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2008/05/08 10:41 KST
NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 2 (May 8, 2008)

   *** NEWS IN BRIEF (Part 1)

North Korea Marks May Day with Diverse Events

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea marked the 118th May Day with diverse events for workers while pledging solidarity with the world's progressives in the struggle to oppose the imperialists.

   Senior officials of the party and the state joined workers in different parts of the country in an effort to encourage workers, the (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on May 1.

   High-ranking officials, including Kim Yong-nam, the North's titular head of state, Premier Kim Yong-il, and Choe Thae-bok, chairman of the North's parliament, visited institutions, enterprises and co-op farms to congratulate the working class, agricultural workers and intellectuals, according to the KCNA.

   North Korean leader Kim Jong-il reportedly enjoyed a performance given by the State Merited Chorus together with service people of the (North) Korean People's Army.

   Workers in various localities held colorful functions such as meetings, sports and folk games, according to the North' news outlets.

   In addition, artists from leading art troupes of the DPRK (North Korea) gave performances in parks and pleasure grounds in Pyongyang.
The North's ruling Workers' party organ, Rodong Sinmun, said in its editorial that the (North) Korean workers are extending firm support and solidarity to the world's revolutionary people in the struggle for independence.

   The newspaper also added that the (North) Korean people are following the example of the People's Army, "the pillar and main force of the revolution," under the leadership of Kim Jong-il.

  
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Science and Technology Festival Held in Pyongyang

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea, which has promoted science and technology as a means to boost its struggling economy, held its annual national festival of science and technology in Pyongyang for five days from late April.

   The (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on May 3 that the 23rd national festival of science and technology took place at the Three-Revolution Exhibition from April 28 to May 2.

   The festival gave prizes to "successful papers which contributed to boosting the pilot domains, basic industrial fields of the national economy, solving the food and clothing problems, expanding indices of consumer goods, and improving their quality," the KCNA said.

   "Drawing the attention of the participants were ultra-modern technological achievements made in IT, nano-technology, bioengineering and basic science," it added.

   The festival reportedly brought together more than 700 participants from 400 odd units including scientific research institutes, educational organs, factories, enterprises and cooperative farms across the country.

   The festival was attended by senior officials such as Choe Thae-bok, secretary of the Central Committee of the North's ruling Workers' Party; Ro Tu-chol, vice premier of the Cabinet; Kim Yong-jin, minister of education; and Pyon Yong-rip, president of the State Academy of Sciences.

  
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Measures for Prevention of Bird Flu Intensifying, N.K. Says

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- As bird flu has spread through most of South Korea since early April, North Korea is intensifying its measures for prevention of the sickness, the North's news outlet said.

   The (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 5 quoted Ri Kyong-gun, chief of the veterinary section under the State Emergency Quarantine Committee, as saying that they are intensifying the anti-epizootic campaign to prevent bird flu, which harms the national economy and people, from spreading to the North.

  
  North Korea established the emergency state committee overseeing efforts to prevent a possible outbreak of bird flu, while banning South Korean poultry products and eggs from the joint industrial complex in Kaesong, just north of the inter-Korean border, since April 26 to prevent the cross-border spread of the disease.

   "The Central Epizootic Prevention Centre and the provincial epizootic prevention institutions have established an epizootic prevention system in accordance with the world avian epidemiology and set up more than 1,600 watch posts in east and west coastal areas, the main courses of seasonal bird migration," the KCNA said.

   In particular, poultry are being vaccinated against avian influenza in some areas of North and South Hwanghae provinces and Kangwon Province, which border the South, the KCNA said.

   North Korea destroyed 210,000 chickens during a bird flu outbreak in 2005, and since then has actively taken part in anti-epidemic programs offered by the World Health Organization.

  
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North Korea Calls for Regional Cooperation on Global Issues

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea recently called for a regional action program to effectively deal with such pending global issues as rising oil and food prices as well as instability in financial markets, its state-run media said.

   According to the (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 5, the call came in an address delivered by the head of the DPRK (North Korea) delegation at the 64th general meeting of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific.

   In the meeting held in Thailand from April 23 to 30, the chief delegate said North Korea will boost cooperation with regional countries, the KCNA said. But the agency did not specify the name of the head.

   The commission session, which was attended by 62 countries, had a theme study titled "Energy Security and Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific."
The socialist country is suffering from chronic food shortages, aggravated by the worldwide surge in prices of food and oil, analysts say.

   Regional cooperation should be ensured to encourage each country to build its economy and society in a way suited to its specific conditions, the chief delegate said.

   There should also be practical measures for further strengthening of South-South cooperation among regional countries, he added.

  (END)