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N.Korea Keeps Isolation Policy

September 18, 1998

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ Despite its massive economic difficulties and widespread famine, North Korea said today that it will stick to its isolationist economic policy.

In an article in its official organ, the ruling Workers’ Party reaffirmed that juche, or self-reliance, will continue to be the backbone of the communist country’s economic policy.

``It is a foolish daydream to try to revive the economy by introducing foreign capital, not relying on one’s own strength,″ said the article in Rodong Sinmun.

Rodong Sinmun described the article as the policy of Kim Jong-il, who was installed as North Korea’s supreme leader earlier this month.

The article, also published by Kuroja, or the Laborer, a party publication, warned that capitalistic economic reforms would only cause catastrophic results such as appeared in former Soviet-bloc countries.

``We will ... set ourselves against all the attempts to induce us to join an ‘integrated’ world,″ the article stated. ``We have nothing to ‘reform’ and ‘open.’ ″

The article admitted that North Korea faces serious economic difficulties but said that under Kim Jong Il, the country will revitalize its economy ``one sector after another as ants gnaw a piece of bone.″

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