|1. Domestic Affairs
10th Supremen People's Assembly announced that it would hold its fifth meeting
on March 27 (March 8, Central Broadcasting Station). Accreditation of deputies
would be held on March 25 and 26. The last SPA meeting took place on April 5,
The 92nd anniversary of the International Women's Day was
commemorated at a ceremony (March 8, People's Palace of Culture in Pyongyang).
Rodong Sinmun emphasized the role of women in the construction of a powerful
nation in its editorial (March 8).
North Korea-Russia Friendship House opened (Rason City
near Tumangang Railway Station, March 7). Kim Ki-nam, Party Secretary and Kim
Yong-sang, Railway Minister attended the event.
Tourist delegations from China, Hong Kong, and Macao
watched a rehearsal of a mass performance entitled "Arirang" (Central Television
Station, March 8).
Pyongyang Broadcasting Station reported on March 7 that
if South Koreans watch the show, they can also take a tour of Mt. Geumgang
2. South Korean Relations
A spokesman for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of
the Fatherland issued a statement on March 3, holding the United States and some
of South Korea's conservative elements for the failure of the "Meeting to
Congratulate the Sun of the 21st Century." The sun symbolizes the late North
Korean leader Kim Il-sung and his son and current leader Jong-il. "The United
States and ultra-rightist anti-reunification forces in South Korea prevented the
meeting," the statement said. "The South Korean government is following the
United States blindly."
North Korea denounced Lee Hoi-chang, leader of the South
Korean major opposition political party, for his critical remarks on North
Korea, and urged South Korean students and dissidents to mount an opposition
campaign against him. (Press release No. 815 issued by the Secretariat of the
Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, March 2).
"Voices against Lee Hoi-chang are rising. He should be
excluded from the political scene and buried within the Korean society."
(Pyongyang Broadcasting Station on March 4)
The Central Committee of the National Democratic Front of
South Korea (NDFSK) issued a white paper on Feb. 13, denouncing the United
States for putting a break on the implementation of the June 15 Inter-Korean
Joint Declaration. (Central Broadcasting Station, March 5)
3. External affairs
Kim Yong-nam, President of the North Korean Supreme People's
Assembly, visited Thailand and Malaysia from Feb. 28 to March 5. He held a
conference on diplomatic relations, trade, and exchanges in science and culture
with Thailand on March 1 and signed treaties on investment promotion and
protection, cultural and press exchanges (Central Broadcasting Station, March
2). North Korea also reached an agreement on cultural cooperation and a
memorandum of consent on export credit for palm oil (Central Broadcasting
Station, March 4).
North Korea denounced the annual U.S. State Department's
report on human rights and drug, which was issued on March 4. "It is a pretext
to control North Korea by force, a Foreign Ministry spokesman commented
regarding the question on human rights (March 6). "It is an attempt to isolate
and crush us to death," he said, referring to the drug problem stated in the
report (March 8).
A delegation from the Syrian Foreign Ministry visited
North Korea (Central Broadcasting Station, March 3).