North Korean leader Kim Jong-un rode a white horse to Mount Paekdu, considered the birthplace of his late father and the sacred highest peak on the Korean Peninsula, amid speculation that the trip may suggest a major policy change could be forthcoming.
On Wednesday, Pyongyang's state media reported that Kim rode to Mount Paekdu and "revolutionary battle sites" where his late grandfather, Kim Il-sung staged anti-Japanese and independence struggles, calling for a fight against "imperialists" and "class enemies", Yonhap News Agency reported.
His trip to the mountain was the second of its kind since October when he visited there, slamming the US for maintaining sanctions against Pyongyang and calling for self-reliance against such hostile acts.
Following the trip, Rodong Sinmun, North Korea's official newspaper on Thursday carried a series of columns written in the names of high-ranking officials, urging "intensified efforts for self reliance and a fight against outside forces' scheme to isolate and oppress" Pyongyang.
"As long as we have the revolutionary spirit of Mount Paekdu, and revolutionary spirit of self reliance, we can survive on our own and open the door for development and prosperity of our own style," Vice Premier Kim Tok-hun said in a column.
Pak Kwang-ho, a Vice Chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party, also urged people to become "patriots" armed with revolutionary traditions left behind by Kim Il-sung.
Kim Jong-un's trip to the sacred mountain this week has raised speculation that he could consider a major policy change, Yonhap News Agency said. Pyongyang has demanded Washington come up with acceptable proposals in their denuclearization negotiations before the end of this year. Kim Jong-un has said that he could take a "new way" if Washington fails to do so.
Nuclear talks have been stalled since the summit between the North Korean leader and US President Donald Trump in February broke down as they remained far apart over how to match Pyongyang's denuclearization steps with Washington's sanctions relief and other concessions.