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South-North Relations

Weekly Report on North Korea

본문영역

Weekly Report on North Korea No.

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관리자
created
2002-11-20
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13349
Weekly on North Korea

1. External affairs
- North Korea, seizing on the tense atmosphere surrounding the nuclear issue, held its first nationwide "Enthusiasts' Meeting to Foster the Beautiful Custom of Assisting the Military" in the presence of key leaders from the party, administration and the military apparently to tighten the unity of the masses and bolster its "military-first" objectives.

In addition, North Korea sought to foster unity between the military and the masses by conveying "gratitude" to Kim Jong-il for creating an atmosphere of assisting the military in some 100 units in the city of Wonsan.

- Ranking officials from the cabinet and the party inspected a power station and factories in South Hamgyeong Province, conducted an on-site inspection on the progress of the ongoing economic improvement measures and encouraged those at the site to "make economic achievements."

North Korea emphasized its economic achievements, saying that it was pushing for the construction of some 250 medium- and small-sized power stations and completed the construction of some 40 of them this year. It also said in October that the country re-allocated 10,000 jeongbo of land and the October 5 Automation Tool Factory and other factories achieved output in excess of planned goals.

- Saying exports of computer programming have been surging during the last several months, North Korea expressed interest in possible joint research with other countries to improve the level of quality in the area.

2. Relations with South Korea
- North Korea maintained a positive attitude with regard to inter-Korean cooperation in the economic arena by agreeing with the South on the ground-breaking for the construction of the Gaeseong Industrial Complex and on flood control efforts during working-level council meetings of the two projects.

But the inter-Korean Red Cross working-level contact ended with little achievement because North Korea dragged its feet on the question of South Koreans abducted to the North.

- Maintaining that the nuclear issue constitutes a problem pitting the Korean people against the Americans, North Korea stressed the need for a mutual assistance between the peoples of South and North Korea on the issue. However, North Korea vehemently denounced the platform of a South Korean political party and its presidential candidate for mentioning possible economic sanctions against North Korea, describing it as an "act that would result in a nuclear war."

- Citing the recently resurfaced homicide case of the five children, who had been slain while on a "frog hunting" trip two decades ago, North Korea maintained that the abductee issue was similarly fabricated by some conservative forces in the South to slander the North.

3. External Affairs
- North Korea reiterated the need for a North Korea-U.S. "non-aggression treaty" and emphasized its "nuclear sovereignty" to counter Washington's policies toward Pyongyang. This effort was apparent in the recent series of "press conferences" its foreign ministry spokesman and ambassadors stationed in China, Russia and Germany gave in connection with the nuclear issue.

Through its various media organizations, North Korea repeatedly justified its "military-first" politics, while indicating its rejection for a possible economic trade-off in return for renunciation of its nuclear program.

Although it talked about the possibility of arming itself with "specific weapons" to cope with the United States through a radio broadcast on November 5, North Korea appeared to be signaling for a dialogue with Washington by accepting a visit to Pyongyang of former U.S. ambassador to South Korea Donald Gregg.

- North Korea attributed the failure of its talks with Japan on normalization of relations to Japan's position of putting priorities on nuclear and abductees' problems and denounced Tokyo for it. It also warned that Pyongyang might reconsider its earlier decision to suspend the test-firing of missiles unless progress was made in normalization talks.

- North Korea and Russia signed a memorandum of understanding on the construction and modernization of the Donghae Railway and agreed on the holding of a three-way conference involving the two Koreas and Russia concerning the reconnection of inter-Korean railways.

- North Korea emphasized its friendship with China when it received a Chinese goodwill delegation composed of party and military representatives. It also sent a congratulatory message to China on the occasion of the 16th party congress.

- It reported that the German government donated thousands of tons of beef to North Korea.

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