o North Korea held a central report session November 5 to mark the 30th anniversary of the presentation of "Regional Budget System" the late ruler Kim Il-sung made in 1973 and called on regional administrative institutions to carry out economic build-up and measures to ensure residents' livelihood in their areas under the principle of self-reliance.
o Recently, North Korea has been actively enforcing "Total Mobilization for Autumnal National Land Management" to highlight the expansion of industrial infrastructure including road construction and repairs and the improvement of residential amenities such as housing and remodeling.
- On the occasion of the 55th anniversary of the founding of its regime, North Korea is conducting an urban renewal program for Pyongyang, Ganggye, Hamheung and other major cities and constructing some 30,000 housing-units nationwide apparently to boost its image of external opening and enhance the livelihood of residents.
o North Korea reported November 1 that it had completed the construction of units 1, 2, and 3 of the Pyeongwon Power Plant. The generated power is expected to feed small light-industry factories and homes in Pyeongwon County in South Pyeong-an Province.
o North Korea reported on November 3 that a "zone of preservation and proliferation of marine resources" has been created in Dancheon, South Hamgyeong Province. A 10,000 Jeongbo (one jeongbo is equal to 9,917 square meters) zone will expand the basis of profitable marin products production, provide fishery products and earn foreign exchange by exporting them.
Relations with South Korea
o North and South Korea in their fifth Red Cross meeting, held November 4-6, produced an 11-point agreement, including the duration of construction and the size and designs, on the construction of a permanent reunion center for separated families. The step was viewed as a dramatic turning point for institutionalizing regular reunions of those kin separated from both sides.
* In particular, it is very much significant that the South will control the exclusive management and operations of the center, when it becomes operational.
o The seventh Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Promotion Committee meeting, held in Pyongyang November 5-8, has worked out a seven-point agreement, including the development schedule for the Gaeseong Industrial Complex. The agreement will provide a foundation on which to promote inter-Korean trade and economic cooperation.
- The pact contains provisions on mutual visits to the other side during the work to connect railways and roads between North and South Korea, on the completion within this year of designs to develop 3.3 million square meters as part of the Gaeseong Industrial Complex and the drafting of subordinate regulations covering the Act on the Gaeseong Industrial Area. These are signs of inter-Korean settlement clearances and establishment of a consultation office in the industrial complex.
o On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the founding of the ROK-US Combined Forces Command, North Korea charged November 17 that the "command will serve as a practical tool to execute nuclear war provocation that would incur a scourge on the Korean peninsula." and added that "dismantling of the tool is a pressing request of the times that should not be delayed further." The charge was made in a statement issued by the spokeman of the North Korean Committee for the Peaceful Unification of the Fatherland
o Concerning the U.S. move to suspend the ongoing construction of light-water nuclear reactors in North Korea, the spokesman of North Korea's foreign ministry maintained in an interview with KCNA November 6 "the United States and the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) must compensate for all losses that may arise and that, unless the demands are met, North Korea would never allow equipment, facilities, materials and documents involved in the construction work to be carried out of the country.
o North Korea reported on October 30 that China decided to provide it with grants while Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People's Congress, was visiting Pyongyang October 29-31. This reflects China's willingness to contribute to further strengthening of traditional friendly relations between the two countries.
o A British House of Commons delegation and a German parliamentary delegation visited North Korea October 28-November 1 and October 28-November 3, respectively. The delegations were presumed to have conveyed to the North Korean leadership concerns of the international community over the North Korean nuclear issue and discussed ways of resolving the issue.