o According to a radio report on October 21, Chairman Kim Jong-il stressed the principles of 'two-crops-a-year,' 'apt cultivation at an apt land,' and 'apt cultivation at an apt time' as well as revolution of seeds, when he conducted an on-site guidance at a farm of military unit 534. Three days later, the radio said Kim also inspected the Pak Kyeong-seok Hero Company under the control of military unit 821. The move was seen as a military morale booster as he called for reinforcement fighting efficiency and showed personal interest in military life in general.
o Through the Rodong Sinmun and other media outlets, North Korea has recently been focusing on the propaganda of the achievements made in the research of science and technology. The main thrust of the move was on the research and development of practical scientific technologies designed to tide over food and energy shortages under industrial and academic collaboration.
o On the occasion of the autumn harvest season, North Korea through its television network October 21 called on the population to urgently launch a nationwide electricity conservation campaign in an effort to divert power to threshing grain and crop harvesting.
o North Korea expanded the Rodong Sinmun reading requirement at every level of public organizations and enterprises via the Intranet into common households, according to the newspaper October 10. The move was seen as an attempt to tighten ideological education on the population and to boost its regime propaganda through the Intranet.
o Through an editorial of the Rodong Sinmun October 20, North Korea urged the nation to aggressively press ahead with the military-first era's heroic grand parade by keeping the atmosphere of the "Heroes' Rally of the Military-first Era (September 5-6)," which has been maintained at a high level in an apparent move to lure allegiance to Kim Jong-il and unity on a sustained basis.
o North Korea held a ceremony to open the remodeled Kangseo Mineral Water Processing Factory on October 21. It is expected that the factory will provide an ample amount of quality water to Pyongyang residents and contribute to acquiring foreign exchange by selling it to foreign tourists.
Relations with South Korea
o In reaction to the South Korean government's decision October 18 to additionally dispatch troops to Iraq, North Korea through its Youth Union, the Central Committee of the General Federation of Joseon Trade Unions and the Women's Federation, repeatedly denounced the country for days for its "pro-U.S. subservient behavior and anti-national crime" and challenged the South Koreans to start a campaign to unseat those lawmakers who endorsed the troop dispatch.
o North Korea sent a delegation of some 190 athletic members to the "Korean People's Unification, Peace, Sports and Culture Festival" staged in Jeju province October 23-27. The event was an event to promote sports and cultural exchanges between South and North Korea and contribute to the recovering of homogeneity among the Korean people.
* North Korea, however, called off sending of an artistic troupe and a brass band, originally scheduled to join the Jeju event.
o In reaction to U.S. President George W. Bush's reference to the "multilateral security guarantee proposal" for Pyongyang during the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum on October 21, North Korea dismissed it as "laughable and quite worthless as it masks America's responsibility that provoked the nuclear issue and branded North Korea as an international law breaker." It made the comment through its Central Broadcasting Station the same day.
o On the occasion of the ninth anniversary of the North Korea-U.S. Agreement Framework on nuclear issue (1994), North Korea asserted that the United States discarded the pact, shifting the failure of the agreement to America, and declared that it had the right to be compensated for the damage arising from the suspension of nuclear light-water reactors, adding it would take steps to pursue compensation. The assertion came from a statement of North Korea's foreign ministry spokesman on October 18 and in a letter of accusation lodged by its Central News Agency two days later.
o Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency reported October 20 that Russia's rail specialists will make a survey of railway operations and terrain for the rail segment linking Russia's Far Eastern city of Khasan and North Korea's Najin beginning October 23. The survey was assessed as a step to review detailed working-level problems covering technology and finance in preparation for the connection of the Trans-Korean Railway and Trans-Siberia Railway.