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South-North Relations

Weekly Report on North Korea

본문영역

Weekly Report on North Korea No.

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관리자
created
2004-01-14
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14114
InternalAffairs

Internal Affairs

o Following the announcement of New Year joint editorials, North Korea was trying to foster an atmosphere that was conducive to carrying out the tasks presented in the editorials by holding a soldier rally at the Ministry of the People's Armed Forces on January 3 and a mass rally of Pyongyang residents three days later. Similar meetings by public organizations and other regions are expected to follow suit in the days ahead.

o Kim Il-sung University plans to strengthen its elite education program in the fields of sophisticated science such as information technology (IT), nanotechnology (NT), and biotechnology (BT), according to the Rodong Sinmun January 3. North Korea apparently hopes to produce quality experts in those fields that will serve as a driving force for its economic development.

o North Korea is expected to promote "bean farming" on a massive scale this year, following the "potato farming revolution" launched in 1999. Through the Rodong Sinmun and other media organizations, it has given prominent publicity on the merits of bean crops since late last year. The theme was also reiterated anew in New Year joint editorials.

o On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of Kim Jong-il's statement on "Promotion of Cultural Life Styles," North Korea renewed the necessity for reasserting such a mind-set. Through the Central Television Station, it also said North Korea was conducting youth-centric politics. Through the Pyongyang Broadcasting Station the same day, North Korea called for unity of its regime and efforts to overcome economic difficulties.

o On the occasion of winter vacation, an estimated 15,000 youth union workers and students in some 10 universities and colleges in Pyongyang conducted a variety of political propaganda and economic agitation events at factories, enterprises and cooperative farms on January 5. They also encouraged the implementation of the tasks set forth in the New Year joint editorials.

Relations with South Korea

o Mobilizing all media outlets, North Korea drove home the "Principle of Our People-First" as a patriotic slogan to advance self-reliant unification of the country in an apparent attempt to boost popular morale as well as to solidify internal unity on the strength of Korean people's superiority.

- In dealing with South Korea, North Korea expressed a positive attitude toward inter-Korean economic exchange and cooperation, while asserting mutual assistance between Koreans on both sides of the border. On the other hand, it maintained a highly confrontational stance and tried to pit Korean people against the United States.

o North Korea instigated anti-Americanism in South Korea, while denouncing U.S. troops for constructing a rifle range in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, and for deploying sophisticated weapons in the South. The instigation came through report No. 856 of the Secretariat of the North Korean Committee for the Peaceful Unification of the Fatherland on January 7 and the statement of a spokesman issued by the committee the next day.

External Relations


o Through the New Year joint editorials and Pyongyang radio January 7, North Korea emphasized that it would carry out the ideology of independence, peace and friendship, which it said constituted the basis of its foreign policy and the principle for its external activity. The move indicates Pyongyang's willingness to positively improve relations with other countries in hopes of breaking out of its self-imposed isolation and secure external support.

o North Korea repeatedly called on the United States to accommodate its proposal for a first-stage deal to solve the nuclear issue, in which Pyongyang would freeze its nuclear activities in return for the corresponding measures by the United States and other concerned countries. The call was expressed by Rodong Sinmun's comment on January 5.

o In reaction to the Japanese prime minister's visit to the Yasukuni shrine, North Korea condemned the gesture as a scheme of the present Japanese ruling circle to try to restore militarism. North Korea said it was unprecedented that a Japanese government leader visited and worshiped the Yasukuni shrine, which is a symbol of Japan's militarism, on New Year's Day.

- Meanwhile, through a commentary of the Rodong Sinmun January 6, North Korea called for the implementation of the North Korea-Japan Pyongyang Declaration and the improvement of bilateral relations, saying that the Pyongyang Declaration presents a concrete direction to resolve the problems of Japan's past history involving Korea as well as other pending issues.

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