1. Domestic Affairs
- North Korea urged for unity of the military and the masses
and voiced a sense of crisis as it described the current period as at the brink
of a nuclear war. It made the call during a central report meeting and other
events held to commemorate on December 24 the inauguration of Kim Jong-il as
commander-in-chief of the republic and the birthday of his mother Kim Jeong-sook.
- North Korea vowed to defend its socialist system and highlighted
Kim Jong-il's feat of formalizing the "Kim Il-sung Constitution,"
as well as the basic law that underlined the military-first revolution. The
gesture made a central report session on December 27 marked the 30th anniversary
of the "Socialist Constitution" of 1972.
- North Korea attempted to further solidify the regime's internal
unity by building up an anti-US atmosphere in anticipation of the anti-American
rallies in the Moranbong Youth Park and elsewhere on December 28, 2002.
- Jochong-ryon, the pro-Pyongyang Korean residents association
in Japan, through its newspaper, Joseon Sinbo, indicated on December 20 the
necessity of investment by overseas Korean compatriots in the Gaeseong industrial
region, characterizing the nature of the industrial complex as a "testing
ground for economic development of the Korean people," and not as a mere
introduction of South Korean capital.
2. Relations with South Korea
- Commenting on the recent presidential election in Korea, North
Korea emphasized that the outcome of the election showed that the forces opposing
the June 15, 2000 North-South Joint Declaration and instilling anti-North confrontation
were doomed. It made the comment as it carried the name of the successful candidate
and his party on December 21, two days after the vote in the South.
- North Korea attempted to drive a wedge between South Korea
and the United States and to press home the "unjustifiability" of
the US pressures on it. Pyongyang made the effort in the name of its delegation
to a recent inter-Korean meeting, when it attributed the lack of progress in
the talks to US obstructionism.
- Through its Central Broadcast and Radio Pyongyang on December
23, North Korea justified its position of reinforcing military capabilities
against the United States. It emphasized that its military-first politics constituted
a guarantee for national unification and that South Koreans did not feel threatened
by its nuclear development program according to an Internet-based opinion survey
in the South.
- North Korea also characterized the anti-American, independence
struggles in the South in 2002 as a reflection of "popularized" campaigns.
- In a written interview with the Joseon Sinbo on December 24,
Choi Seong-ik, a North Korean delegate to the inter-Korean ministerial talks,
highly rated the outcome of inter-Korean interactions in 2002 and gave an optimistic
outlook for relations between the two sides in 2003.
3. External Affairs
- North Korea intensified its pressure on the United States to
respond to its moves by announcing December 22 that it was dismantling the seals
and surveillance cameras on the frozen nuclear installations "to generate
- Through the Rodong Sinmun and other media outlets, North Korea
demanded day after day the United States to apologize and compensate for the
capture of its freighter So-san and accused the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA) for the stand it took to curry favor with the United States.
- North Korea reinforced collaboration with Russia in the railroad
sector as shown by its completion December 3-20 of a joint survey on the rail
structure between Wonsan and Mt. Geumgang and subsequent dispatch of a railroad
delegation to Russia.
- It also expressed a positive willingness in the project to
revamp railway technologies by committing disbanded soldiers to the "June
4 Factory (Wonsan rolling stock factory)."
- Chairman Kim Jong-il met with visiting mayor of Moscow Yury
Luzhkov December 23 for talks on improved economic relations between North Korea
and the Russian Far Eastern Province based on the past Russia-North Korea summit