0 North Korea tried to inculcate allegiance to Kim Jong-il and tighten internal unity by strengthening guidance under the military-first principle, when it held a central report session on March 15 marking the 80th anniversary of the "Thousand-li (400km) March for Learning."
- North Korea urged the populace to stand up to confront the United States with a death-defying resolve, when its Rodong News, through an editorial, highlighted the case of Li In-mo. Li was a long-term prisoner in South Korea but was allowed to return to North Korea under humanitarian consideration, and North Korea illustrated him as an indefatigable incarnation of Socialist belief on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Li's repatriation.
- The graduating classes in Pyongyang's junior high schools held a "national defense sports meet" on March 9 to imbibe its ideology and enmity toward "foes."
0 According to the Rodong News report March 17, North Korea has recently been conducting a variety of anti-American indoctrination programs in Pyongyang. The members at every level of party organizations affiliated with factories, enterprises and schools were shown the abducted USS Pueblo and the Three Revolution Exhibition. They also held swearing rallies and speech contests. The participants are being mobilized every day by broadcasting propaganda vehicles.
0 Calling for a fundamental switch in the economic, social and other fields through creativity and reform, North Korea held a "central discussion" on March 19 in search of ways to conduct all projects in a new way in line with the demands of the new century."
0 Through a joint venture with a Chinese company, North Korea began to assemble a Pentium-class computer called "Morning-Panda," according to the newspaper Joseon Sinbo March 15. The move was seen as an attempt to improve its backward hardware due to the embargo on sophisticated products by the West.
0 As part of its measure to streamline irrigation facilities, North Korea recently completed construction of a 180km-long branch waterway between Gaecheon and Lake Taeseong, following the completion of the main waterway in October 2002.
Relations with South Korea
0 North Korea reconfirmed its position to break out of the current nuclear crisis by weakening the Seoul-Washington ties, when it emphasized mutual assistance between the peoples of South and North Korean and called for a joint anti-U.S. struggle. It also proposed a joint inter-Korean event for unification. It made the proposal when Pyongyang held a "Combined Meeting of the Government, Party and Various Organizations" March 18.
0 North Korea expressed dissatisfaction over South Korea's cooperation with the United States, when a spokesman for the Committee for Peaceful Unification of the Fatherland issued a statement March 21, denouncing the South's strengthening of security measures in connection with the Iraqi war as a fuss in preparation for anti-North Korean confrontation."
- North Korea unleashed anti-Seoul denunciations, alleging that the South Korean security authorities were suppressing anti-American struggles. Also, the chief delegate of the North to the inter-Korean military working-level meeting sent a message to his Southern counterpart, in which he condemned the South Korean military for stepping up propaganda broadcast disparaging the North Korean military.
0 Saying that it would release a "more detailed account, North Korea urged South Korea's opposition Grand National Party to reveal the truth about the dispatch of secret emissaries to the North (during the 2002 presidential election campaign). The call came from a statement of the spokesman of the North Korean Asia-Pacific Peace Committee on March 14.
0 North Korea reported the outbreak of the Iraqi war a day late on March 21 without comment, citing CNN and other foreign news organizations. The report included U.S. air raids, speeches the American and Iraqi presidents made to their respective nations, as well as protest moves in many nations.
0 North Korea rejected the United Nations Command's offer of a general-grade officers' meeting in connection with the ongoing South Korean-U.S. military exercises. It rejected it as it unleashed a barrage of what it called a "test of nuclear war designed to invade the North."