o Chairman Kim Jong-il visited air force unit 855 on June 9 and the Jangsusan Resort the next day to emphasize patriotism via scenic tourist attractions. Kim also made an on-site guidance at a fish farm the same day and said to increase fish production by modernizing and streamlining the process of fish farming.
* As of June 12, Kim's public activities for the year total 44. They break down to 33 related to the military, five to the economy, and three each to external affairs and other miscellaneous issues.
o The presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly set up a 13-member "central election committee" for the 11th deputies June 8. Yang Hyeong-seop, vice chairman of the presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, was made chairman of the committee, Kim Jung-rin, a secretary of the ruling Workers Party, and Kim Yun-hyeok, secretary-general of the presidium, vice chairman and secretary-general of the secretary, respectively. On June 3, the presidium announced election schedules for the deputies.
o The (North) Korean Central News Agency reported June 10 that the farmers market, which had been renamed the 'general market,' was gaining wide acceptance and that transactions of manufactured goods were allowed along with agricultural goods. In reporting the market situation, the KCNA used the term 'economic reform.'
o North Korea said through its Central Broadcasting Station June 10 that new industrial programs developed at the Ganggye Information Center were greatly contributing to realizing modern information promotion in factories and enterprises in Jagang Province.
o On occasion of the 57th anniversary of the founding of the Korean Children's Union June 6, North Korea held ceremonies to observe the joining in the union at every municipal and county level as well as primary schools. The entrants were urged to grow up as workers with wisdom, virtue and health of the "military-first" era and as a juvenile vanguard loyal to general Kim Jong-il.
Relations with South Korea
o In an interview with the newspaper Joseon Sinbo June 7, the vice director of North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Unification of the Fatherland said his committee will "fight against any position putting brakes on the June 15, 2000, South-North Joint Declaration." However, he showed a dual attitude by saying that North Korea will continue to promote dialogue and economic cooperation and exchanges with South Korea.
o Regarding the combat improvement plan of the U.S. forces in Korea reported on May 31, North Korea mobilized the KCNA and the General Federation of Chosun Trade Unions to denounce it repeatedly as an implementation phase for "further steps," a phrase contained in the recent joint statement at the ROK-U.S. summit, while instigating anti-American and anti-war struggles for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Korea.
o South and North Korea held their fifth working-level contact for the connection of inter-Korean rails and roads in Gaeseong June 7-9. And the two sides held ceremonies for linking the Seoul-Sinuiju Railway and roads and the Donghae (East Sea) Railway and road and adopted an agreement on detailed working-level matters concerning the transborder rails and roads.
* The South Korean delegates of the working-level contact used their own transportation to commute to the meeting for the first time.
o In a commentary on June 9, the KCNA claimed that North Korea's 'possession of nuclear deterrence' was not intended for external threats, but for conversion of human resources and fund to economic construction and the livelihood of the population by reducing conventional weapons. The comment apparently was designed to induce negotiations with the United States with the intention of guaranteeing its security and economic support in case of negotiations.
o In connection with the suspension of the operations of the freighter Mangyeongbong-ho 92, North Korea maintained in the name of its Red Cross society and a variety of other social organizations that it 'marked the beginning of sanctions against North Korea' and warned that the measure could "lead to nullification of the Pyongyang North Korea-Japan Declaration."
- Meanwhile, Taro Aso, chairman of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party's Policy Research Council, made remarks two weeks ago to the effect that change of Koreans' names to Japanese during colonial days benefited the Koreans. In response, a spokesman for the 'damage compensation committee for comfort women for Japanese soldiers' condemned the remarks as evidence of Japan's ambition to re-invade the Korean peninsula.
o Chairman Kim Jong-il of the National Defense Commission sent a congratulatory message June 12 to Russian president Vladir Putin on the occasion of Russia's Independence Day.