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2008/12/25 13:35 KST
NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 35 (December 25, 2008)

   *** CHRONOLOGICAL REVIEW

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- The following is a chronological review of major developments related to North Korea from Dec. 18-24, 2008.

  
December
18 The North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) says North Korea and the Czech Republic signed a protocol in Pyongyang on the modification and supplementation of an inter-governmental agreement on the promotion and protection of investment on Dec. 17.

   18 An exhibit of landscape paintings and handicrafts opens in Pyongyang to celebrate the 91st birthday of Kim Jong-suk, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's late mother.

   18 A spokesman for the North's State Security Agency issues a statement claiming it has arrested a North Korean national who was hired by South Korea's intelligence agency to harm the North Korean leadership.

   18 A delegation of the North's Radio and Television Broadcasting Committee, led by committee vice chairman Kang Chang-rim, departs Pyongyang for a visit to China. The delegation returned home on Dec. 23.

   18 KCNA says Kim Jong-il inspected a machine plant managed by Ri Jong-ok.

   19 KCNA says Kim Jong-il inspected Army Unit No. 955.

   19 A spokesman for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland releases a statement urging Seoul to clarify whether it really has any intention of carrying out agreements signed in the 2000 and 2007 summits between the two Koreas' leaders before proposing a reconciliatory dialogue.

   19 KCNA says Kim Jong-il attended a cultural performance given by the State Merited Chorus together with workers in Jagang Province.

   20 KCNA says Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun sent a congratulatory message to Peru's Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde on the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

   20 Tongil Sinbo, Pyongyang's weekly magazine, criticizes South Korea's conservative groups for calling on the United States to cancel its removal of North Korea from a terrorism blacklist, saying its removal was a legitimate response to the North's nuclear declaration submitted under a six-party disarmament deal.

   21 KCNA says a national event was held in Pyongyang on Dec. 18-19 to display and present research and development achievements in the field of agricultural science and technology.

   21 A report by the North's Korean Central Broadcasting Station cites a ranking official of the North's Ministry of Metal Industry that the country's iron ore production increased 29 percent this year from last year while its steel output soared 73 percent in the same period.

   22 Youth and college students hold a meeting at Pyongyang's Central Youth Hall in celebration of the 17th anniversary of Kim Jong-il's assumption of office as the People's Army Supreme Commander. Kim Jung-rin attended the meeting.

   23 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosts a banquet in Pyongyang to mark the 50th anniversary of the victory of the Cuban revolution with minister Pak Ui-chun attending.

   23 A ceremony is held at the April 25 House of Culture in Pyongyang to mark the 17th anniversary of Kim Jong-il's assumption of office as the Supreme Commander of the People's Army. Kim Il-chol, minister of the People's Armed Forces, delivers a speech saying the North's military would "counter the enemies' slightest moves for a 'preemptive attack' with a more rapid and powerful advanced preemptive strike."

  23 The KCNA says Pak Ui-chun sent a congratulatory message to his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee on Dec. 10 to mark the 35th year of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

   23 Party Secretary Kim Jung-rin attends an arts performance given by members of labor organizations on the 17th anniversary of Kim Jong-il's assumption of office as the People's Army Supreme Commander and the 91st birthday of Kim's late mother Kim Jong-suk.

   23 Premier Kim Yong-il sends a congratulatory message to Abhisit Vejjajiva, the new prime minister of Thailand.

   23 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs arranges a reception to mark the 50th anniversary of the Cuban revolution's victory.

   24 Kim Jong-il is presented with a floral basket and a congratulatory letter by the diplomatic corps in Pyongyang to mark the 17th anniversary of his ascension to supreme commandership of the Korean People's Army and the 91st birthday of his late mother, Kim Jong-suk, and to wish him a happy New Year.

   24 The KCNA says that servicemembers, civilians and students alike are visiting the Hall Devoted to the Revolutionary Activities of Comrade Kim Jong-suk on a daily basis in the Revolutionary Museum of the Ministry of Culture in celebration of her 91st birthday.

   24 The KCNA says Kim Jong-il inspected the Chollima Steel Complex and lit a torch there symbolizing a fresh revolutionary surge.

  (END)