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South-North Relations

Weekly Report on North Korea

본문영역

Weekly Report on North Korea NO.

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2003-01-22
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1. Domestic Affairs

- Since the announcement on January 10 of a "government statement" on its withdrawal from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), North Korea has been holding meetings by organizations nationwide in support of the announcement, thereby trying to consolidate its internal unity while whipping up resolve to resist the United States.

- North Korea was bent on preventing the possibility of international sanctions on it as by reporting that a crowd of one million gathered for the mass rally in Pyongyang on January 11 and issuing a warning through the press conferences given by its ambassadors stationed abroad that any "sanctions by the U.N. Security Council would be taken as a declaration of war against it."

- North Korea highlighted Kim Jong-il's active rule by reporting that the chairman conducted 79 days of on-the-spot guidance for 207 military and economic units during 2002.

- In connection with the recent nuclear-induced discontinuance of fuel deliveries to it, North Korea gave a great deal of publicity to electricity generation at the East Pyongyang Thermal Power Station and urged for more thermal power production at Pyongyang and Sundeok thermal power plants.

- Mentioning the need for technological renovation, North Korea praised the Academy of Sciences' branch office of construction materials for achieving much in construction modernization.

- North Korea urged for a strengthened national defense physical education as it held this year's first "Sports Day," where some 4,000 people from 80 organizations participated in a collective run and other events.

- By notifying of its participation in the 2003 Winter Olympic Games, North Korea apparently hoped to end its international isolation through sports diplomacy.

2. Relations with South Korea

- North Korea hinted that only "internal affairs of the Korean people" will be discussed during the coming 9th inter-Korean ministerial talks when the deputy director of the Committee for the Peaceful Unification of the Fatherland's secretariat said in an interview with the newspaper Joseon Shinbo that the nuclear issue was a matter that concerned only North Korea and the United States.

- North Korea apparently attempted to induce mutual assistance between South and North Korea at the cost of that of South Korea and the United States, when it persisted in denouncing America for allegedly impeding inter-Korean relations in response to the United Nations Command's comment on its troops' introduction of machine guns into the Demilitarized zone.

- North Korea was expected to try to strengthen its unification movement by voicing support for anti-Americanism in the South and anti-war and for the abolition of the National Security Law after arrest by the South Korean police of the acting chairman of Hanchongryeon, a radical student group, on January 8.

3. External Affairs

- Through its foreign ministry's spokesman, North Korea rejected the January 15 U.S. officials' remarks on the availability for dialogue with it and talks on energy and food assistance in return for Pyongyang's giving up of its nuclear development program as a "deceptive drama aimed at misleading international public opinions."

- North Korea reiterated its stand that the nuclear issue has to be resolved "on an equal footing and through fair negotiations that would equally clear up concerns of both sides."

- North Korea's foreign minister Baek Nam-soon and director general of the atomic energy bureau Li Je-seon wrote to the chairman of the U.N. Security Council and the director general of the IAEA, respectively, on January 10, and claimed that North Korea's withdrawal of the NPT goes into effect January 11.

- North Korea issued a statement in the name of its foreign ministry's spokesman on January 16 that Japanese prime minster Junichiro Koizumi's recent visit to the Yasukuni shrine runs against the spirit of the Pyongyang North Korea-Japan Declaration.

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