North Korea's main newspaper stressed leader Kim Jong-un's devotion and love for his people Tuesday as the impoverished country struggles amid the double whammy of coronavirus concerns and deepening economic woes.
The Rodong Sinmun, an organ of the North's ruling Workers' Party, carried the message in an editorial on its front page, saying Kim focuses on "prioritizing and showing ardent love towards his people." A monthly magazine by the party also published the editorial.
"Our marshal's political belief is that any behavior that tries to reign on people and violates the interests of the people should be punished regardless of their position and contribution to the country," it said.
The paper then touted Kim's swift response to the coronavirus, such as holding a politburo meeting of the ruling Workers' Party to declare the launch of a national emergency system in February.
It also urged people to follow juche (self-reliance) with no exceptions or compromise, saying Kim's political belief is to "never trade the country's dignity for a pot of rice or money."
The article is seen as a warning toward officials to tighten their social and moral discipline while allaying public grievances as efforts to prevent an outbreak of the virus in the North have been ongoing for nearly four months in an economy already faltering under international sanctions.
The North has jointly published editorials in the past to urge its people to tighten their disciple and emphasize self-reliance at times of growing international and domestic pressure.
Pyongyang's state media outlets have emphasized the importance of self-reliance frequently since its leader said in December that he expects no easing in sanctions from the United States and called for a "frontal breakthrough" to tackle challenges. (Yonhap)