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South-North Relations

Weekly Report on North Korea

본문영역

Weekly Report on North Korea No.

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2003-01-09
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1.

1. Domestic Affairs

  - North Korea issued a New Year joint editorial entitled "Let's Exalt the Dignity and Prestige of the Republic under the Great Military-first Banner."

 - The editorial, co-authored by the Rodong Sinmun and the armed forces, stressed the importance of defense capability and mutual assistance of the Korean people (both South and North) amid a sense of crisis facing the current urgent situation.

  - North Korea predicted that an indoctrination drive will be in the offing for the masses to implement the theme of the joint editorial, given the January 3 editorial of the Rodong Sinmun and the newspaper's subsequent reports on the people's support for and other reactions to the joint editorial.

  - Ushering in the New Year, North Korea held events in memory of the late Kim Il-sung, including sports and entertainment activities to observe the New Year. In Pyongyang, street-car operation hours were lengthened and restaurants did special service, adding to festivity.

  - Chairman Kim Jong-il watched a performance the award-winning military choir gave in commemoration of the Socialist Constitution Day on December 27, and inspired the soldiers with allegiance.

  - North Korea sought to solidify its internal unity during this nuclear crisis by staging massive anti-American rallies in Pyongyang December 28, Gaeseong and Nampo December 29 and other major cities.

  - North Korea said trains, newly made up of "modern, cultural" cars, will be run on the northern segments involving Pyongyang, Sinuiju and the Tuman River beginning in the New Year.

  - Dedication of a hydroelectric power plant at Pyongyang's Sangwon county completed after three years of work is expected to supply electricity to industrial factories nearby and residential areas.

2. Relations with South Korea

  - South and North Korea adopted a bilateral shipping agreement covering the opening of sea routes, safe shipping operations and maritime rescue work and defining their transport services as "cabotage of the Korean people" at a meeting of shipping officials in Pyongyang December 25-28.

  - North Korea continued on a course of driving a wedge between South Korea and the United States since a meeting of inter-Korean military meeting on December 23, which failed to agree on the opening of provisional road for traffic, trans-border roads in the east and west parts of the Korean peninsula. It also highlighted the alleged U.S. responsibility for the failure, which was raised in a statement of the spokesman of the Committee for the Peaceful Unification of the Fatherland December 28 and others.

  - North Korea enumerated the "United States' Anti-North Korea Policies" during 2002 and its demand for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Korea on December 30 through the secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Unification of the Fatherland. The enumeration was contained in the committee's Report No. 832.

  - North Korea instigated struggles in South Korea to rescind the provision defining the South-side headquarters of Hanchongryeon and Beomminryeon, the two outlawed underground organizations, as bodies aiding and abetting South Korea's enemy. The instigation was made in a statement on December 27 in line with the spirit of the June 15 South-North Joint Declaration by the spokesman of the North's Joseon Student Committee in connection with the arrest of students belonging to Hanchongryeon.

3. External Affairs

  - North Korea intensified further its pressure on the United States to have dialogue with it, when it issued a statement hinting at the possibility of withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) through the spokesman of its foreign ministry on December 29.

  - North Korea expressed a strong will for resolving the nuclear issue through dialogue with the United States, when it urged for an affirmative role by concerned countries in bringing about the Pyongyang-Washington dialogue.

  - Jocheongryon, the pro-Pyongyang residents association based in Japan, pledged to reinforce its organization in a congratulatory message to Kim Jong-il. In a return message, North Korea's foreign minister Kim Young-nam asked for creating in Japan an atmosphere favorable for implementing the North Korea-Japan Pyongyang Declaration.

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