1. Domestic Affairs |
o In an unusual move, Chairman Kim Jong-Il emphasized the principles of socialist economic management while delivering on-spot guidance to the factories and business complexes of Huichon City in Jagang Province. (July 26)
- He urged the factory workers to pursue maximum economic benefits in accordance with the socialist principles in order to complete socialist economic management. Also, he stressed the importance of thoroughly implementing the principles of planned economic management, ensuring central and unified state guidance, and promoting creative initiatives from lower units.
Meanwhile, Kim received Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and gave a banquet in his honor. Kim and Ivanov demonstrated mutual friendship by enjoying the Arirang performances together on July 28.
o A reporting session to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the state-run Comprehensive Farm No. 5 (July 30) took place on July 29 in Daehongdan County. The session praised the progress made in agricultural production and the Farm's support for the military.
o Central Broadcasting Station reported on July 30 that the 8th Pyongyang Film Festival of non-aligned and developing countries will be held from September 4 to 13. The report said a variety of tourist and cultural events will be held during the festival, resulting in a boom of cultural exchanges.
o On the 56th anniversary of the promulgation of the Gender Equality Law (July 30), the Korean Democratic Women's Union organized a number of commemorative events including art concerts to promote the endeavors to enhance women's status.
- The Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the North Korean Workers' Party, said that the spirit of struggle demonstrated by women in the 1950s should continue today (July 30).
o On the 70th anniversary of the death of Kim Il-Sung's mother Kang Pan-Sok (July 31), major party officials laid wreaths on her tomb and gathered for a commemorative event including the Pyongyang City Remembers ceremony. (July 31).
o The opening ceremony for the August-September People's Physical strength Tests was held on August 1. The ceremony stressed the value of enhancing the people's Physical
2. South Korean Relations
o The DPRK agreed to hold working-level contacts at Mt. Gumkang from August 2 to 4 to discuss preparation for the 7th round of Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks to be held in Seoul (July 30)
o In a whitepaper released on August 1, the Secretariat of the North Korean Committee for Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland presented bases for its argument that the Northern Limit Line(NLL) in the West Sea is illegal , and stressed that the NLL is a cause for armed clashes and wars.
- With regards to the West Sea naval clash, North Korea continued with its diatribe of the South Korean military authorities and the Grand National Party, while repeatedly emphasizing the illegality of the Northern Limit Line (July 25, Pyongayng Broadcasting Station).
o North Korea highlighted the recent agreements reached among civic groups on the August 15 National Unification Rally to commemorate the National Liberation Day and expressed hope for stronger unification movements.
3. External affairs
o North Korean Foreign Minister Paek Nam-Sun attended the ASEAN Regional Forum after a two-year hiatus, during which he held talks with the foreign ministers of China, Japan, the EU and Australia. Paek unveiled the recent DPRK-US agreement to resume dialogue and maintained a conciliatory attitude.
- North Korea announced a 4-point joint press statement with Japan, which included an agreement to open foreign ministry director-level talks within August (July 31)
o During Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov's simultaneous visit of the South and the North (July 26-29), North Korea expressed satisfaction with the progress being made in the various fields of the DPRK-Russian relations.
- Minister Ivanov said that Chairman Kim Jong-Il briefed him on North Korea's ongoing programs to improve its economic management (Chosun Sinbo, July 31).
o Central Broadcasting Station reported on July 27 that the North Korean delegation of the Academy of Sciences signed on
July 24 2002-2003 Protocol on Scientific and Technological Cooperation with a Hungarian company based in Budapest.