PYONGYANG, Dec. 16 -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will not change its economic policy after the execution of Jang Song Thaek last week, a senior official has said.
"The subversive crimes committed by Jang have caused huge harm to the nation and people," Yun Yong Sok, a senior official in the State Economic Development Committee, said in a written interview with Xinhua.
Jang, vice chairman of the National Defense Commission and secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea administration department, was executed on Thursday immediately after a special military tribunal convicted him of treason.
After the downfall of Jang, a 67-year-old senior general who admitted at the trial that he has premeditated a coup against Kim, the DPRK will become more united and determined to build a prosperous socialist country, Yun said.
"We are studying world-renowned economic management methods and will introduce them in accordance with our national conditions," he said, adding that his country will continue to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with other countries in the fields of trade, investment, and science and technology.
Also on Monday, DPRK troops pledged to defend top leader Kim Jong Un with their lives in the latest public display of military support for the leader.
The Korean People's Army "will hold Kim Jong Un in high esteem as the unitary center of unity and leadership and protect him unto death," Choe Ryong Hae, director of the military's General Political Bureau, said in a letter addressed to Kim which was read at a rally ahead of Tuesday's second anniversary of the death of late top leader Kim Jong Il, the younger Kim's father.
"All participants solemnly pledged to become human bullets and bombs," Choe was quoted by the official KCNA news agency as saying.
On Saturday, the KCNA reported that Kim has inspected a military designing institute in his first public appearance following Jang's execution.
During the inspection, Kim stressed the importance of construction in building the DPRK into a civilized socialist country, noting that the designing personnel should make architectural designs impeccable even in the distant future, said the report, without specifying the date of inspection.
"It is the firm determination of the party to create a new history of construction in Songun (military-first) Korea," he said, instructing the institute to play a pioneer's role in the drive to develop the present heyday in construction into a period of great prosperity.
On Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the execution of Jang was an internal affair of the DPRK.
"We hope to see national stability, economic development and people living in happiness in the DPRK," he said.
When asked whether Jang's downfall would affect economic ties between the two nations, Hong said the development of China-DPRK trade links meets common interests of both countries.
China will continue to push forward pragmatic cooperation with the DPRK in trade and other fields, he said.
"We hope and we believe that the business relations between China and the DPRK will continue to progress in a healthy and stable way."