SEOUL, Oct. 27 (Yonhap) — North Korea’s official newspaper said Tuesday the country should focus on science and technology to make what it needs on its own without imports at a time when its borders are closed over coronavirus concerns.
“We can hardly find a better opportunity in strengthening our self-supporting economy and maximize our internal ability and development potential through the power of science and technology than now when borders on the land, in the air and sea have been completely blocked,” said the Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the North’s ruling party.
“Currently, the most daunting challenge in demonstrating the power of self-reliance is the import illness,” the paper added. “The way that we should take under the current circumstances … is to safely protect us from the virus through science and technology.”
North Korea has reported no COVID-19 outbreak, but it has maintained strict restrictions on the movement of people and goods across the border with China since early this year as part of efforts to stem the spread of the highly contagious disease.
Such antivirus efforts seem to be taking a toll on the North’s economy, as they have been hampering its imports of food and other key materials from China.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has repeatedly emphasized the importance of science and technology as a way to build a self-reliant economy and called for less dependence on imports.
Kim earlier rejected any outside help and ordered an “80-day campaign” to overcome challenges ahead of a rare party congress scheduled early next year where he pledged to unveil new economic development plans.
The paper said that the key to successfully completing all those targets under the campaign lies with science and technology, urging scientists and workers in every field to do their best until the last minute.