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NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 89 (January 14, 2010)

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- The following is a chronological review of major developments related to North Korea between Jan. 7-13.

7 Player Ri Kwang-hyok and coach Ri Pong-il of the (North) Korean Paduk Association are selected as the best paduk player and coach for Juche 98 (2009) in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK/North Korea). Paduk is also romanized as "baduk" and known as "go" in Japan.

   7 Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the Workers' Party of (North) Korea (WPK), says the joint New Year editorial of the party, the army and the youth of the DPRK reiterated the unwavering stance of the DPRK government to implement foreign policy-independence, peace and friendship.

   7 Mass rallies are held in various provinces and Nampho City between Jan. 4 to 7 in which participants vow to thoroughly carry out the tasks set forth in the joint New Year editorial.

   7 The (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) says An Song-nam was appointed as the DPRK ambassador to Thailand, according to a decree by the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly.

   7 Liu Xiaoming, Chinese ambassador to the DPRK, gives a reception at his embassy for officials of the Ministry of People's Security on the occasion of the New Year.

   8 Rodong Sinmun says the U.S. is pushing ahead in earnest with the production and deployment of "bunker busters" for actual use, an indication the U.S. may mount a preemptive attack on the DPRK.

   8 The KCNA reports that restaurants along Pyongyang's central Changgwang Street have been refurnished to match the Songun (military-first) era.

   8 Employees at ministries and national institutions do the first Friday labor of the year at the Taedong River Combined Fruit Farm in Pyongyang's Samsok Ward.

   9 The KCNA says North Korean leader Kim Jong-il was presented with rare plants as a gift by Mototeru Kamo, the Japanese botanist and horticulturist, for the Gregorian and lunar New Years holidays.

   9 Leading newspapers carry accounts of mass rallies held in North Pyongan Province and Nampho City in support of implementing the tasks set forth in the joint New Year editorial.

   9 Rodong Sinmun says national reconciliation and cooperation are priorities and prerequisites to national reunification.

   9 The employees of the Kimchaek Iron and Steel Complex send a letter to all working people across the country calling on them to make redoubled efforts and leap forward full of confidence and optimism in order to proudly signal victory in the light industrial and agricultural fronts, according to a report.

   10 A group run is held in Pyongyang by officials of ministries and national institutions on the first sports day of the year.

   10 The KCNA says Kim Jong-il gave on-the-spot guidance to the Kangdong Weak-current Apparatus Factory, which has been "wonderfully" renewed to meet the requirement of the Songun era.

   11 North Korea's Foreign Ministry proposes talks for a peace treaty with the U.S., saying it is essential to terminating hostile relations.

   11 The KCNA unveils the list of North Korea's 10 best players and coaches for 2009, including male wrestler Yang Kyong-il.

   12 Rodong Sinmun says all party members and other working people should dynamically accelerate efforts to improve living standards.

   12 Rodong Sinmun says the South Korean "warmongers" have staged large-scale war maneuvers against the DPRK since the outset of the year, raising cries of "infiltration" and "provocation."

   12 The KCNA says a library of sports science opened in the DPRK. The two-story building, located on Chongchun Street in Pyongyang, has reading rooms and study rooms of information on sports events on the first floor.

   12 The KCNA says Kim Jong-il provided field guidance at a pig farm built by Large Combined Unit 313 of the Korean People's Army.

   13 The KCNA says the 14th Kimjongilia Festival will take place in Pyongyang in mid-February to mark the birthday of leader Kim Jong-Il.

   13 North Korea warns South Korea against the scattering of anti-DPRK leaflets which slander the DPRK and stoke distrust and confrontation between fellow countrymen.

   13 Minju Joson says Japan's brazen-faced and blatant claim to the Tok Islets is a wanton infringement upon the dignity and sovereignty of the Korean nation.

   13 Rodong Sinmun observes that the dispute-torn countries should settle disputes through dialogue and negotiations in line with their national interests and the human cause of peace.

   13 Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun meets with Narciso Ntugu Abeso Oyana, ambassador of Equatorial Guinea to the DPRK, who paid a farewell call on him.

   13 A show of posters calling for thoroughly implementing the militant tasks set forth in the joint New Year editorial of the DPRK's leading newspapers opens at the Pyongyang International Cultural Center.