Kim urges tougher ‘Arduous March’ against sanctions

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has called on the ruling Workers’ Party to wage a tougher “Arduous March” against sanctions imposed on the country in an effort to relieve people of economic woes, state-mdia reported on Friday.

According to Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Kim made the remarks as he concluded a conference of the party’s grassroots leaders.

Kim warned the cell secretaries and members of the party to brace themselves for the many “obstacles and difficulties” that lie ahead, pointing to the harsh period of the Arduous March in the 1990s, when the country suffered from extreme poverty and massive starvation, Yonhap News Agency quoted the KCNA report as saying.

“I made up my mind to ask the WPK organisations at all levels, including its Central Committee, and the cell secretaries of the entire party to wage another more difficult ‘Arduous March’ in order to relieve our people of the difficulty,” the North Korean was quoted as saying in the report.

He then laid out 10 major tasks for the party cells, urging the cell secretaries to educate and train their members into “fighters boundlessly faithful”.

Kim’s call for belt-tightening, including his mention of the term “Arduous March,” appears to be aimed at intensifying discipline among party officials as the North suffers from economic challenges amid prolonged sanctions, said the Yonhap report.

“He appears to have mentioned it to stress and encourage efforts to achieve the tasks put forwardat the eighth party congress and the plenary Central Committee meeting,” Cha Deok-cheol, deputy spokesperson at South Korea’s Unification Ministry, told reporters.

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