1. Domestic Affairs
- Chairman Kim Jong-il began this year's first public activity on January 4 by making sure that his regime is united with the military at the forefront when he viewed the performance of an army chorus composed of decorated soldiers.
- North Korea sponsored mass rallies by region to implement the theme contained in the New Year "joint editorial." By doing so, it tried to create an atmosphere to fulfill the tasks for the New Year through annual campaigns that included reports on the joint editorial, which will "reverberate" in all walks of life.
- Mass meetings were held in cities like Pyongyang, Hamheung, and Wonsan and provinces such as North Pyong-an, North Hamgyeong and Yanggang and rallies by soldiers of the Ministry of the People's Armed Forces.
- Through the mass meeting in Pyongyang on January 7 and other propaganda rallies on the economy, North Korea exhorted citizens to attain economic targets and stressed the need to put the "national defense industry" as a priority, apparently reflecting the recent tense situation caused by the nuclear issue.
- North Korea held a report session January 5 to commemorate the first anniversary of Kim Jong-il's "on-site guidance" at the "Kim Jong-tae Electric Locomotive Factory" and emphasized renovation in production and technology in the railway transportation sector.
- By urging the masses to "learn from the patriotic spirit of the 1950s," North Korea tried to consolidate its internal unity and lead an economic development drive in the face of the nuclear-induced tense situation.
2. Relations with South Korea
- Mobilizing all kinds of propaganda outlets at the beginning of the year, North Korea called for a stepped-up unification movement while stressing the implementation of the June 15, 2000, South-North Joint Declaration and the importance of the "mutual assistance between the Korean people."
- North Korea was bent on inciting anti-U.S. struggles in South Korea by repeatedly reporting on the Gwanghwamun candlelight vigils that were held in memory of the two schoolgirls who were killed by a U.S. armored vehicle last summer. The secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Unification of the Fatherland reiterated reports alleging that brutalities by U.S. forces stationed in Korea were persisting.
- It denounced a military exercise staged near Seoul by the capital garrison command January 7-11, labeling it as an "exercise to invade the North."
3. External Affairs
- North Korea further pressured the United States to change its attitude on the nuclear issue by taking an extreme position and announcing a "government statement" on Pyongyang's withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and from obligations under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards accord.
- In the statement, Pyongyang indicated its intention of dialogue with the United States when it said North Korea has "no intention of making nuclear weapons even though it is withdrawing from the NPT" and that it was willing to verify non-proliferation through a dialogue with the United States.
* Meanwhile, the IAEA adopted a resolution January 6, urging North Korea to restore seals and surveillance devices at the nuclear facilities to their original state and allow the return of expelled inspection officials.
- Mobilizing its ambassadors to China, Russia and elsewhere to give press conferences, North Korea called on the international community to play a role in making the United States open a North Korea-U.S. dialogue without conditions.
- Pak Ui-choon, Pak Kil-yeon and Kim Gwang-seop, ambassadors to Russia, the United Nations and Austria, respectively, gave press conferences on December 31, 2002 and January 3, respectively.
- A prominent Russian priest visited North Korea to discuss construction in North Korea of a Russian Orthodox church, which was discussed during chairman Kim Jong-il's journey in Russia's Far East in August 2002.