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2009/04/23 11:16 KST
NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 51 (April 23, 2009)

   *** NEWS IN BRIEF (Part 2)

North Korea Says Nuclear War only Matter of Time

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea said on April 17 the outbreak of a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula is only a matter of time due to what it claims are efforts by South Korea and the United States to bring the country to its knees by force.

   "When a nuclear war will break out due to the war chariot of the 'South Korea-U.S. military alliance' is a matter of time," the North said in an information bulletin carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

   The bulletin was issued by the Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Fatherland, a state organization that handles inter-Korean relations.

   The accusation was aimed at a recent inspection of the South Korean and U.S. Air Force here by the American commander of the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command (CFC), Gen. Walter Sharp, and his South Korean deputy, Gen. Lee Sung-chool.

   "The above-said war hysteria kicked up under the signboard of 'flight for commanding the air operation' and 'combined operation' is an unpardonable military provocation and an undisguised hostile act against the DPRK (North Korea)," the bulletin said.

   An official at the CFC dismissed the accusation as groundless, saying the recent flight by CFC commanders was only part of a routine inspection.

   "The 'military alliance' with the U.S. to whom the South Korean sycophantic and treacherous forces look up (to) as a 'guardian deity' will only bring unbearable misfortune, pain and a nuclear war disaster to the Korean nation including south Koreans and the Korean Peninsula," the bulletin said.

   Pyongyang has claimed to be a nuclear state since it detonated a nuclear device in its first-ever nuclear test in 2006, but Seoul and Washington refuse to recognize the North as a nuclear power, saying the 2006 test was a failure.


N. Korea Again Calls for S. Korean Anti-government Struggle

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea on April 19 called on South Koreans to fight against their conservative, pro-U.S. government as South Korea marked the anniversary of a 1960 pro-democracy student uprising.

   Tensions have risen on the Korean Peninsula since South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak took office in February last year with a tough stance toward Pyongyang which refuses to abandon its nuclear programs.

   The North recently quit the six-party talks on scrapping its nuclear arms programs and kicked out international monitors of its main nuclear plant in Yongbyon in anger over the U.N. Security Council's condemnation of its April 5 rocket launch.

   "South Korea is going back to the dark era of fascist dictatorship" after Lee's inauguration, Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the Workers' Party, claimed in a signed article to commemorate the 49th anniversary of the April 19 Popular Uprising.

   "All the fellow countrymen at home and abroad should wage unflinching struggle to resolutely reject the anti-reunification 'policy toward the North' pursued by the Lee group and... bring earlier the independent reunification, peace and prosperity," said the article carried by the North's Korean Central News Agency.

   It also urged South Koreans to struggle more fiercely to terminate "the U.S. military occupation and domination of South Korea" as in the spirit of the popular uprising.


North Korean University to Have 'Russian Center'

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea will this week open the world's 21st "Russian Center," a non-profit organization for providing information on Russia and its culture, a Russian state radio report said on April 21.

   The new facility will be installed at the campus of the Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies on April 24 with assistance from the "Russia world" fund, the Voice of Russia said.

   Built on a 95 square meters of space on the 7th floor of the college's main building, the facility will be stocked with Russian literary books, popular science books, children's literature books, Russian language dictionaries and encyclopedias, the report said.

   There are currently 20 Russian centers in major U.S., Japanese and Chinese cities and more will be built soon in South Korea's second largest city of Busan, China's Changchun and Dalian, as well as Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam, according to the radio.


N. Korea Says S. Korea Moved Border Marker in 'Serious Provocation'

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea claimed on April 22 that South Korea arbitrarily moved a military demarcation line marker and said the action was a "serious military provocation" violating the Korean War armistice.

   The warning came as tension has mounted along the inter-Korean border following Pyongyang's rocket launch and threats over an industrial complex jointly run with South Korea.

   The North's official Korean Central News Agency said South Korea's army "recently moved Marker No. 0768 of the Military Demarcation Line (MDL)" dozens of meters closer to North Korea's side in the east.

   "This serious military provocation is a wanton violation of the Armistice Agreement and a deliberate and premeditated action to escalate tension in the areas along the MDL," it said.

   The report demanded South Korea immediately retrieve the marker.

   "Should it not accept the just demand of the DPRK (North Korea), the latter will take a measure for self-defense and the South Korean warmongers will be held entirely accountable for all the ensuing consequences," it said.

   South and North Korea technically remain in a state of war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.

   A spokesman for South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff denounced the accusation as groundless and insisted the marker had not been moved.


North Korean Journal Calls for Use of 'Idle Manpower'

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea should make utmost use of "idle manpower" or laziness will run rampant among workers and cause relaxed social discipline, an academic journal in the North warned as the socialist country struggles to gird its totalitarian economy.

   "Today, in this new era of information technology, no small amount of idle manpower exists at factories and companies," said an article in the January edition of the Economics Study quarterly.

   Acquired by Yonhap News Agency on April 20, the journal said officials engaged in labor management are faced with the task of utilizing dormant labor as fully as possible to minimize inefficiency.

   Otherwise, the journal warned, laziness and selfishness will mushroom in society, loosening socialist labor rules and order and making it difficult for the North to establish "a revolutionary working manner" among the people.

   North Korea introduced limited economic reforms in July 2002, loosening controls on prices and wages and giving workers material incentives.

   However, it has since clamped down on the rapid spread of public markets for fear they could undermine the socialist state's power over its people, according to analysts and observers.

   They say the authorities have recently banned young workers from selling goods in the market to prevent them from neglecting their occupational duty to earn extra money amid the chronic food shortage and economic difficulty.