-operation with the North.
"The US is unjustly intervening in the internal affairs of our nation and the inter-Korean relationship, hindering the reconciliation, unity, dialogue and cooperation between Koreas," said the paper.
It then stressed that all the problems arising from the improvement of inter-Korean relations should be resolved independently and through the unity of the Korean people.
"Co-operation within our nation, or national self-reliance, is the basic position for the implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration and improvement of inter-Korean relationship," the paper said. — YONHAP