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NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 233 (October 25, 2012)
*** NEWS IN BRIEF

N. Korea Cautions Against Decadent Western Capitalistic Culture

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea's main newspaper Rodong Sinmun has emphasized the need to preserve the country's "superior" socialist values and culture, saying the Western capitalistic cultures should not be allowed to influence young North Koreans.

   In an article on Oct. 18, the newspaper of the ruling Workers' Party then called for waging a dynamic campaign to establish sublime moral traits among younger generations so that the "decadent bourgeois lifestyle" of the imperialists would not permeate the North Korean society.

   Insisting the imperialistic wind is like a narcotic for the young people, the paper pointed out that the new generation will become depraved morally and spiritually if they are soaked with the decadent mood of the bourgeois.

   The paper said the "lustful, perverted bourgeois lifestyle will paralyze the sound consciousness of young people," eventually causing them to "become vulgar persons," who only seek money and personal gain and will eventually "commit crimes betraying the country and the people."

   North Korea's state newspapers have often carried commentaries urging young people to further uplift the nation's "superior" way of life. They also stress the need to continue so-called educational projects to defend against the "decadent ideas and unusual lifestyles of imperialists."

   In another article from the same day, the paper said that the socialist country will never permit any poisonous lifestyle of foreign countries such as the U.S. that would deprive the people of their souls and bodies while fostering disorder and confusion in the North Korean society.

   If a nation harbors illusions about the U.S. imperialists, taken in by honeyed words of "peace" and "cooperation," and trembles in fear of their horror strategy, it will be bound to become enslaved and meet death, not achieve independent development, the newspaper said.

   If a country accepts the American-style "view of value" under the pressure of the U.S. imperialists, it will suffer disasters in return for meeting the requirements of the U.S. imperialists, the article said. "They brought these countries nothing but humiliation, disgrace, internal disorder and disputes."

   "Only when a country or nation achieves the unity of the leadership, army and people and bolsters the capacity for self-defense, foiling the U.S. imperialists' ideological and cultural poisoning and psychological warfare, is it possible to be free from any illusion and fear of them and protect the sovereignty of the country and national dignity," it said.

   North Korea's current emphasis on blocking unusual ideas and cultures is an indirect response to the fear that the widely spreading Western cultures and movies will become a serious threat to the North Korean regime.

   Also, it can be interpreted as a form of vigilance against the ideological relaxation of youth, who are sensitive to outside trends, according to North Korea watchers.

  
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North Korea Will Retain Nukes until U.S. Ends Hostile Policy

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea will continue to hold nuclear arms as a means to defend itself from the U.S. hostile policy, the North's state media said on Oct. 18, referring to a recent speech by the country's delegate to the United Nations.

   "The DPRK (North Korea) is compelled to keep its nukes for a quite long period unless the U.S. rolls back its hostile policy toward the DPRK," the (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted the North Korean delegate as saying in the speech to a UN General Assembly meeting on Oct. 15.

   Its nuclear power "serves as a powerful means for defending the sovereignty of the country and deterring a war on the Korean Peninsula," the KCNA also quoted the delegate as saying.

   "The use of atomic energy and space development for peaceful purposes are the right of sovereign states," the media reported, referring to its April missile test, which the North insisted was an attempt to launch a satellite.

   The missile test was strongly condemned by the U.N., resulting in tighter economic sanctions on the already isolated country.

   "They frequently launch satellites, insisting that only the DPRK is not allowed to do so. This is an unpardonable violation of its sovereignty," the KCNA said.

  
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Pyongyang Says Only Sea Border in West Sea Is Its Own

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea repeated its claim on Oct. 20 that the only maritime border in the western Yellow Sea is the one drawn by Pyongyang, condemning the South Korean president's recent trip to an island near the border where he urged increased efforts to deter any border violation by the socialist nation.

   South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Oct. 18 said the country's service members must stake their own lives if necessary to safeguard the Northern Limit Line (NLL), a de facto maritime border drawn by the U.S.-led United Nations Command at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

   The North mostly refrains from crossing the de facto border, but often claims the NLL, drawn unilaterally by the United Nations Command, is not legitimate and demands a new border be drawn further south of the existing NLL.

   "Only the sea military border drawn by us will exist in the Yellow Sea, not the NLL, until unification comes," an unidentified spokesperson for the North's powerful National Defense Commission said in a statement carried on Oct. 20 by the North's official KCNA .

   Calling the Yellow Sea border an "ghostlike line," the spokesman said Lee's visit "aimed to hurt our people's peace and stability and pursue war by maintaining the Northern Limit Line (NLL), a source of confrontation and conflict."

   The Yellow Sea border has been the scene of a number of bloody inter-Korean clashes. The two sides fought naval gun-battles in the area in 1999, 2002 and 2009. In 2010, the North torpedoed a South Korean warship in the area, killing 46 sailors, and shelled Yeonpyeong Island, leaving two South Korean Marines and two civilians dead.

   On Oct. 19, a North Korean fishing boat briefly crossed into South Korean waters near the border, but returned after South Korean patrol boats broadcast warning signals. It marked the seventh border violation by the North's vessels in the area since last month.

   Meanwhile, South Korea's Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin said the North "could provoke a war as a means to break through its internal problems," urging the military to take adequate measures in such cases.

   His remarks came one day after Pyongyang threatened to launch military attacks on a South Korean border area if Seoul allows anti-North activists to send propaganda leaflets into the communist nation next week as planned.

   "If the enemy provokes a war, make a counterattack regardless of how many rounds of shells you fire," Kim said during his visit to the front-line troops in Gangwon Province in the day.

  
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North Korea Holds Cabinet Meeting to Discuss Economy

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea has held a cabinet meeting to discuss the country's economic issues, a Chinese state media said on Oct. 22, as the socialist regime reportedly makes efforts to reform its sickly economy.

   The People's Daily reported on its Chinese-language Web site that North Korea's cabinet members recently gathered to review the country's third-quarter economic performance and discuss targets to be achieved in the fourth quarter.

   The meeting was presided over by North Korean Premier Choe Yong-rim, the report said, citing Minju Joson, the organ of the Cabinet. However, the daily did not disclose when the meeting was held.

   In the third quarter, North Korea saw a substantial increase on-year in its output of electricity and coal, the report said.

   It also boosted production of air compressors, transformers, mining machines, wire, cement and other industrial products in the July-September.

   Accordingly, the local industry has achieved an output level 7 percent higher than its original plan, while local budget revenues were 13.4 percent higher than original estimates, the Chinese newspaper said.

   The North Korean cabinet members shared the view that the fourth quarter will be an important period for the regime to achieve its annual economic target for this year.

   In a bid to achieve this year's target, the country will continue to focus on producing electricity and coal, the report said.

   The cabinet also agreed to fully implement universal 12-year compulsory education, promulgated at the Supreme People's Assembly in September.

  
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North Korea Receives Medical Supplies from WHO

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Oct. 23 received medicine and medical supplies donated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as part of its aid projects for the socialist country, state media said.

   A ceremony welcoming the donation was held in Pyongyang with Vice Minister of Public Health Kim Hyong-hun attending as well as Yonas Tegegn, the WHO representative to North Korea, and other officials from the World Food Program and the United Nations Children's Fund, according to the North's official KCNA.

   But the news agency did not mention the exact details, including the type of medical supplies and the amount.

   The world health body has been involved in aid projects for the North since 1997, having sent vaccines and medicines for diseases such as tuberculosis as well as nutritional supplements for children.

   Last summer, the WHO also donated US$310,000 to North Korea for construction projects to restore damage caused by a flood that devastated the country and established a disease center in Hwanghae Province to treat flood victims.

   The South Korean government has also made contributions for the medical supplies donated to the North via providing funds to the WHO.

  (END)
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