|1. Domestic Affairs
Chairman of the National Defense Commission Kim Jong-il visited a
potato processing factory in Taehongdan county, watched a performance by an art
circle (Feb. 23), and received a visit by Ho Jong-man, Chief Vice Chairman of
Chochongryon (the pro-North Korean association of Koreans in Japan) (Feb. 27).
He also watched a performance by an art troupe of Koreans living in Japan (Feb.
28) and inspected Unit 891 of the Korea People's Army (March 1).
Senior officials, including Kye Ung-thae, Party
Secretary, Kim Chang-sik, Agricultural Minister and Yo Un-sik, Secretary of the
Party Pyongyang Chapter, attended a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary
of a fruit farm in Pyongyang (Feb. 25).
Chairman Kim awarded prizes of his "appreciation" and
Three-Revolution Flags to exemplary state enterprises. Appreciation prizes were
given to Yongrim Logging Co., the Grand People's Study House (Feb. 23), Moran
Restaurant (Feb. 25), workers at Gaechon-Taesong construction sites (Feb. 26),
local chapters of the Korean Democratic Women's Union (Feb. 28) and eight
salterns (Feb. 28). Three-Revolution Flags were conferred to Pyongyang Motor Co.
(Feb. 23), Taedong River Diplomatic Club (Feb. 26), fruit farmers of a
collective farm in Pukcong County, Chongjin railroad service personnel,
industrial materials distributor of the Ministry of Light Industry (Feb. 26) and
Songchon knitting plant (Feb. 28). Pukchang thermoelectric power plant was given
a letter of appreciation from the Central Committee of the Workers' Party (Feb.
23), while the top art circle, that won a performance Contest of Central
government Agencies, received Kim Jong-il's gifts (Feb. 26).
Central Broadcasting Station featured a propaganda
program on "Arirang" and other mass gymnastic shows.
2. South Korean Relations
North Korea denounced South Korea for the failure of a joint
Inter-Korean meeting. "The planned meeting was scrapped due to the South Korean
government's disapproval of request for visit to North Korea maneuvered by the
United States and conservative elements," the North Korean delegation to the
meeting said in a statement (Feb. 27). Central Broadcasting Station reported on
Feb. 28 that a dissident organization held a news conference (Feb. 25) to
denounce the South Korean Ministry of Unification's rejection of such requests
for the delegates.
On March 1, Central Broadcasting Station defined the
March 1 Independence Movement as the Korean's struggle against Japanese colonial
regime for the national independence and self-reliance. The network emphasized
the exclusion of outside forces and the reunification of the nation in a
3. External affairs
North Korea reinforced up its criticism of the United States,
while intensifying the propaganda of its socialist system, in the international
community. "The United States is attempting to crush us to death by linking us
to terrorism," Pyongyang Broadcasting Station said on Feb. 23, referring to the
U.N. meeting on peacekeeping operations held on Feb. 12. During meeting of a
U.N. Committee on Social development, North Korea said that it has long provided
its residents with a free mandatory education, housing units, and medical
Rodong Sinmun claimed in an editorial on Feb. 25 that the
U.S.-Japanese conference was intended to strengthen their conspiracy to wage a
military invasion against Asia.
Kim Yong-nam, President of the presidium of the Supreme
People's Assembly, launched a trip to Thailand and Malaysia on Feb. 28.
The Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign
Countries hosted a reception at the People's Palace of Culture on Feb. 27 to
mark the first anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between North
Korean and Germany.