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2009/08/06 10:40 KST
NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 66 (August 6, 2009)

*** NEWS IN BRIEF (Part 2)

N. Korea Lambasts S. Korea, U.S. over 'Aerial Espionage'

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea condemned on July 31 what it claimed was "aerial espionage" conducted by the United States and South Korea, accusing Seoul and Washington of remaining unchanged in their attempts to stifle the socialist nation by force.

   The United States and South Korea conducted around 180 aerial surveillance missions in July alone, the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said, citing an unidentified military source.

   Pyongyang regularly accuses Seoul and Washington of conducting reconnaissance missions in preparation for a supposed preemptive strike against the socialist nation.


N. Korea Bashes the South for Blocking Cross-border NGO Meeting

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea bashed the South Korean government for denying the approval of a cross-border meeting between non-government groups, saying Seoul is "determined to block the reunification movement" at the private level, according to a Web site monitored in Seoul on Aug. 2.

   "Uriminzokkiri," the North's official Web site, carried the accusation, which was originally published by the weekly Tongil Sinbo, a government mouthpiece.

   "The South Korean government is going to extremes to carry out its maneuvers seeking to completely shut off overseas contacts, which were barely sustained by the non-governmental reunification movement groups," the article said.

   The North Korean Committee for the June 15 Joint Declaration, which was established after the first inter-Korean summit in 2000 to promote the implementation of the summit accord, sent a letter to its South Korean counterpart to propose a meeting sometime between late July and early August in Shenyang, China.

   The South Korean committee said it was "unconventional" for the North to initiate such a proposal. Its request to meet with the North Korean group was rejected on July 23 by the Seoul government, which cited tense political relations.

   The government earlier issued restrictions on civic and humanitarian aid organizations visiting or communicating with North Korea after the North's long-range rocket test in April.

   Tongil Sinbo article also criticized a South Korean presidential consultative body for recently publishing a booklet titled "Rightly Understanding Lee Myung-bak's Policies toward North Korea."

   The book included statements refuting the inter-Korean policies of two former presidents -- Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun -- both of whom had met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il while in office.

   The commentary called the remarks "an infernal deed to stir up anti-reunification, anti-North sentiment."

   Inter-Korean relations have degenerated since the Lee administration was inaugurated early last year with a pledge to take a tougher stance toward the socialist country than his liberal predecessors.


N. Korea Warns Citizens Against 'Illusions' or Fear of Imperialism

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Aug. 2 urged its people not to have illusions about or fear of imperialism, saying imperialists are striving to overturn the social system of other countries.

   "Any country having a resolute anti-imperialist spirit will never harbor any illusions or fear of imperialists. It can, at the same time, decisively shatter the imperialists' high-handed practices and moves for aggression," Rodong Sinmun, organ of the Workers' Party, said.

   "Only when a country remains strong can it bar the imperialists from daring to provoke it and firmly defend its sovereignty and that of the nation," said the newspaper article carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

   The daily called on the nation to have a "high ideological and moral readiness," reinforce the military and build a self-supporting national economy to win a victory in a desperate struggle against imperialism.


China's Party Delegation Arrives in N. Korea for 'Goodwill Visit'

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- A Chinese party delegation led by a publicity official arrived in North Korea on Aug. 3 for a "goodwill visit," the two countries' state media said.

   The delegation of the Communist Party of China was led by Luo Shugang, deputy head of the party's publicity department, the North's official Korean Central News Agency said.

   The one-sentence dispatch did not elaborate on the purpose or length of the trip, only saying it came at the invitation of the Workers' Party of (North) Korea.

   China's Xinhua news agency said the delegation was making a "goodwill visit," but gave no further details.

   The two countries are holding a variety of events to celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations this year, but watchers say their traditional alliance has been displaying signs of fraying.

   China joined the world condemning North Korea's nuclear test in May and signed a U.N. Security Council resolution to tighten a trade embargo and other sanctions on North Korea.

   Some watchers pointed out the watered-down attitude of North Korean media toward China, as some recent dispatches left out the usual descriptions of the relationship between the two countries, such as "blood-sealed."