1. External affairs
- Chairman Kim Jong-il emphasized the need to improve the living conditions of the general population through the development of regional industry and agricultural accounting. He offered "on-site guidance" at a power plant and a food factory in Changseong county, North Pyeongan province.
- Observing the 50th anniversary (Oct. 28) of the founding of the "Kim Il-sung Integrated Military College," Kim Jong-il emphasized the need to produce military leaders skilled in the tactics of modern warfare and praised military unity in a report session, which was also attended by Jo Myong-rok, Kim Young-choon, Kim Il-chol and other top military leaders.
- Jo Myong-rok and top leaders of the party, the administration and the military attended the 70th anniversary memorial service for Cha Gwang-su, who died during the anti-Japanese struggle. The gathering was designed to highlight the regime's status and legitimacy by emphasizing its role in the independence struggle against the Japanese.
- North Korea held a plenary session of the central committee of the Democratic Women's Union, a meeting of subaltern unions and loyal junior secretaries in the military and a series of other gatherings of vocational organizations. The recent progress of various economic measures was reviewed and future activity guidelines were issued.
- North Korea held a "presentation of hypotheses and ideas," a new forum, using the event as the occasion for development of ideas and promotion of scientific and technological talents in the basic sciences as well as in the information and high-tech science fields.
2. Relations with South Korea
- North Korea, in a statement issued on October 28 by a spokesman of its Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, denounced the United States for demanding the North scrap its nuclear weapons program. It also called for mutual assistance by all Koreans on the Korean peninsula in coping with the U.S. move, arguing that its "military-first politics" will enable South Koreans to live in comfort while securing peace on the peninsula.
- Inter-Korean meetings and exchanges continued on a sustained basis. A North Korean economic observation team toured South Korea, and there were working-level meetings on the construction of the Gaeseong Industrial Complex and the prevention of flood damage along the Imjin River. The Red Cross societies of both countries also held talks on humanitarian issues.
- South Korea's opposition Grand National Party called on North Korea to renounce its nuclear programs. Short of the renunciation, it called for economic sanctions by South Korea. In response, North Korea's mentioned the possibility of a "nuclear war" on October 31, a move apparently intended to counter the South Korean GNP's call for the North to abandon its nuclear weapons program.
3. External Affairs
- In connection with its admitted nuclear development program, North Korea rejected the United States demand to drop the project before negotiations. Instead, it formally proposed resolution of the nuclear issue by concluding a North Korea-U.S. non-aggression pact in a statement issued by the foreign ministry on October 25.
Arguing the legitimacy of its proposal, North Korea reiterated for days that it was getting endorsements from South Korea and the rest of the world.
- North Korea and Japan held their 12th round of talks aimed at normalizing relations but ended without even agreeing to set the date for their next meeting because of Japan's demand for nuclear weapon's renunciation and the failure to narrow differences in settling the issue of North Korea's abduction of Japanese citizens.
A spokesman for the central committee of the North Korean Red Cross issued October 30 a statement criticizing the Japanese government for failing to keep its promise of returning the five Japanese abductees who were given permission to visit Japan.
- Two North Korean delegations - one headed by air force commander O Geum-chol, and the other by the general staff office's operations director Li Myong-su - paid a visit to Russia. Both explored ways of boosting concrete cooperation on military matters.
The Russian railway minister visited North Korea and discussed linkage of the Trans-Korean Railway/Trans-Siberian Railway.
- High-ranking North Korean officials paid homage at the cemetery for the Chinese volunteers on the 52nd anniversary of their participation in the Korean War. Goodwill observation teams from China's armed forces and Communist party visited North Korea, respectively, as part of an annual exchange.