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2008/06/19 11:29 KST

   *** NEWS IN BRIEF (Part 2)

N. Korea Says Talks on Nuclear Disablement with U.S. 'Successful'

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea said on June 12 it had "successful" talks with the United States on disabling the communist state's nuclear facilities.

   Sung Kim, the U.S. State Department's top Korea expert, returned to Seoul on June 11 after holding two-day talks in Pyongyang on the North's disablement of its nuclear facilities under a six-way deal.

   "The negotiations proved successful," an unnamed spokesman for the North Korean Foreign Ministry told the country's official Korean Central News Agency.

   "The negotiations discussed technical and practical ways of rounding off the disablement of the DPRK (North Korea) nuclear facilities and the issue of winding up the political and economic compensation for it," the spokesman said.

   North Korea shut down its Yongbyon reactor in July, completing the first phase of the six-party denuclearization process. It began disabling the reactor and two other nuclear plants in November but has slowed down the disablement work since early this year.

   Pyongyang has accused the five other negotiating partners of failing to meet their end of the deal -- namely providing 500,000 tons of heavy oil or equivalent energy aid and removing North Korea from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.

   The United States is expected to take North Korea off the list when Pyongyang submits a list of its nuclear programs as promised.


North Korea Calls for President Lee to Implement Oct. 4 Declaration

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea's organization dealing with South Korea on June 14 called for the South's President Lee Myung-bak to implement the Oct. 4, 2007 declaration, which stated massive economic cooperation between the two Koreas.

   According to the (North) Korean Central News Agency, the Central Committee of the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland urged Lee to apologize for his allegedly anti-national actions before approving and carrying out the declaration.

   Lee said the declaration, which was signed by his predecessor Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, should be reviewed in terms of economics and national consensus, which was tantamount to suspending its implementation.

   The committee also appealed to all Koreans at home and abroad to unite as one body to implement the declaration. Such an appeal was announced on the occasion of the 8th anniversary of the publication of the June 15 Joint Declaration, which laid the foundation for the Oct. 4 declaration.

   But the committee flatly rejected Lee's North Korea policy of "denuclearization, opening, $3,000 vision," saying it is a "criminal watchword" that should be "thrown into the dumping ground of history."
It also asked South Koreans not to be taken in the deceptive nature of Lee's "pragmatism," adding they should dynamically carry forward the idea of "By our nation itself."


British Football Association Donates Gym Suits to N. Korea: Report

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- The British Football Association has donated some 600 gym suits and sweatpants to North Korea, a pro-Pyongyang daily in Japan said on June 17.

   The sportswear was delivered to North Korea's football association in a ceremony held in Pyongyang on June 12 with Britain's ambassador to North Korea, John Everard, in attendance, the Choson Sinbo newspaper said.

   The ambassador expressed hope during the ceremony that cooperative ties between the two countries and their football associations will develop further, the report said.

   North Korea and Britain established diplomatic ties in December 2000.


U.S. 'Free Trade' a Deception: Report

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea on June 17 said the United States' "free trade" is a deception, pointing out that the U.S., which has advocated free trade, is now taking a policy of protectionism amid a spike in oil prices and a financial crisis.

   Rodong Sinmun, organ of the North's ruling Workers' Party, said in an article that the Western powers, including the U.S., seek to "chase their own profits by sacrificing the interests of developing countries under the signboard of free trade."

   "It is very right that today developing countries are spitting on the signboard of free trade by Western powers, and are instead making efforts to establish a new fair trade system with regional economic integration and a real free trade zone," the organ said.

   Citing public opinion, the newspaper said that the Doha Round negotiations to be held in July, which began in 2001 in Doha, Qatar, to set up a fair trade tariffs system, is likely to fail due to the farm subsidies of rich countries, led by the U.S.

   North Korea, which has claimed Juche (self-reliance) as a basic economic ideology, has stressed cooperation among developing countries against the world trade system led by Western powers.