May 1 (UPI) -- North Korea marked International Worker's Day, a worldwide holiday celebrating the working classes, by calling attention to the state ideology of "self-regeneration" on Wednesday.
Korean Workers' Party paper Rodong Sinmun said self-regeneration is the "touchstone" that separates "patriots from traitors, revolutionaries from fake revolutionaries."
The newspaper also said self-regeneration is a deterrent against outside influences.
"It is our workers' highest enthusiasm that has demonstrated the righteousness of self-regeneration and the vitality of life, which has destroyed dependency, imported diseases and defeatism," the Rodong said, adding construction at Samjiyon County near Mount Paektu was made possible through the "heroism of workers."
Samjiyon is a construction project Kim Jong Un has prioritized since 2018. The North Korean leader has said the area should be transformed into a "mountain culture city" that is also an example of a "socialist utopia."
The North Korean newspaper said Wednesday Kim would "no longer be bothered" by the "sanctions of the hostile forces," and that a way will open with indigenous strength.
Sanctions have affected North Korea coal exports and fuel imports. International sanctions are designed to target the elite and the North Korean leadership without punishing ordinary and vulnerable North Koreans.
The population is still struggling with scarcity, according to aid groups.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said North Korea is considering asking for emergency disaster relief because of a food shortage, South Korean newspaper Korea Herald reported Wednesday.
"The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is suffering from droughts that have occurred consecutively in recent years," the IFRC said. "Entering 2019, [North Korea] has experienced unusually erratic weather conditions with little precipitation, limiting available soil moisture for growth of winter crops and planting of spring crops, as well as replenishment of irrigation water reservoirs."