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N.Korean leader calls for boosting self-reliance

Seoul, Nov 19 (IANS) North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has called for strengthening the country's self-reliance despite "immediate challenges", including economic difficulties, Pyongyang's state media reported on Friday.

Kim delivered the message in a letter to the participants at the 5th Conference of the Frontrunners of the Three Revolutions that kicked off in Pyongyang on Thursday, according to the country's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

In the letter, Kim articulated methods to carry out the development and rebuked people who are not making utmost efforts for the movement, "intimidated by immediate challenges, such as the economic difficulties", Yonhap News Agency quoted the KCNA as saying.

"The tasks set forth by our party are vast, and challenges are piling up, but we cannot wait until all circumstances are met," Kim was quoted as adding.

"We need to undauntedly move forward along our development path with only our strength."

The remarks came as North Korea has called for achieving economic development under a new five-year plan unveiled at the country's eighth party congress in January, during which Kim admitted to a failure in his previous development plan amid crippling sanctions and a protracted border closure due to Covid-19.

The KCNA said a second-day session of the Conference was to be held, though it remains unclear for how long will it continue.

This week's event marks the second of its kind held under the current leader after the fourth conference took place in November 2015.

The previous sessions were held in 1986, 1995 and 2006.