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2009/05/07 10:56 KST
NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 53 (May 7, 2009)

   *** CHRONOLOGICAL REVIEW

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- The following is a chronological review of major developments related to North Korea between April 30-May 6, 2009.

  
April
30 The Mangyongdae Prize Sports Contest closes with due ceremony in Pyongyang. The event opened on April 7, marking the birth anniversary of late North Korean leader Kim Il-sung.

   30 The (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) says North Korean leader Kim Jong-il received a congratulatory message from Cuban President Raul Castro Ruz on April 23 to mark Kim's reelection as chairman of the National Defense Commission (NDC).

   30 A national meeting is held in Pyongyang to mark the 119th May Day, attended by Kim Jung-rin, secretary of the Workers' Party, and Yang Hyong-sop, vice president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA).

   30 A spokesman with the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland issues a statement warning that the South Korean government will have to take full responsibility for the "grave consequences" caused by its suppression of South Korean civic groups acting in support of a summit agreement between leaders of the two Koreas in June 2000.

   30 A delegation of the North Korean Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, led by its deputy minister Sim Chol-ho, leaves for Vietnam.

  
May
1 A spokesman for the Central Special Zone Development Guidance General Bureau says North Korea is deepening its investigation into a South Korean worker detained for over a month at a joint industrial complex and warns of "consequences" should South Korean authorities continue to raise allegations of human rights abuses over the detention.

   1 A grand banquet is given in Pyongyang to mark May Day, attended by some 15,000 leading workers from various coal mines, steel complexes as well as ranking officials, including Kim Yong-nam, president of the SPA Presidium.

   1 A grand evening of fireworks is held on the banks of the Pothong River in Pyongyang to mark May Day.

   1 North Korean leader Kim Jong-il watches a performance given by the State Merited Chorus together with workers from the metal industry and those of related enterprises on May Day.

   2 Buddhist ceremonies are simultaneously held at temples across North Korea in celebration of Buddha's birthday and to pray for inter-Korean reunification.

   2 The KCNA says Kim Jong-il watched the North Korean opera "The Flower Girl" together with workers from the metal industry and related enterprises who participated in events celebrating May Day.

   2 The KCNA says Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun reaffirmed Pyongyang's decision to boycott the six-party denuclearization talks in a speech to the ministerial meeting of the Coordination Bureau of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries held in Cuba on April 29.

   3 A spokesman from the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland says North Korea will reinforce its "self-defensive nuclear deterrent" against Contingency Plan 5029 reportedly set up by the U.S. and South Korea to deal with an emergency situation in the socialist nation.

   3 Kim Yong-nam sends a message of greetings to the Egyptian President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak on his 81st birthday.

   3 Kim Jong-il sends a congratulatory message to the Egyptian President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak on his birthday.

   3 Kim Jong-il sends a wreath to the bier of the late Choe Ki-chol, People's Designer and head of the Mt. Paektu Architectural Institute, expressing deep condolences over his death.

   4 Rodong Sinmun, organ of the Workers' Party, accuses the UN of being unfair to countries not aligned with the United States, citing its condemnation of Pyongyang's April 5 rocket launch as evidence.

   4 Students in Pyongyang and Chinese students studying in the North hold a friendly gathering at Kimilsung University to mark the "China Day," attended by the Chinese ambassador to the North. The two countries designated 2009 a "friendship year" to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

   4 A foreign ministry spokesman says the Obama administration is no different from its predecessor led by President George W. Bush, citing Washington's role in pressing for the U.N. Security Council's condemnation of Pyongyang's April 5 rocket launch.

   4 Yang Hyong-sop meets with a friendly delegation of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations led by General Secretary Dao Duy Tien at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang.

   4 A Chinese government scientific and technological delegation headed by Vice Minister of Science and Technology Cao Jianlin flies into Pyongyang to participate in the 43rd meeting of the North Korea-China inter-governmental committee for scientific and technological cooperation.

   4 Pak Ui-chun signs an agreement on cooperation with his Cuban counterpart in Hanava.

   4-5 The 11th Pyongyang symposium of Koreans in the North and abroad on medical science is held in Pyongyang, attended by public health officials and medical scientists.

   5 Kim Yong-nam receives credentials from Richard Stuart Mann, New Zealand ambassador to the North, at the Mansudae Assembly Hall.

   5 The 4th symposium on architectural beauty is held in Pyongyang, attended by Kim Ki-nam, secretary of the Workers' Party, and officials from the architecture, construction and building materials industries in Pyongyang and surrounding areas, as well as designers, technicians, teachers and researchers.

   5 Kim Yong-nam receives credentials from Ante Simonic, Croatian ambassador to the North, at Mansudae Assembly Hall.

   5 The KCNA says Kim Jong-il inspected the University of KPA Unit 10215.

   6 Pak Ui-chun holds talks with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla to discuss further development of relations and cooperation between the two countries and to exchange views on international issues of mutual concern.

   6 The KCNA says the North is intensifying preventive efforts to protect against an influx of the new type-A influenza (H1N1), commonly known as swine flu, and is on high alert as the virus is spreading rapidly around the world.

   6 Kim Yong-nam leaves for a visit to South Africa and Zimbabwe, accompanied by Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong-nam and Vice Foreign Minister Kim Hyong-jun.

  (END)