o Through the central Broadcast reports, North Korea reported that Chairman Kim Jong-il visited military units 350, 1312 and 1314 for three days December 10-12. By expressing his interest in the operations of education rooms for ideological education and for cultural life as well as welfare for the military in general, Kim apparently tried to boost morale of the armed forces.
o Through its Central Television December 8, North Korea appealed for conservation of electricity, saying that turning off one electric light per household in Pyongyang for one month could conserve enough power for thrashing grain for one month in the two grain-producing western provinces.
o Reporting on November 29 that selling "People's Livelihood public Bonds" was gaining more momentum in the last stages of its sales, North Korea encouraged the people to buy and donate bonds to meet the sales goal for the last time.
o North Korea looked back on 2003 as a "proud year in which socialist beliefs were further strengthened," saying the power of military-first politics was based on the guaranteed invincibility of "our-style socialism."
- In a commentary by the Central Broadcasting Station December 5, North Korea said: "Now that we have military-first politics, our-style socialism remains ever victorious and unbeatable and that we are firmly convinced that our-style socialism, centered around the masses, is the best in the world."
Relations with South Korea
o Regarding South Korea's decision to dispatch additional troops to Iraq, North Korea said December 7 that South Koreans must oppose US pressures to send forces since it was a challenge to world peace, anti-national crime, pro-U.S. flunkeyism and betrayal.
o Angrily reacting to the North Korean defector Hwang Jang-yob's interview with Japan's Sankei Shimmun, in which he said there was no option but to topple the Pyongyang regime to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue, North Korea condemned the remarks as an "unpardonable, most serious crime."
- Through Radio Pyongyang December 9, North Korea said that South Korea goaded Hwang into arguing for the overthrow of its regime. It said it showed that Seoul had neither the intention of engaging in dialogue with the North nor the will to resolve the nuclear issue.
o In an interview with the North Korean Central News Agency December 9, the spokesman of the North Korean foreign ministry said that resumption of the six-party talks on the nuclear issue depended on whether an agreement can be reached on the first-stage actions of a package deal.
- Under the first-stage actions, North Korea proposes that in return for Pyongyang's freezing of its nuclear activities the United States and other countries remove North Korea from the list of terrorism-sponsoring states, lift political, economic and military sanctions as well as containment, and provide heavy oil and electricity.
o North Korea warned that it would not stand idly by against Japanese moves to strengthen hostile activities toward it and that it would continue to take measures to counter them. It made the warning in a commentary carried by the Rodong Sinmun December 6 as it reported Japan's recent failure to fire rocket H-2A No. 6 that carried two information-gathering satellites.
o In a speech delivered December 2 at the 32nd session of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization Conference, North Korea said that its struggle to resolve food shortages has been continuing under close and cooperative links with various international organizations and expressed gratitude to the organizations and the governments concerned for the cooperation.
o North Korea's foreign minister Baik Nam-soon held a banquet December 9 in honor of the visiting Indonesian presidential envoy and his party, and emphasized deep friendship and solidarity between their two countries.