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South-North Relations

Weekly Report on North Korea

본문영역

Weekly Report on North Korea No.

writer
관리자
created
2002-09-19
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12859
Weekly on North Korea

1. Domestic Affairs
o A host of large events were held on the occasion of the 54th anniversary of the DPRK, promoting greater allegiance to Kim Jong-Il and devotion to the building of a powerful nation. In marking the anniversary, the Rodong Shinmun, an official newspaper of the Worker's Party, used the phrase Kim Jong-Il's Korea.
   - The events marking the 54
th anniversary of the DPRK included the following: a national meeting held on September 8; visits of senior officials of the state, government and military to Kumsusan Memorial Palace, the Revolutionary Martyrs' Cemetery and Patriotic Martyrs' Cemetery; congratulatory concerts held in and outside Pyongyang; congratulatory letters and telegraphs sent to Kim Jong-Il; and gatherings of youth and students in Pyongyang.
   - The Rodong Shinmun editorial urged the people to improve and perfect economic management methods in order to reap the maximum practical benefits while steadfastly maintaining socialist principles, and to innovatively implement business projects by approaching everything from a fresh perspective and in new dimensions.

o North Korean media reported September 7 on the assignment of numbers of discharged soldiers to the `July 6th Railway Plant', indicating strong interest in the implementation of railway and transportation tasks and railway modernization.

o North Korean media referred to the People's School and Senior Middle School by different names, revealing the possibility that educational reforms involving academic institutional changes might be under way in tandem with recent economic reform initiatives.

o Mr. Han Bong-Chun was appointed as the new Minister for Electrical and Coal Industries on September 6.

2. South Korean Relations
o The fourth South-North Red Cross talks were held at Mt. Geumkang from September 6 to 8 produced a 6-point agreement that included installation of permanent visit centers for the separated families and identification of those missing from the Korean War. The agreement has laid the foundation for institutionally addressing the concerns of separated families.

o The second South-North government talks to reinvigorate the Mt. Geumkang tour were held at Mt. Geumkang from September 10 to 12. In the meeting, both sides agreed in principle to the opening of land routes to Mt. Geumkang and the designation of Mr. Kumkang as a Special Tour Zone. However, the meeting ended without any agreements due to the North's insistence that the Southern government should make guarantees for the tour program and for the payment of overdue tour fees.

o During the September 12 general-level talks between the United National Command and the North Korean military, both sides agreed to open certain areas in the Demilitarized Zone for joint management by the South and the North while there is work being done in the constructing of the cross-border Tonghae Rail Line.

o North Korean media reported September 6 that the torch for the 14th Busan Asian Games was lit up in Mt. Baekdu and handed over to the South at Mt. Geumkang.

o On September 8, the Pyongyang Broadcasting Station criticized the Grand National Party's opposition to the relocation of U.S. bases situated near the Military Demarcation Line. It also said that a public questionnaire was sent to the presidential candidate of the Grand National Party on his son's military service on September 3.

3. External Affairs
o In its Bulletin No. 825, the Secretariat of the Committee for Peaceful Unification of the Fatherland labeled the military exercise of the U.S. 2
nd Infantry Division (conducted for 20 days from September 3 onward) as saber-rattling designed to return the Korean peninsula to a state of confrontation, while denouncing the U.S. gestures for DPRK-US dialogues as a scheme to mislead domestic and international public opinion.
   - In its September 10
th issue, the Rodong Shinmun denounced U.S. Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton's remarks on North Korea along with dismissing the charge that North Korea possesses biological weapons during his trip to South Korea as slanderous propaganda. However, the newspaper indicated hopes for prompt resumption of DPRK-US dialogues by saying that the ball is in the hands of the U.S. now
   - On the 1
st anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Rodong Shinmun argued that the heavy-handed policy of the U.S. has been incurring the wrath of the entire world and urged it to renounce a unilateral foreign policy.

o Public Health Minister Kim Su-Hak departed for Indonesia on September 7 to attend the 29th Meeting of Public Health Ministers of the Southeast Asian Regions and the 55th General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO).

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