Pyongyang unaffected by sanctions: North Korean economist

Pyongyang [North Korea], Feb. 17 (ANI): A North Korean economist has said that neither the change in leadership in the United States, nor sanctions imposed by the United Nation Security Council (UNSC), will impede the country's economic and military advancement.
Ri Gi Song, a researcher of the Institute of Economics at the Academy of Social Sciences, said that sanctions weren't having an adverse impact on the country's military program, reports the CNN.
"No, the sanctions are not slowing down our nuclear and missile development. Rather we are going faster, we are increasing further the capability of our national defence with nuclear part as its main core," said Song.
The latest round of sanctions were imposed on North Korea in November by the UNSC following the country's fifth nuclear test.
Pyongyang still hasn't ceased its effort in nuclear advancement as it test-fired a new ballistic missile on Sunday, the first since US President Donald Trump took office in late January.
The launch was condemned by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as "absolutely intolerable" during a press conference with Trump and prompted responses from South Korea, China and Russia.
Speaking to CNN in Pyongyang, Ri said that the government would "continue to strengthen our nuclear capability as along as the United States continues its hostile policy against the DPRK".
Ri said restrictions on the North's ability to sell raw materials, including coal, hadn't impeded the country's economic growth.
He said the country is earning money from tech exports to Southeast Asia – including precision computer numerical control (CNC) systems – and processed raw materials like magnesite, graphite, and zinc products. (ANI)

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