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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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2004-01-29
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InternalAffairs

Internal Affairs

o According to the central Broadcast station reports on January 12, 15, 16 Chairman Kim Jong-il visited a food processing factory, currently under construction by soldiers, and stressed the need to solve the food problem. Kim also toured military units 4428 and 943 respectively, and exhorted the military to strengthen combat readiness.

o Mass rallies and rallies by public institutions and organizations to carry out the tasks set forth in the "New Year Joint Editorials" continued to take place in the provinces for the second consecutive week. Through the rallies, North Korea urged the population to solidify internal unity for Kim Jong-il and to positively participate in implementing the tasks laid down in the joint editorials.

o The presidium of the North Korean Supreme People's Assembly issued a decree for the reorganization of administrative zones January 9. The decree made Nampo, a city under the direct control of the central government, as a special city belonging to South Pyong-an Province. The step merits attention as it was regarded as an administrative measure related to North Korea's policy of opening up.

o The Teachers' Newspaper said January 1 that the education minister set forth the strengthening of "gifted and talented students" project and the ideological indoctrination program as the direction of this year's education policy. On the occasion of the first Sports Day of the New Year on January 11, North Korea held an athletic event in Pyongyang, in which officials from cabinet ministries and other government agencies attended.

o The Hamheung branch of the North Korean Academy of Sciences will construct a catalyst production base for chemical industry in the first half of 2004, according to the Rodong Sinmun Janauary 5. The North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on January 13 that collective farms in Pyongyang and North Hwanghae Province reaped a good crop last year by cultivating 'Heriervetch' (phonetic), a leguminous plant.

Relations with South Korea

o North Korea has called on the United States to stop interfering in the South Korean affairs and to withdraw its troops from South Korea. The call came in a statement the spokesman of the Committee for the Peaceful Unification of the Fatherland issued on January 9. The statement denounced that the United States was "coercing the South Korean authorities into ceasing the project to link inter-Korean railways and roads and suspending the Mt. Geumgang tourism project."

- Through a statement January 10 by the spokesman of the Korean National Peace Committee, North Korea also denounced the United States for reinforcing sophisticated weapons in South Korea.

o Describing present times as the "era for reconciliation and unity and for unification movement," North Korea stressed through its broadcasts January 10 that "realizing mutual assistance between the South and North Korean people constitutes the shortcut to unification."

External Affairs

o In an interview by the spokesman of its foreign ministry January 12, North Korea said it was willing to freeze its nuclear activity of graphite-based reactors if the United States was to agree on a deal under which Washington compensates it for the nuclear freezing. Along with the proposal, North Korea also renewed its call for the United States to agree to the first phase of the simultaneous action principle.

- Presumably, the move was to highlight the "responsibility of the United States" for having caused the nuclear issue and to put pressure on Washington to accommodate the first-phase agreement on the simultaneous action principle.

o A spokesman of the North Korean foreign ministry said in an interview with the KCNA on January 10 that Pyongyang showed "nuclear-related facilities" to a group of Stanford University professors who visited North Korea January 6-10.

- AS to why the American visitors were allowed to observe the nuclear facilities, the spokesman said: "It was intended to give a first-hand opportunity for them to ascertain the realties as they are and guarantee transparency of the matter since speculative reports related to our nuclear activities have been a drag on the resolution of the nuclear issue."

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