1. Domestic Affairs
- North Korea designated Sinuiju as special administrative region on September 12 and adopted the Basic Law for Sinuiju Special Administrative Region (SSAR). This is widely as a move to begin to open its economy to the outside world, while minimizing the impact on the regime's stability.
- North Korea also signed the agreement on the development, management and operation of the SSAR and appointed the Chinese-born Yang Bin, a Dutch national, as minister of the SSAR. The move created a favorable atmosphere for North Korea to gain international confidence and induce capital from the outside world.
- The North Korean media reported extraordinarily that the 10th Standing Committee of the Supreme People's Assembly was convened for the purpose of approving the appointment of Yang Bin.
- Meanwhile, in its September 23 editorial, North Korea's Rodong Shinmun called for the North Koreans to "arm themselves with ideologies and political lines of the Korea Worker's Party." The editorial seems to be aimed at solidifying the ideology of North Koreans amid the drastic change now under way in the North.
- The dedication ceremony of the Anbyeon Cheongnyon No. 2 Power Plant was held on September 25. The North expressed hope that the new power plant would contribute to the industrial development of the Gangwon-do Province and the improvement of living standards of its residents.
- The International Taekwondo Federation held a special general assembly session on September 11 and elected North Korea's IOC representative Jang Woong as the new president of the federation. The post has been vacant since the death of Choi Hong-hee.
- In a notable departure from the past, North Korea held no memorial events on the occasion of the 53rd anniversary of the death of Kim Cheong-sook, mother of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. Instead, senior officials from the party, government and military laid a wreath at her memorial.
2. South Korean Relations
- Private sector exchanges with South Korea have been carried out smoothly. South Korea's MBC TV performing group had a tour around Pyongyang and the North Korean athletes participating in the Busan Asian Games entered the Athletes' Village on September 25.
- At the working-level contact held on September 24 at Mt. Geumgang, civilian groups from the South and the North agreed on the timetables of the inter-Korean youth rally for unification and the inter-Korean women's meeting for unification, both scheduled for October. The events are expected to promote the unification movement among the peoples of the two Koreas.
With regard to a South Korean film project on North Korea, the North warned that an anti-North Korean film is being produced under the patronage of ultra-conservative elements of the South and asked the South Korean authorities to take appropriate actions including the prohibition of the film's screening.
3. External Affairs
- North Korea urged the United States to renounce its hostile policies toward the North, which would seem to indicate its wish to resume dialogue with the United States immediately.
- The North called upon the U.S. to go with the current trend, noting that diplomatic circumstances surrounding the North have turned favorable. For example, it cited that the inter-Korean dialogue is under way in various areas and the construction work on the inter-Korean railways and highways have been launched. It also stated that the prospect for the improvement of ties with Japan has become brighter.
- Meanwhile, the North's vice foreign minister told the United Nations' general assembly on September 17 that once the U.S. renounced its hostile policies toward North Korea and set out for a practical dialogue, all pending issues would be resolved in a fair way.
- The North's Rodong Shinmun stated on September 25 that North Korea and Japan should make joint efforts to implement the agreements reached at the summit meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi and the subsequent Pyongyang Declaration.
- The North is scheduled to conclude with Russia a memorandum on railway cooperation, which calls for a full-scale cooperation in railways between the two countries.
- The North's Central News Agency said on September 21 that the remains of the North Korean soldiers who were killed during the Vietnam War were repatriated home and buried in the Cemetery for the Patriotic Soldiers.