SEOUL-- A North Korean mouthpiece on Monday suddenly brought up the past history of North Korea's aid to African nations in an apparent response to the latest U.S. call for them to join U.N. sanctions against the communist country's nuclear and missile weapons program.

On Nov. 17, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made the call during a meeting with his counterparts from some 30 African countries, stressing it is imperative that all nations sanction the Pyongyang regime for its bellicose activities.

"Dear (late) President Kim Il-sung gave an unsparing material and spiritual assistance to African nations who struggled to build a new society," the Rodong Sinmun, a daily of the North's ruling Workers' Party, said in a story. The paper introduced specific cases for Togo and Tanzania.

The late Kim, who founded and ruled the North until 1994, actively took part in the Non-Aligned Movement against imperialism in the late 20th century. He was aggressive in aiding and establishing friendly ties with African nations as part of the movement.

"At that time, (the North) were by no means richer or more abundant than other nations when we made the aid. Our people offered a slew of food and relief goods to poverty- and hunger-stricken African people by tightening their own belts," the paper said.

The daily detailed various factories, farms and state infrastructure in African countries, which had been constructed with North Korean aid.

Source: Yonhap News Agency