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2008/12/18 11:26 KST
NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 34 (December 18, 2008)


SEOUL (Yonhap) -- The following is a chronological review of major developments related to North Korea from Dec. 11-17, 2008.

11 Four days of six-party talks on scrapping North Korea's nuclear program end in Beijing with no agreement, with the North refusing to document procedures for verifying its past nuclear activities, including taking samples from its main nuclear complex.

   11 Pak Ui-chun, minister of foreign affairs, sends a congratulatory message to Austria's newly appointed foreign minister Michael Spindelegger.

   12 The (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) says North Korean leader Kim Jong-il made an on-site guidance tour to Sariwon Chicken Farm, Migok Cooperative Farm and a folk village in Sariwon, North Hwanghae Province. The news agency says, in a separate report, that Kim sent a handwritten letter dated Dec. 10 to members of the cooperative farm.

   12 A friendship delegation of the Communist Party of China (CPC) led by Li Jiheng, deputy secretary of the Yunnan Provincial Committee of the CPC, flies into Pyongyang.

   13 A delegation of the Maritime Administration headed by its Vice Director Jon Ki-chol returns home from Britain where it attended the 85th meeting of the Maritime Safety Committee of the International Maritime Organization from Nov. 26 to Dec. 5.

   13 A delegation of the Physical Culture and Sports Guidance Commission headed by Chairman Pak Hak-son returns home, wrapping up a visit to Laos.

   15 A friendship delegation of the CPC led by Li Jiheng returns home. Choe Thae-bok, secretary of the Workers' Party, confers with the delegation before its departure.

   15 A delegation of the Egyptian telecoms giant Orascom Telecom Holding, led by its chief executive Naguib Sawiris, arrives in Pyongyang to attend a ceremony and a news conference to mark the launch of third-generation mobile phone service by the company in North Korea.

   15 Premier Kim Yong-il meets with a delegation of Orascom Telecom.

   15 Kim Yong-nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, sends a message to King of Bahrain Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa congratulating him on a national holiday of the country.

   16 Ora Bank, a joint venture between Orascom Telecom and North Korea's state-owned Foreign Trade Bank, opens in Pyongyang with a ceremony.

   16 Kim Jong-il receives a letter of New Year's greetings from Chinese President Hu Jintao.

   16 The KCNA says Kim Jong-il inspected an electronics lab, a library and a pharmaceutic factory in Kanggye, Jagang Province.

   16 Kim Jong-il receives a letter of thanks from Chief Executive of Orascom Telecom Naguib Sawiris. The company's delegation led by Sawiris leaves Pyongyang to return home on the same day.

   16 Education ministries of North Korea and the Czech Republic sign an 2008-2011 agreement on exchange and cooperation in education.

   16 Kim Yong-nam sends a congratulatory message to Hans Rudolf Merz on his election as president of Switzerland.

   16 Choe Thae-bok attends a New Year's banquet hosted by Chinese Ambassador to North Korea Liu Xiaoming.

   17 Kim Yong-nam sends a message to Nigerian President Mamadu Tandja in celebration of the country's 50th founding anniversary.

   17 Kim Yong-nam sends a congratulatory message to the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin
Khalifa Al-Thaini on the nation's Independence Day.

   17 The KCNA says Kim Jong-il visited the February General Steel Enterprise in Jagang Province.