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2008/11/06 11:26 KST
NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 28 (November 6, 2008)

   *** NEWS IN BRIEF (Part 2)

U.N. Day Observed in Pyongyang

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- United Nations Day was commemorated belatedly in Pyongyang on Oct. 29. with the resident coordinator of the world organization inviting North Korean officials and diplomats in the isolated socialist country to a reception.

   The North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Jean Pierre De Margerie, acting resident coordinator of the U.N. to the DPRK (North Korea), held the reception with attending by Pak Kil-yon, vice minister of Foreign Affairs, and the diplomatic envoys of various nations in the North's capital.

   De Margerie has served director for North Korea of the World Food Program (WFP) for the past two years, leading international donation of food for the impoverished North. It is said he will likely be replaced by his successor-designate Torben Due around in mid-November.

   Pak Kil-yon is the North's former ambassador to the U.N. in New York.

   Meanwhile, the Pyongyang's official Korean Central Broadcasting Station said on Oct. 24 -- the official date of U.N Day -- that the North will continue to carry out its duty as a member of the U.N. by properly maintaining international relations.


North Korea Slams U.S.'s Military Attack on Syria

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea slammed the United States for the latter's recent military attack on Syria under the pretext of its war on terrorism, saying the attack is an unpardonable, inhuman criminal act and constitutes state terrorism.

   A spokesman for the DPRK (North Korea) Foreign Ministry on Oct. 30 said the North vehemently denounces the grave U.S. infringement upon the dignity and territorial integrity of Syria.

   The denouncement came in a reply to the written question by the North's news outlet Korean Central News Agency.

   Helicopters of the U.S. special forces attacked a "civilian" target inside the Syrian territory 8-km from the border with Iraq on Oct. 26, killing eight people including four children.

   The DPRK sends full support and solidarity to the Syrian government and people in their just efforts and measures to defend the sovereignty and security of the country, the spokesman said.

   The North, which has maintained close relations with the Middle East country for the cause of fighting against "U.S. imperialists," had criticized the Israeli bombing of Syrian facilities in September 2007.

   The U.S. and Israel later said the facilities were built for nuclear arms production with the help from the North, but both the North and Syria denied the allegation of connection.


N. Korea Heaps Blame on US for Global Financial Turmoil

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea stepped up its routine criticism of the United States on Nov. 2 for the ongoing global financial turmoil, accusing Washington of turning to warfare to resolve economic concerns.

   "Troubled by the deepening economic crisis in the new century, the United States started its war in Iraq and Afghanistan under the pretext of anti-terrorism," Rodong Sinmun, a newspaper run by the ruling Workers' Party, said in a commentary carried by the North Korean Web site, uriminzokkiri. "The move has only sparked an unprecedented storm of financial crisis."

   The paper also argued that the recent U.S. bailout plan aimed at preventing major financial companies from defaulting is tantamount to "raking money from average people to tamp down the crisis."

   The communist North has routinely heaped blame on the United States for the crisis that has swept the world economy since early this year and led to dramatic stock market crashes across the globe.

   The paper maintained that the economic trouble is "a natural consequence of an ill-advised policy" and fundamentally arises from the capitalist system the U.S. economy is based on.

   "The fall of the dollar empire and financial empire are inevitable," the paper was quoted as saying.


N. Korea Blasts Japan's Human Rights Resolution

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- Japan's ongoing endeavor to present a human rights resolution against North Korea is an "intolerable" violation of its sovereignty, North Korean media said on Nov. 4.

   The North's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said that Japan, in collusion with the EU, is busy working out the draft resolution to the U.N. committee in a bid to put it on the agenda of the 63rd UN General Assembly late this month.

   "To interfere in the internal affairs of other countries under the pretext of 'human rights situation' is an intolerable encroachment upon independent sovereign states," the agency said under the headline "KCNA Assails Japan's Unwarranted Human Rights Ruckus."

   Late last month, the Voice of America reported that Japan and the European Union plan to submit to the United Nations Third Committee in November a joint resolution pressing the socialist North to improve its dire human rights conditions. The committee is in charge of social and human rights issues.

   The KCNA said it is "brazen-faced" for Japan to raise such human rights issue.

   "Japan is not in a position to talk about human rights issues as it is the only country in the world that still goes with its unprecedented crimes against humanity unsettled," it said.

   The agency criticized Japan for not yet apologizing or making reparations for crimes such as enslaving Korean and other Asian women as sex slaves for its military during the World War II.

   "The international community is skeptical about Japan and the EU taking so much pain over the issue of 'the improvement of the human rights performance' in another country," the agency said.

   Since 2003, a non-binding resolution on North Korea's dismal human rights conditions had been adopted annually by the U.N. human rights council, as well as by the higher authority of the U.N. General Assembly beginning in 2005.