Kim Jong-un says North Korea's economy expanding despite sanctions
"The current situation proves that our party chose the right path by developing the economy and nuclear power simultaneously… In spite of the brutal sanctions of the United States and its satellites, the national economy has expanded," the Korean Central News Agency quotes the leader.
Kim Jong-un said it is necessary for North Korea to strengthen self-reliance to prevent a nuclear war and hinder the “heinous intrigues of sanctions.”
According to Kim, atomic weapons allow people to enjoy a happy life under a blue sky, preventing nuclear war.
“They are necessary to protect against the long-term nuclear threat of US imperialism," he added.
The course for simultaneous development of the economy and nuclear program was chosen by Pyongyang in May 2016.
In July, Bloomberg reported the economy of North Korea grew by an estimated 3.9 percent in 2016, to about $28.5 billion, the fastest pace in 17 years.
Wages have grown quickly, and GDP per capita can now be compared with Rwanda, an African economic rival, the media reported quoting data from the Bank of Korea.
The government’s investment in weapons of mass destruction is spurring economic growth in the isolated country. Annual per capita income is about 4.5 percent that of South Korea’s and was estimated at 1.46 million won ($1,300).
Another reason for the GDP expansion are reports that Pyongyang is abandoning the old socialist economic model, and by some assessments, the private sector now accounts for up to half of the country's GDP.