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South-North Relations

Weekly Report on North Korea

본문영역

Weekly Report on North Korea NO.

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2003-05-28
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Internal Affairs

o Chairman Kim Jong-il on May 16 visited the Seungri Power Plant, which was constructed by soldiers of military unit 841, honored with the title of Geum sung lifeguard and exhorted the military to play a leading and pioneering role in the construction of medium and small power plants to ease power shortages. Two days later, Kim watched a performance given by military families of the 488th and 534th units and encouraged them to spread the spirit of aggressive livelihood as military families.

o Choi Eung-jun, who is in charge of epidemic prevention, said not a single SARS case has broken out in North Korea as of May 18 and attributed it to the SARS prevention measures directed by Kim Jong-il and the superior North Korean health care system.

o North Korea erected an oversized mosaic mural on a rice cooperative farm in Sariwon City, North Hwanghae province, May 15. It portrays the late Kim Il-sung and his son, Kim Jong-il, conducting an on-site guidance in an apparent attempt to instill allegiance to hereditary succession through the household indoctrination of revolutionary history and a sustained personality cult project.

o By creating an Internet homepage on science and technology information, North Korea said it made progress in the information and science area. It also asserted that it was making progress in the nanobiology research field.

Relations with South Korea


o Through the fifth meeting of the South-North Economic Cooperation Promotion Committee held in Pyongyang May 19-23, the two Koreas adopted a seven-point joint press statement regarding the rice assistance and a smooth promotion of economic cooperation between them.

- Major points of the press release include the agreement to connect the Seoul-Sinuiju and the Donghae (East Sea) Railways and roads, the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Gaeseong Industrial Complex in late June and transparent distribution of 400,000 tons of rice from the South in the form of a loan.

* North Korea expressed regret over the "disaster" remark it made against the South. The remark created a snag in moving the meeting forward.

o Through a comment in its Rodong Sinmun May 21, North Korea expressed a strong dissatisfaction over the stronger expression of "Korea-U.S. mutual assistance" in the "Korea-U.S. Joint Statement" issued at the recent summit. It said the phrase was a "declaration of betrayal of the country" laced with provocative words against North Korea.

* Concerning the Korea-U.S. summit meeting, the chief North Korean delegate to the fifth meeting of the South-North Economic Cooperation Promotion Committee claimed in a keynote speech on May 20 that South Korea "took advantage of America's policy of suffocating North Korea militarily and economically." He warned that the "inter-Korean relationship will be brought to naught and the South will be in for an unspeakable disaster if the latter were headed in a confrontational direction with expressions like "the nuclear issue" or "additional steps."

o North Korea, through its Rodong Sinmun May 21, denounced remarks by a South Korean presidential aide for military affairs as "profanity and provocation" on Pyongyang and asserted that the remarks ran against the June 15, 2000, South-North Joint Declaration.

- In the meantime, through a statement of Korean Students Committee May 21, North Korea denounced the moves in the South to prosecute the chairman of "Hancheongryeon," an outlawed nationwide campus organization, as well as to punish those involved in the violent demonstration at a ceremony marking the anniversary of the May 18 pro-democracy movement in Gwangju.

External Relations

o North Korea's foreign ministry spokesman, in a statement on May 17, said that the three contingency bills passed by a Japanese Diet were tantamount to a national mobilization law or statutes of aggression and war that Imperialist Japan used when it waged a war on the continent in the past.

o According to North Korea's Central Broadcast May 20, the Canadian government decided to provide North Korea with food worth $2.5 million through the World Food Programme.

o The Swiss foreign minister and her party visited North Korea May 16-20 and emphasized cooperative mutual economic relations and an international role in addressing the Korean problem. The ABB group stationed in North Korea signed a memorandum of understanding on the project of ultra-high voltage power transmission network in Pyongyang May 19.

o North Korea signed a memorandum of understanding with Australia on the comprehensive control of harmful insects on white cabbage.

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