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2009/03/26 10:35 KST
NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 47 (March 26, 2009)

   *** CHRONOLOGICAL REVIEW

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- The following is a chronological review of major developments related to North Korea from March 19-25.

  
19 An awards ceremony for the "February 16 Science and Technology Prize" is held at the People's Palace of Culture in Pyongyang, attended by Vice Premier Thae Jong-su and Pyon Yong-rip, president of the State Academy of Sciences, among others.

   19 An annual meeting of the North's Korean Olympic Committee is held at the People's Palace of Culture to discuss its work plan for the year, attended by its chairman Pak Hak-son, who concurrently serves as chairman of the Physical Culture and Sports Guidance Commission.

   19 The (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) says North Korean leader Kim Jong-il gave on-the-spot guidance to the newly built swimming complex at Kimilsung University in Pyongyang.

   19 Premier Kim Yong-il pays a courtesy call on Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing during his official state visit to China.

   19 Kim Yong-il holds talks with his Chinese counterpart Wu Bangguo in Beijing.

   19 Kim Yong-nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) sends a message of greetings to Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, president of Tunisia, on the occasion of its 53rd national day.

   19 Kim Yong-il visits the Huaneng Beijing Thermal Power Plant on an official state visit to China.

   20 Seoul's Unification Ministry says the North's military gave notification that it will reopen severed military phone and fax lines and border traffic with the South from March 21 after sealing the border for the third time during the March 9-20 joint military exercise between the U.S. and South Korea.

   20 Reacting to Seoul's expression of concern about North Korea's human rights problems during the 10th session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, a spokesman for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Fatherland says in a statement that "There can be neither dialogue nor the normalization of the inter-Korean relations as long as the Lee (Myung-bak) group kicks up the 'human rights' ruckus" against the North.

   20 Kim Yong-il visits the North Park of the Chinese National Park and the Summer Palace in Beijing.

   20 The KCNA says Kim Jong-il met and congratulated the participants in the meeting of active outpost soldiers of the (North) Korean People's Army (KPA) under way in Pyongyang.

   20 Kim Yong-il sends a message of greetings to Parviz Davudi, first-vice president of Iran, on the occasion of its New Year.

   20 Kim Yong-nam sends a message of greetings to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, on the occasion of the New Year of Iran.

   20 Choe Thae-bok, secretary of the Workers' Party, meets a delegation of the Group of Social Parties of the European Parliament.

   20 Kim Yong-nam confers with a delegation of the Group of Social Parties of the European Parliament at the Mansudae Assembly Hall.

   20 Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun sends a congratulatory message to Alhaji Muhammed Mumuni on his appointment as minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana.

   20 The KCNA says Kim Yong-nam sent on March 18 a message of greetings to Namibia's President Hifikepunye Pohamba on the occasion of the 19th anniversary of its independence.

   20 The KCNA says a reception was given at the North Korean embassy in Moscow on March 17 on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the conclusion of the agreement on the economic and cultural cooperation between the two countries.

   20 The KCNA reports that the SPA Presidium on March 16 announced a decision to convene the first session of the 12th SPA on April 9.

   21 North Korea reopens border for South Koreans travelling into the Kaesong industrial complex.

   21 The KCNA confirms two U.S. female journalists were detained by border guards March 17 for allegedly "illegally intruding the territory of the DPRK (North Korea) by crossing the DPRK-China border."

   21 A German photo exhibition, which opened on March 17 to mark the anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the North and Germany, closes with due ceremony at a fine art exhibition hall in Kangwon Province.

   21 A Troika delegation of the European Union led by Jiri Sitler, director of the Department of Asia and Pacific of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, flies into Pyongyang for a visit.

   21 Kim Yong-il returns home after an official goodwill visit to China.

   21 The KCNA says Kim Jong-il gave on-the-spot guidance for the creation of the Opera "Hong Lu Meng" by the North's Phibada Opera Troupe.

   22 Kim Yong-nam sends a message of greetings to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on the occasion of the Day of Pakistan, the auspicious holiday of the Pakistani people.

   23 Noorullah Khan, Pakistani ambassador to the North gives a reception at the Taedong River Diplomatic Corps Club in Pyongyang to mark the Day of Pakistan.

   23 The KCNA says Kim Jong-il inspected the Jaeryong Mine in South Hwanghae Province.

   23 Kim Yong-nam receives credentials from Ismail Ahmed Mohamed Hasan, new Palestinian ambassador to the North, at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang.

   23 Pak Ui-chun meets with the Troika delegation of the European Union, which paid a courtesy call on him, at the Mansudae Assembly Hall.

   23 A delegation of the Buddhist Federation of Korea led by its head Sim Sang-jin leaves Pyongyang to attend the second world symposium on Buddhism to be held in China and Taipei of China.

   23 A delegation of publicity and education officials of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam headed by Nguyen Van Hoa flies into Pyongyang for a visit.

   24 A foreign ministry spokesman warns North Korea may quit the six-party nuclear talks and retain its atomic weapons should the U.S. impose sanctions over its satellite launch, saying such attempts "run counter to the 'spirit of mutual respect and equality' enshrined in the Sept. 19 joint statement on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" and the "abrogation of the said statement would deprive the six-party talks of any ground to exist or their meaning."

   24 The KCNA says Kim Yong-nam sent a message of greeting to Carlos Papoulias, president of Greece, on the occasion of its national day.

   25 The KCNA says Kim Jong-il gave field guidance at the construction site of the Huichon Power Station.

   25 Kim Jong-il sends a wreath to the bier of the late KPA general officer Kim Song-jin, a lecturer at the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, expressing deep condolences over his death.

   25 Kim Yong-nam sends a message of greetings to Bangladesh's president Zillur Rahman to mark the 38th anniversary of the independence of Bangladesh.

   25 Kim Yong-il sends a message of greetings to Sheikh Hasina, prime minister of Bangladesh on the same occasion.

  (END)