1. Internal Affairs
1. Internal Affairs
a. Chairman Kim Jong-il visited an ordnance depot of a military unit on May 5 and praised the working class for their contribution to the strengthening of the revolutionary armed forces. Then, he watched light comedy, "Cheollyeong," and complimented artists on their efforts to reinforce ideological indoctrination.
b. North Korea worked hard to stir up an atmosphere of competitive purchase of government bonds by the people. And, the Rodong Sinmun and other government media launched a propaganda campaign and reported exemplary purchase cases and sales outcome following the issuance of bonds May 1.
c. There was a conspicuous increase in reports and propaganda on the science and technology sector at the start of May. North Korea participated in an international second-hand machinery and equipment fair held in Germany May 2. Media outlets also reported that quality glassware was produced thanks to the introduction of advanced technology as well as supply of science-technology information through a computer network.
d. Immediately following the announcement April 9, "slogans of the party central committee," major factories and enterprises launched propaganda to the effect that they had over-achieved their "April plans" in order to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the founding of the North Korean regime with proud achievements.
e. By holding the 11th "April Holiday Culinary Festival" and "Specialty Culinary Competition" at each province recently, North Korea emphasized the need to further develop its food culture as well as to contribute to the construction of a strong and prosperous nation.
f. In connection with the SARS epidemic, North Korea denied a report that SARS broke out in Pyongyang, saying a strong preventive work was in progress on chairman Kim Jong-il's direct order.
-Meanwhile, the North's Central Television, quoting a report, said May 8 that the overall economic losses due to SARS will likely match those of the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.
2. Relations with South Korea:
a. In a statement issued May 3 by the central committee spokesman of the General Federation of Trade Union, North Korea described the 'anti-war, peace education' launched by Jeongyojo, a maverick teachers' union in the South, as a "patriotic action reflecting today's demands." It denounced the South Korean authorities for defining anti-war, peace education as anti-American education and for oppressing the union.
b. On the occasion of the 31st anniversary of the July 4, 1972 South-North Joint Communique (containing the Three Principles for National Unification), North Korea, through its Central Broadcasting May 3, sought to carry out its struggle to fulfill the June 15, 2000 South-North Joint Declaration, saying the principles in the Communique were embodied in the Declaration.
3. External Affairs:
a. Regarding the U.S. designation anew of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism on April 30, a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman angrily reacted, saying the step has "created an added complication to the resolution of the nuclear issue, which would bring about nothing but exacerbation." The spokesman made the comment in an interview with the (North) Korean Central News Agency May 5.
b. Regarding the "Bongsu-ho incident," the North Korean freighter held on charges of running illegal drugs, the foreign ministry spokesman claimed in an interview with the KCNA May 6 that North Korea had "thoroughly and consistently opposed to the abuses and trafficking of drugs and that it had nothing to do with the incident."
c. North Korea stepped up its denunciation of Japan, criticizing the Japanese practice of wartime "comfort women" and distortions in history textbooks, while underlining the atrocities Japanese soldiers committed during Japan's invasion of Korea from 1592 to 1598. Pyongyang made the denunciation May 7 in a Japan-bashing rally organized by the Korea History Society. The rally was timed with a discussion on "violence on females" at the 59th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights.
d. In connection with the sinking of a Chinese submarine April 28, chairman Kim Jong-il sent messages of condolences to president Hu Jin-tao and other Chinese leaders May 4.