Ambassador of North Korea to Nigeria, Jon Tong Chol has said that military threats and sanctions by the U.S. compelled his home government to become self-reliant.
Jon who spoke through an interpreter, Mr Kim Chin Il, disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday when he paid a courtesy visit to the Acting Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Alh. Ibrahim Mammaga.
The envoy said that North Korea had a key interest in Nigeria because of the historical similarities both countries shared, having experienced colonialism and are now working hard to uphold their sovereignty for their development.
He said that after being liberated from 36 years of Japan’s colonisation, the country still had to contend with threats from the U.S. which led to the splitting of the country into North and South Korea.
“We were under rule by the Japanese colonialists for 36 years and after the liberation, we were separated to North and South by the interference and intervention of U.S. and that is why we treasure our sovereignty and independence.
“The historical lesson that we have learnt is that no country would support another like its own and that is why we pursue a policy of independence, to achieve self-strengthening and self-development.
“We have so far built a self-supporting economy based on self-developed science and technology and our own industrial foundations, and it applies the same in the defence area.
“And now we see that we have reached a certain point that we can balance the threat from our side and we can pull together all our efforts in building our economy.
“The policy set forth by the leader in the party plenary meeting and also the supreme national assembly, the main point of it is to concentrate all our efforts in the national economy,” he said.
The envoy however admitted series of sanctions had made it difficult for the country to build the national economy that it desired.
According to him, the North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un has taken a stance not to wait for conditions to improve but to advance all efforts to make a breakthrough in the country’s economy.
“His Excellency Kim Jong Un has succeeded the cause of our leaders; he is also attaching trade importance in developing bilateral ties with Nigeria.
“Thanks to the able leadership and attention of the leaders of the two countries, our bilateral ties have been strengthened and developed in recent years.
“We sent a high level of the government delegation to the celebration of Democracy Day of Nigeria in 2019,” he said.