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2009/04/30 11:19 KST
NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 52 (April 30, 2009)


SEOUL (Yonhap) -- The following is a chronological review of major developments related to North Korea between April 23-29.

23 Russian foreign minister Sergei Viktorovich Lavrov arrives in Pyongyang for a visit.

   23 A plan for cultural and scientific exchanges between the governments of North Korea and Russia between 2009 and 2010 is signed in Pyongyang.

   23 Kim Yong-nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA), meets a delegation of Koreans from Japan led by Nam Sung-u, vice chairman of the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang.

   23 Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun holds talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov at Mansudae Assembly Hall.

   23 A Russian forestry delegation led by Ivan Matserov, vice minister of Industry and Commerce, arrives in Pyongyang to participate in the 13th meeting of the forestry subcommittee on trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation between the governments of North Korea and Russia.

   23 Kim Yong-nam sends a message of greetings to Togo's President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe to mark the 49th anniversary of his country's independence.

   23 A reception is given by the North Korean government for the visiting Russian foreign minister at Mansudae Assembly Hall, also attended by Pak Ui-chun.

   24 The North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) says North Korea decided to put on trial two U.S. journalists arrested last month along its border with China.

   24 Kim Yong-nam confers with the Russian foreign minister, who paid a courtesy call on Kim at Mansudae Assembly Hall. The KCNA says the minister conveyed a letter from the Russian President Dimitry Medvedev to Kim Jong-il during the meeting, without unveiling details of the letter.

   24 A spokesman for the North Korean foreign ministry tells the KCNA that the Russian foreign minister acknowledged that a satellite launch is a country's sovereign right and reaffirmed his government's opposition to any new UN sanctions against the North's April 5 rocket launch.

   24 The Russian Center, a non-profit information center for Russian language and culture, is opened with due ceremony at Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies, attended by Kim Yong-jin, minister of education, and the Russian foreign minister.

   24 The North's education ministry issues a statement accusing the Japanese government of approving a school textbook written by ultra-right wing historians as an "unpardonable crime."

   24 A music and dance performance is given by the Korean People's Army Song and Dance Ensemble at the April 25 House of Culture to celebrate the 77th founding anniversary of the Korean People's Army.

   24 A national meeting is held at the April 25 House of Culture in Pyongyang to celebrate the 77th founding anniversary of the (North) Korean People's Army (KPA), attended by Ri Yong-ho, chief of the KPA General Staff.

   24 The KCNA says Kim Jong-il met with scientists, technicians, workers and officials who contributed to the "successful" launch of the satellite Kwangmyongsong-2.

   25 A foreign ministry spokesman says in an interview with the KNCA that Pyongyang has begun to reprocess spent fuel rods at its Yongbyon nuclear plant.

   25 Kim Yong-nam sends a message of greetings to Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, Tanzanian president, on the occasion of the 45th founding anniversary of the African country.

   25 A North Korean government delegation headed by Pak Ui-chun leaves Pyongyang to participate in a ministerial meeting of the Coordinating Committee of the Non-aligned Movement in Cuba. The delegation will also tour of other Latin American countries.

   25 Performances are given in Pyongyang and surrounding areas on to celebrate the KPA's founding anniversary.

   25 Youth dance parties are held across the country to celebrate the army's 77th founding anniversary.

   25 Kim Jong-il inspects the command of KPA Unit 851 and watches a performance given by the State Merited Chorus to mark the army's 77th founding anniversary.

   25 Kim Yong-nam sends a message of greetings to Ernest Bai Koroma, president of Sierra Leone, to mark the 48th anniversary of its independence.

   25 Kim Yong-nam sends a message of greetings to Kgalema Motlanthe, president of South Africa, to mark the country's "Day of Freedom."

   26 The KCNA says Kim Jong-il gave field guidance to the newly built pollution-free greenhouse at Wonsan University of Agriculture.

   27 A protocol for the 13th meeting of the forestry subcommittee on North Korea-Russia intergovernmental cooperation in trade, economy, science and technology is signed in Pyongyang.

   27 The KCNA says Kim Jong-il gave field guidance to a museum of late North Korean leader Kim Il-sung's "revolutionary" activities, an open-air theater and a city management office in Wonsan City.

   28 The KCNA says Kim Yong-nam will make a visit to South Africa to attend the president's inaugural ceremony there before heading to Zimbabwe.

   28 The 24th national science and technology festival closes, wrapping up a six-day run in Pyongyang.

   28 A delegation of KPA political officers, led by Kim Jong-gak, first-vice director of the General Political Bureau of the KPA, leaves for Vietnam.

   28 Rodong Sinmun, organ of the Workers' Party, criticizes South Korean Foreign Minister Yoo Myung-hwan for his tough remarks against the North's reprocessing of spent fuel rods and over Seoul's plan to participate in the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative campaign.

   29 Kim Jong-il visits the newly built Sojung Secondary School in Rakwon County in South Hamgyong Province.

   29 A friendly delegation of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations led by General Secretary Dao Duy Tien flies into Pyongyang.

   29 Rodong Sinmun reaffirms North Korea's decision to quit the six-party denuclearization talks, saying the negotiations lost their meaning as soon as the UN Security Council adopted a presidential statement condemning North Korea's April 5 rocket launch.

   29 The North's foreign ministry says Pyongyang will conduct nuclear and missile tests unless the UN Security Council "immediately" apologizes for its punitive actions against Pyongyang's rocket launch.