1. Domestic Affairs
o Chairman Kim Jong-Il enjoyed the closing of the Arirang performances and a performance of the Merited Choir of the Korea People's Army on August 15.
- The Central Broadcasting Station reported August 16 that 90 Arirang performances had been held from April 14 to August 15, drawing an audience of over four million people from home and abroad.
o No special event was held on August 15 to mark the 57th anniversary of National Liberation Day, other than educational visits to the sites of revolutionary ruins and battles. The editorial content of newspapers including the Rodong Shinmun promoted the validity of the North Korean system that day, while urging their readers to enhance their loyalty to the military-first policy.
- North Korean media spread propaganda that about 100,000 people had visited the Monument to the Three Charters of National Unification since its completion on August 14, 2001 (August 13, Central Broadcasting Station). On the occasion of August 15 National Liberation Day, media reported that workers from diverse areas visited the Pochonbo Revolutionary Battle Site (August 13, TV) and the Shinpa Museum of Revolutionary Achievements (August 11, Central Broadcasting Station), as well as reporting on the renovation of the Education Center for the Revolutionary Ruins and Artifacts of the Chinese People's Army (August 11, TV) and the construction of memorials at diverse revolutionary sites in Pyongyang and Bongsan County (August 10, Central Broadcasting Station), etc.
- Kim Jong-Il exchanged congratulatory letters with Russian President Vladmir Putin on the occasion of August 15 National Liberation Day.
o At the Jagang Provincial Workers' Rally held at Huichon City on August 10, participants made a resolution to fight to the death to fulfill the tasks for developing the economy and for improving the living standards of people. At the 43rd plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Union of Agricultural Working People held on August 13, members were urged to enhance the Union's organizational functions to meet the demands of the new century.
o The Central Broadcasting Station propagandized on August 10 that the East Pyongyang Coal-Fired Plant generated electrical power at a record-high level during the first half of this year, thanks to a technological improvement program initiated at the plant.
- In a move to raise the people's hopes for alleviating food shortages, the Central Broadcasting Station reported on the construction of goat ranches in Kopung County, Jagang Province (August 13), and on a program for renovating or expanding 14 chicken factories nationwide that has been ongoing for the past two to three years (August 14).
o According to the Central Broadcasting Station, torrential rain wreaked serious havoc throughout entire regions of North Korea (August 8 report) and some parts of South Korea (August 9 report).
o North Korean media reported on the opening of the 16th Pyongyang International Table Tennis Tournament and the North Korean team's medal-winning performance in the 14th Asian Track and Field Championship. On August 10, North Korean television reported on the 15th Quiz Show of Primary School Students.
2. South Korean Relations
o In the seventh round of South-North ministerial talks held from August 12 to 14 in Seoul, both sides reached a 10-point agreement, which included a timetable for a second meeting of the Committee for the Promotion of Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation. The agreement is expected to provide momentum to bring South-North relations back on track.
o A 116-member delegation from the North, the largest since the partition, arrived in Seoul to attend the August 15 National Unification Meeting held in Seoul from August 15 to 16. The purpose of the visit was to promote unification movements.
- North Korea credited the holding of the National Unification Meeting in Seoul to the all-embracing politics of Kim Jong-Il, in an August 10 KCNA briefing of the spokesperson for the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation, as well as in an August 13 statement issued by the spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Unification of the Fatherland.
- At a reporting session held on August 13 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the founding of the National Alliance of Youth and Students for Reunification, members of the organization were urged to further strengthen their efforts to have South Korea's National Security Law repealed; to oppose the South's principal enemy theory ; and to continue their struggle for the legalization of the South Korean Federation of University Student Councils.
o The Central Broadcasting Station falsely claimed that the South Korean army had committed armed provocations at the Military Demarcation Line, presumably in an attempt to build up reasons for reversing the mood of rapprochement currently forming between the South and the North.
3. External Affairs
o The Central Broadcasting Station and Pyongyang Broadcasting Station made an advance report on August 15 on the visit of Chairman Kim Jong-Il to the Far Eastern areas of Russia scheduled for late August.
o In response to the United States' requests for nuclear inspections, the North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson issued a statement on August 13, demanding that the United States first consult with the North on how to compensate for power losses resulting from the delayed construction of the Light-Water Reactors.
o North Korea highlighted the efforts towards DPRK-Japan dialogue (Pyongyang Broadcasting Station, August 12) while reporting on scheduled foreign ministry director-level talks with Japan (Central and Pyongyang Broadcasting Station, August 14), expressing hope for revival of dialogue with Japan.
o The Central Broadcasting Station reported August 13 that Chinese President Jiang Zemin sent a telegram to Kim Jong-Il on August 10 to express sympathy for flood damages in North Korea, underscoring friendly relations with China.
o North Korean Foreign Minister Paek Nam-Sun visited Mongolia from August 7 to 9, the first such trip in 14 years, and signed a new Treaty for Friendly Relations and Cooperation to improve bilateral relations, which have been distant for years.