North Korea’s Kim blasts ‘vicious’ sanctions


SEOUL • Kim Jong-un lashed out at the “vicious” sanctions regime against North Korea in the latest sign of his frustration with the pace of peace talks with the Trump administration.

Kim levelled some of his most blunt criticism yet of the sanctions, restricting the flow of goods and capital to his country, while visiting a construction site in a northeastern coastal city of Wonsan, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). Limits on trade and travel had put North Korea’s attempts to develop the area into a regional tourist hub in a “difficult and tense situation”.

“The hostile forces are foolishly keen on vicious sanctions to stand in our way toward promotion of people’s well-being and development and to lead us to change and submission,” KCNA cited Kim as saying, without specifying who he was referring to. “They will be made to clearly see over time how our country that has built its own strength hundreds of times defying hardship.”

US President Donald Trump has nonetheless insisted on maintaining the international economic embargo on the country.

Separately, a commentary published on North Korea’s Uriminzokkiri news site specifically urged South Korea to lift the so-called May 24 sanctions, which among other things restrict the country’s citizens and companies from travelling and investing north of the border.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in last month walked back a suggestion that the sanctions might be repealed after a rebuke from Trump.