NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 11 (July 10, 2008) |
*** NEWS IN BRIEF (Part 1)
Over 60 N.K. Athletes to Compete in Beijing Olympics
SEOUL (Yonhap) -- A total of 63 North Korean athletes in 11 events will compete in the upcoming Beijing Olympics, a pro-Pyongyang newspaper said on July 4.
Choson Sinbo, organ of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, quoted Pak Chang-nam, member of the North's Olympic Committee, as saying that the North will dispatch the delegation for the Beijing Games, which will be held Aug. 8-24.
The North first attended the summer Olympiad in Munich in 1972, and the Beijing Games will mark its eighth participation.
In the 2004 Athens Olympics, the North sent 36 players in 9 events, finishing 37th with four silvers and one bronze.
The North, which aims to get more than 10 medals, has high expectations in such events as women's football, women's judo, boxing and weightlifting.
Kye Sun-hui, a female judoist, is expected to bring the North its first gold medal in 12 years, and its women's football team is the top-ranked squad in Asia.
Many of the North Korean athletes belong to sports organizations under the (North) Korean People's Army like the April 25 Sports Group.
N.K. Leader Pays Tribute to Father on Anniversary of Death
SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-il on July 8 paid tribute to his father on the 14th anniversary of his death, the socialist country's state-run radio stations reported.
Kim visited the Kumsusan Memorial Palace, where the embalmed body of North Korea's founding leader Kim Il-sung lies in state, along with ranking military leaders, said the North's Korean Central Broadcasting Station and Radio Pyongyang.
Kim last visited the palace on April 15, the 96th birthday of the late leader, according to North Korean news media. But the latest visit marked the son's first reported visit in three years to mark the anniversary of his father's death.
"Accompanied by military leaders, Kim Jong-il, chairman of the National Defense Commission, paid homage to Comrade Kim Il-sung," the radio reports said.
Among the military officials were Kim Kyok-sik, chief of the General Staff of the (North) Korean People's Army; Kim Il-chol, minister of the People's Armed Forces; Kim Jong-gak, first-vice director of the People's Army General Political Department, according to the reports.
N. Korea Praises Kim Jong-il on Anniversary of Father's Demise
SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea praised its leader Kim Jong-il on the 14th anniversary of the death of his father, the country's founder Kim Il-sung, calling him a "prominent" leader.
Rodong Sinmun on July 8 said in its editorial to commemorate the occasion, "Kim Jong-il is a prominent leader as he ushered in a new glorious era of carrying forward the President Kim Il-sung's revolutionary cause."
"Kim Jong-il made sure that the history of the President is given steady continuity on this land," the organ of the North's ruling Workers' Party added.
The newspaper also said, "The President's noble patriotic will and cause are now being successfully carried forward under the dynamic leadership of Kim Jong-il."
It also claimed that Kim Il-sung led the country on the basis of independence symbolized by "Juche" (self-reliance) and "Songun" (military-first), and that such feats were inherited by his son, especially over the past decade of national hardship.
Kim Il-sung died of heart disease in July 1994, just before he was scheduled to hold a historic summit with then South Korean President Kim Yong-sam.
The newspaper also said the reunification of the fatherland is the last instruction left by Kim Il-sung, urging the country's people to cherish the June 15 joint declaration made at the first inter-Korean summit in 2000.
In addition, it asked the people to welcome the 60th anniversary of the North's foundation in September with an economic surge.
North Korea Makes Regulation on Commercial Office
SEOUL (Yonhap) -- As the United States took steps to remove North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, the North recently made a regulation about its commercial office in an apparent move to promote foreign trade.
The (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 7 quoted Minju Joson, organ of the North's Cabinet, as saying that the Cabinet adopted the regulation about the DPRK Commercial Office. DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name.
The North's office became the member of International Chamber of Commerce with the name Pyongyang Commercial Office in 2000 before changing the name into the DPRK Commercial Office in 2005. In this respect, the adoption of regulation about the office is a follow-up measure.
The organ said the decision will help exchanges and cooperation with foreign counterparts and trade promotion agencies to boost the country's external economic activities.
Analysts in Seoul say the North's removal from the terrorism list could facilitate the reclusive country's trade with other countries in the future.
Ri Hak-gwon, director of the office, reportedly said last year the North guarantees free-of-tax transfer of interest and income by foreign investors.