1. Domestic Affairs
o Chairman Kim Jong-Il visited the DPRK-Russia Friendship Tower in the Tumen River Zone in Nason City during his return trip from the Far Eastern regions of Russia on August 24 (August 25 reports by Central Broadcasting Station, Pyongyang Broadcasting Station).
- North Korean media reported that Kim discussed the issue of linking the TKR and TSR, during the August 23 summit meeting with Russian President Putin, although no joint statements or formal announcements of any kind were made. The report shows the level of interest the North Korean government is taking in the issue.
o In an attempt to promote citizens' pride in the country and internal unity, North Korean media propagandized that Chairman Kims trip to Russia was met with an enthusiastic response, and that the trip enhanced the international status of North Korea.
o There were also propaganda reports about improvement in industrial productivity and the posting of over 200% growth in some factories.
o On the 11th anniversary of the August 28 Youth Day, media praised Kim Jong-Il's "policy of valuing youth," while encouraging young people to become the "life-risking units of the military-first era" and also urging them to play a leading role in the implementation of recent economic initiatives.
- The National Youth Information and Technology Achievement Exhibition and
National Youth Computer Technology Experience Debate Forum were held on August 20 and 26 respectively. The events were aimed at training young scientific and technological talent and to accelerate state initiatives to improve economic management.
o Kim Jong-Il conveyed gratitude to those who set exemplary models in railway supporting projects nationwide, and urged them to take active interest in railway support programs for every economic unit, particularly in regard to the railway cooperation project with Russia that is taking shape.
2. South Korean Relations
o In the second meeting of the Committee for the Promotion of Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation held in Seoul from August 27 to 30, both sides agreed on a concrete timetable and implementation methods for major cooperation projects including the re-linking of the Kyungui Rail Line. The meeting is expected to accelerate South-North economic cooperation to move into the implementation stage in earnest.
o In working-level meetings to discuss North Koreas participation in the 14th Asian Games, the North and the South ironed out their differences on the opening and closing ceremony parades, and the use of the DPRK flag. The agreements are expected to increase sports exchanges and interactions between the South and the North.
o North Korea denounced the "peace policy" presented by the presidential candidate of the Grand National Party on August 21, labeling it as a "cunning trick to win the election" through acquiescence to the United States, without any regard to the fundamental issues facing the Korean peninsula. Apparently, the slandering was intended to foment opposition against the candidate within South Korea.
o North Korea denounced the South for ruining the mood for implementing inter-Korean agreements by conducting large-scale military exercises and presenting hurdles to the Norths participation in the Asian Games.
3. External Affairs
o The DPRK-Japan Foreign Ministry Director-level talks held from August 25 to 26 in Pyongyang ended without any concrete agreements. However, a 6-point Joint Press Release which included an agreement to review resumption of future normalization talks was adopted, expressing the willingness of both sides to improve DPRK-Japan relations.
- North Korea announced on August 30 that Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi is expected to visit Pyongyang around mid-September.
o Supreme Peoples Assembly Presidium Vice-Chairman Yang Hyong-Sop visited Namibia and Angola.
o Delegations from Loxley Public Company Limited of Thailand visited North Korea on August 27 to participate in the 12th board meeting of the Northeast Asian Telephone and Telecommunication Co. Ltd. held in Pyongyang and to explore the possibilities of new mobile phone projects.