[EDITORIALS]North Korea goes it aloneNorth Korea stressed in New Year’s editorials of its major publications, such as Rodong Sinmun, that the country needed to become an economically strong nation. The editorials of the North’s official mouthpieces, which these major publications essentially are used as, are an official guideline that serves as a direction for the North’s political, economic, foreign affairs and inter-Korean relationships ― in short, all aspects of the North’s society.
As the editorials have emphasized the importance of growth, it is likely that the North will put its efforts behind reviving its ailing economy.
We do welcome Pyongyang’s announcement that it will make reviving its economy a priority. Nevertheless, the key strategy by the North that was outlined to achieve this task is still the nation’s own efforts. Because the North is internationally isolated, this seems to be an inevitable choice. But in a global age where every economy is interlinked with others, trying to revive the economy only with one’s own hands is like trying to catch fish from trees.
We urge the North to make an overall policy change that will end its international isolation quickly. The North might be thinking that the development of nuclear weapons and missiles has enabled it to curb on its conventional arms expansion and use those resources for the revival of the economy. Nevertheless, such a policy will not help the North in ending its isolation. In the East Asian region, this will only result in increasing military tensions and begin an arms race. An arms race in the region, for the North, would be an even bigger burden considering that the North’s size, population, and economy is relatively small than its neighboring countries. We urge the North to make a policy change within this year. Only this can provide the North with an opportunity to build the economically strong nation that it has promised.
The editorials have also urged the South’s citizens to start fighting conservatism, taking aim at the South’s December presidential election. We strongly condemn such statements by the North. It is a country that has reacted strongly whenever someone criticized its regime, but the North has taken every opportunity to try to influence the political landscape in the South. Such actions will only earn contempt from the South’s citizens and result in ban sentiment here. We advise the North to focus on reforms and open up its society which are essential steps to revive its economy.