o Chairman Kim Jong-il visited military unit 824, bonored with the title of Geum sung lifeguard and a power plant under construction by the military, and watched a performance by an art unit. At the power station site, Kim called on the military to take the initiative in easing the chronic power shortage.
o On the occasion of May Day, North Korea held a Central Report session and urged the working class to be fully combat-ready in the face of the recent development by arming themselves with thorough class struggle and anti-U.S. spirit. Also, key leaders from the party and administration toured factories and work places to encourage the workers.
o Mobilizing its media outlets every day, North Korea has been working hard to prevent SARS, reporting in detail about the epidemic and taking steps to restrain travels to the affected countries, and isolating and monitoring those were returning from the affected areas.
o Since the announcement of the "party central committee slogans", North Korea has been concentrating on an "economic stimulation" to implement the slogans through its media outlets. But, unlike in previous years, there has been no mass rally to whip up the atmosphere.
o Indicating that it was working hard to lay the groundwork for infrastructure to increase agricultural production in North Pyong-an Province, North Korea reported that following the completion on February 10 of the Gaecheon-Lake Taeseong irrigation project, it was pushing for the construction of the Baekma-Cheolsan irrigation work.
Relations with South Korea
o The 10th inter-Korean ministerial talks, held in Pyongyang April 27-29, dealt with the nuclear and other pending issues, and issued a six-point joint press release. It laid the groundwork for sustained reconciliation and cooperation between South and North Korea.
- The two sides agreed to continue cooperation in resolving the nuclear issue peacefully and implementing the seventh round of reunions for separated families. North Korea said it would participate in the Daegu Universiade games.
o North Korea repeatedly emphasized the implementation of the June 15, 2000 South-North Joint Declaration and mutual assistance between fellow Koreans, while the campaign to carry out the party central committee slogans continued.
o Reacting strongly against the US move to take the North Korean nuclear issue to the United Nations, North Korea's foreign ministry spokesman warned in a statement on April 30 that Pyongyang would have to take emergency measures if such action were taken.
o Following the three-way meeting in Beijing, North Korea said through the Rodong Sinmun newspaper, and other commentaries, that even though the talks ended fruitlessly because of the unfair behavior of the United States, the talks did not end in a rupture. It added that resumption of the talks were up to the United States.
o A North Korean delegation, led by vice foreign minister Choe Su-hon, visited Britain to participate in a ceremony opening the North Korean embassy in London April 30. Choi also met with the British foreign minister to deliver Pyongyang's position on the nuclear issue.
o North Korea appointed Kim Byung-ki to be ambassador to Nigeria.