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NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 90 (January 21, 2010)

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- The following is a chronological review of major developments related to North Korea between Jan. 14-20.

14 Kim Yong-nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, meets with Narciso Ntugu Abeso Oyana, ambassador of Equatorial Guinea to the DPRK (North Korea), who paid a farewell call on him at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang.

   14 The (North) Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee sends a notice to the Ministry of Unification of South Korea requesting it to hold a north-south working contact for the resumption of tour of Mt. Kumgang and the area of Kaesong.

   14 Kim Yong-nam sends a congratulatory message to Ivo Josipovic upon his election as president of Croatia.

   14 The International Affairs Department of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of (North) Korea (WPK) hosts a reception for the staff members of the Chinese embassy in Pyongyang on the occasion of the New Year at Pyongyang Koryo Hotel.

   14 Kim Yong-nam sends a message of sympathy to Rene Preval, president of Haiti, in connection with strong earthquake that hit the country recently, claiming huge human and material losses.

   15 Rodong Sinmun reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il was presented with a gift by the king of Jordan on the occasion of the New Year.

   15 The (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) says Kim Jong-il provided field guidance to the October 7 Pig Farm under Unit 534 of the (North) Korean People's Army (KPA).

   16 Minju Joson says it is time not only for all parties concerned but all the states concerned to opt for dealing with the fundamental issues of achieving peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and denuclearizing it and thus make a decisive breakthrough towards settling the hostile relations between the DPRK and the U.S.

   16 Leading papers spotlight news that leader Kim Jong-il provided field guidance to the October 7 Pig Farm under Unit 534 of the KPA.

   17 The KCNA says Kim Jong-il watched the combined maneuvers of the KPA three services. With the order for the start of the maneuvers, flying corps, warships and ground artillery pieces of various kinds showered a merciless barrage at the "enemy group" in close coordination, thus shattering the "enemy camp" to pieces and turning it into a sea of flame, it reports.

   18 Rodong Sinmun carries a photo-accompanied report that Kim Jong-il watched combined maneuvers of the KPA three services.

   18 A spokesman at North Korea's Foreign Ministry says the North's proposal for concluding a peace treaty is a reasonable way for comprehensively and fully implementing the September 19 Joint Statement.

   18 The KCNA reports North Korean scientists have recently developed an air-conditioner to bioclean rooms, which is capable of removing such pollutional and harmful matters as dust, germ and virus from inside rooms.

   18 The KCNA says Kim Jong-il enjoyed a performance given by the art squad of KPA Large Combined Unit 324.

   19 Rodong Sinmun says it is "quite natural and right from a logical point of view" that the Foreign Ministry of the DPRK proposed to the parties to the Armistice Agreement (AA) an early start of the talks for replacing the AA with a peace treaty.

   19 The KCNA reports various international and national sports meets are scheduled to be held in the DPRK this year, including the 19th International Figure Skating Festival for Mt. Paektu Prize in February.

   19 A sheetlet reflecting the contents of the joint New Year editorial published by leading newspapers of the DPRK has been brought out in the country.

   19 A delegation of members of the parliament from various political parties of Italy headed by Osvaldo Napoli, chairman of the Committee for the Development of Relations and Cooperation with the DPRK Parliament, flies into Pyongyang.

   20 Rodong Sinmun says Japan should fully redeem its inglorious past and turn over a new leaf at an early date.

   20 A "friendly meeting" with members of the delegation of lawmakers from various political parties of Italy is held at the People's Palace of Culture in Pyongyang.

   20 The first meeting of the Board of Directors of the Korea Taepung International Investment Group takes place at Yanggakdo International Hotel in Pyongyang.

   20 The KCNA says Kim Jong-il gave on-the-spot guidance to the Hungnam Smeltery, the Hungnam Taehung Fishery Enterprise and the Sojung Fishery Station.