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NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 98 (March 18, 2010)

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- The following is a chronological review of major developments related to North Korea between March 11-17.

11 Yang Hyong-sop, vice president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, meets with the delegation of the Norwegian Red Cross led by Secretary General Borge Brende.

   11 Kim Yong-nam sends a congratulatory message to Sebastian Pinera Echenique who will be sworn in as president of Chile.

   11 Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun sends a message of congratulations to Alfredo Moreno Charme upon his appointment as foreign minister of Chile.

   11 The (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) says North Korean leader Kim Jong-il was presented with a gift and a letter by the family of Zhou Wei, daughter of Zhou Baozhong, a Chinese national who was involved in the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle.

   11 A delegation of Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory of Russia led by President Alexandr Sokolov flies into Pyongyang.

   12 Rodong Sinmun says developing countries should thoroughly apply the principle of self-reliance as required by the times and wage a dynamic struggle to attain the high goal of the 21st century.

   12 The KCNA says Kim Jong-il enjoyed a performance given by the (North) Korean Pepole's Army Song and Dance Ensemble.

   13 Minju Joson says the Japanese "reactionaries'" moves to exclude the Korean schools in Japan from the tuition-free program for senior high schools are an expression of their policy of national discrimination.

   13 The KCNA accuses the United States of using the meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council now under way in Geneva as a platform for "hatching a politically motivated sinister plot" against the DPRK.

   13 The KCNA says Kim Jong-il gave field guidance to the Thrice Three-Revolution Red Flag Migok Cooperative Farm in Sariwon City "alive with the drive for this year's farming".
14 Minju Joson says the DPRK (North Korea) will bolster up its war deterrent under the uplifted banner of Songun as long as the U.S. military threat and provocations against it persist.

   15 The KCNA says the 12th Kimilsungia Festival will be held at the Kimilsungia-Kimjongilia Exhibition in Pyongyang from mid-April of Juche 99 (2010) on the occasion of the Day of the Sun (late leader Kim Il-sung's birthday).

   15 Rodong Sinmun says the servicepersons and people of the DPRK will clearly teach what "miserable end the U.S. and south Korean bellicose forces will meet" if they dare provoke the second Korean war.

   15 Kim Yong-nam receives credentials from Pratap Singh, Indian ambassador to the DPRK, at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang.

   15 An agreement on exchange and cooperation in education and culture is signed between Pyongyang Kimwongyun Conservatory of the DPRK and Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory of Russia in Pyongyang.

   16 The KCNA reports magnesite production has been boosted in mines of Tanchon area, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

   16 The KCNA says the Second April Spring People's Art Festival will be held in Pyongyang from April 11 to 19 on the occasion of the Day of the Sun.

   16 Premier Kim Yong-il meets with Liu Hongcai, new Chinese ambassador to the DPRK, at the Mansudae Assembly Hall.

   16 Valery Sukhinin, Russian ambassador to the DPRK, gives a reception at the Taedong River Diplomatic Corps Club in Pyongyang to mark the 61st anniversary of the conclusion of the agreement on economic and cultural cooperation between the DPRK and Russia.

   17 The KCNA says spring sowing of wheat and barley seeds has been wound up on the farms in different parts of the DPRK.

   17 Kim Yong-nam sends a message of greetings to Mary Mcaleese, president of Ireland, on the country's national day.

   17 Talks between delegations of the DPRK-Cambodia Friendship Parliamentary Group and the Cambodia-DPRK Friendship Parliamentary Group are held at Mansudae Assembly Hall.