Thursday, September 10, 2009

North Korea hails its era of prosperity

North Korea hailed an era of “great prosperity” brought by its founding family as the communist state celebrated its 61st anniversary amid an international nuclear standoff.

The ruling party daily Rodong Sinmun said late founding father Kim Il-Sung built a “socialist power, independent in politics, self-supporting in economy and self-reliant in national defence.”

His son and successor Kim Jong-Il made the North “powerful and prosperous” through Songun (military-first) leadership, it said. “The DPRK (North Korea) has greeted a shining era of the greatest prosperity in the nation’s history... under the Songun revolutionary leadership,” it said.

The upbeat official assessment came as the impoverished country faces tougher UN sanctions following a long-range missile test in April and a nuclear test in May.

A third of North Korean women and young children are malnourished and the country will run short of almost 1.8 million tonnes of food this year, according to a recent World Food Programme report.

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