1. Domestic Affairs
Events to celebrate the 60th birthday of Chairman of the National
Defense Commission Kim Jong-il were underway. They included the 6th "Kim Jong-il
flowers" exhibition, which ended on Feb. 20, a joint performance by an art
troupe of Koreans in the United States and the national symphony orchestra on
Feb. 17 and the 11th Paektusan Cup International Figure Skating Festival on Feb.
17. In its editorial, Rodong Sinmun praised Chairman Kim and emphasized the
construction of a powerful nation under his leadership.
40th graduation ceremony of Kim Il-Sung Broadcasting
Universtry was held on Feb.19. Dean Yang Hyong-Sup and other officials
participated in the event. The one-year university was renamed as such in April
1973 from Marx-Leninism University of the Air, established in February
The Seventh National Invention and New Technology
Exhibition displayed about 2,200 items of 1,400 kinds in the Three Revolution
Exhibition Hall on Feb. 21.
Central Television Station said on Feb. 15 that operating
hours of transportation vehicles and related facilities were extended from Feb.
15 to 17.
2. South Korean Relations
News media reported that South Korean Pro-Pyongyang
dissident organizations issued statements protesting U.S. President Bush's visit
to Seoul. The South Korean headquarters of the National Alliance of Youth and
Students for the National Reunification asked five open questions about his
visit Feb. 19 and issued a commentary on Feb. 21.
North Korean propaganda organs continued their bombing
threats on Lee Hoi-Chang, leader of the Grand National Party for his remark
against North Korea during his visit to the United States. They also denounced
South Korea's largest-circulation newspaper Chosun Ilbo for its article critical
of North Korea's ambitious plan to stage a large performance entitled "Arirang."
The National Alliance for the National Reunification
(Pomminryon) convened a joint meeting of its South and North Korean leaders on
Feb. 18 and praised the late leader Kim Il-sung's works at a ceremony held in
Pyongyang on Feb. 20. The Alliance repeatedly stressed the implementation of the
June 15 Inter-Korean Summit Joint Declaration and the "grand" national unity.
On Feb. 17, North Korea notified South Korea of its
decision to accept the South request, made on Feb. 9, that the period of
Inter-Korean New Year's Joint Meeting in Mt. Geumgang, North Korea, be adjusted
to a span from Feb. 26 to 28.
3. External affairs
A spokesman for the North Korean Foreign Ministry denounced U.S.
President Bush's visits to South Korea, China and Japan in a statement on Feb.
22. "We cannot forgive him for offending our supreme authorities and slandering
our country's system ," he said. "His remark is equivalent to a denial of
dialogue with us. We have no intention to keep company with his administration.
North Korea utilized pro-North Korean organizations to
mount its attacks on U.S. President Bush and demand the withdrawal of the U.S.
troops from South Korea. On Feb. 18, Central Broadcasting Station reported that
an association of pro-Pyongyang Korean residents in the United States sent a
letter of complaint against Bush. A joint meeting of pro-North Korean
organizations was held in Pyongyang on Feb. 17.
According to Central Broadcasting Station, Kim
Myong-chol, Director of the General Bureau for Cooperation with International
Organizations of the North Korean Ministry of foreign Trade, signed a memorandum
of consent for research cooperation with R. J. Clements, Chief of the Australian
Center for International Agricultural Research, in Pyongyang on Feb. 21.