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South-North Relations

Weekly Report on North Korea

본문영역

Weekly Report on North Korea No.

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관리자
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2003-10-11
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14079
InternalAffairs

Internal Affairs

o North Korea reported October 1 the adoption of "Tax Provisions" and "Labor Provisions" governing the Gaeseong Industrial Zone by the decision of the presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly. The provisions, a follow-up to the designation of the vicinity of Gaeseong City as a special economic zone, were drafted on September 18. The move indicates Pyongyang's will to push for inter-Korean economic cooperation despite difficulties like the nuclear issue.

o North Korea held a National Communication and Postal Workers' Meeting October 1. Through the meeting held at the People's Palace of Culture, it called on the workers to innovate technologies to smoothly promote the modernization of a communication network being pushed as a priority project.

o North Korea held the 14th Competition of National Program and Exhibition September 30 to promote development in the computer industry. It encouraged that entry goods should be utilized for the automation of production and management operations at factories and enterprises at every level.

o North Korea's Rodong Sinmun reported September 28 that proceeds from the sale of People's Livelihood Bonds will be invested in the power generation sector on a priority basis in what seems to be an attempt to enhance productivity in factories and enterprises by tiding over a severe power shortage.

o On the 58th anniversary (October 10) of the founding of its ruling Workers Party, North Korea held the People's Sports Meetings in Pyongyang and elsewhere simultaneously October 1-26. By popularizing sports, North Korea wants to search and nourish promising athletes as well as develop sports skills.

o On the 40th anniversary of the dedication of the Pyongyang Student-Youth Palace, North Korea held a report session on September 30, in which the need was emphasized to nourish students as revolutionary materials capable of mastering modern scientific and technological knowledge befitting the demands of the era of the IT industry.

Relations with South Korea

o North Korea expressed a firm intention to promote the continual promotion of inter-Korean economic cooperation, while denouncing South Korean authorities for the "illegal and utterly destructive move" made in connection with guilty sentences for those involved in the secret remittances to Pyongyang. The denunciation came in a statement of the spokesman of its Asia-Pacific Peace Committee on September 27.

o In connection with the decision of the South Korean National Assembly's Culture and Tourism Committee to conduct government audits during a visit to North Korea, North Koreans sent telephone messages to South Korea, condemning the South's move and demanded a formal apology. The messages were forwarded in the name of the Pyongyang-side leader of the inter-Korean ministerial talks and report No. 850 of the Secretariat of the North Korean Committee for the Peaceful Unification of the Fatherland, respectively, on September 27 and 26.

- In response, the National Assembly's Culture and Tourism Committee clarified on September 27 that the "plan to visit the North was intended to serve as a turning-point for inter-Korean exchange and cooperation at the National Assembly level by attending the inaugural ceremony of the Chung Ju-yung Gymnasium."

External Affairs

o North Korea said in a statement issued by its foreign ministry on October 2 that it had completed reprocessing 8,000 spent fuel rods and diverted the extracted plutonium in a way to strengthen its nuclear deterrence. It was apparently an attempt to improve its negotiating position at the six-way talks on North Korea by applying further pressures on the United States.

- Earlier on September 30, a spokesman of the foreign ministry said in an interview with the North Korean Central News Agency that there appeared to be no intention whatever for the United States to shift its hostile policy toward Pyongyang and that there was no promise made on the next six-party meeting. The spokesman added that North Korea would go ahead with the practical steps of maintaining and strengthening its nuclear deterrence as decided on by the Supreme People's Assembly.

o In a statement issued by the spokesman of the foreign ministry September 29 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the conclusion of the South Korea-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty, North Korea said the US refusal to conclude a non-aggression treaty with Pyongyang stems from a fear that scrapping the US-South Korea Mutual Defense Treaty might lead to the withdrawal of US forces in Korea.

o North Korea held a Pyongyang discussion September 29 to get to the bottom of the "Ukishima-maru Incident" and demanded that Japan investigate the incident, apologize and compensate for it.

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