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NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 240 (Dec. 13, 2012)

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- The following is a chronological review of major developments related to North Korea from December 6-12, 2012.

6 An Italian parliamentary delegation led by Osvaldo Napoli, the vice president of the group of the Popular Liberty of the Chamber of Deputies of Italy, arrives in Pyongyang.

   6 The Fifth Commodity Exhibition takes place at Pyongyang Department Store No. 1 from Dec. 3 to 6.

   6 The participants of the national meeting of judicial officers visited different parts of Pyongyang.

   7 Kim Yong-nam, the president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA), sends a congratulatory message to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the adoption of a resolution of the 67th UN General Assembly calling for Palestine to have observer state status.

   7 Premier Choe Yong-rim visits the Pukchang Thermal-power Complex to learn about power production.

   7 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un receives a reply message from Choummaly Sayasone, the general secretary of the Central Committee of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) and president of Laos, to his congratulatory message for the 37th founding anniversary of the Lao People's Democratic Republic.

   7 Kim Yong-il, the secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of (North) Korea (WPK), meets with Osvaldo Napoli, the vice president of the group of the Popular Liberty of the Chamber of Deputies of Italy, and his party.

   7 Kiettisak Keobanhdith, the Laos ambassador to the DPRK (North Korea), hosts a reception at the Taedonggang Diplomatic Corps Club on Dec. 7 on the occasion of the 37th anniversary of the Laos People's Democratic Republic.

   8 So Chang-sik is appointed as ambassador to Kuwait, according to a decree of the SPA Presidium.

   8 Kim Yong-nam sends a message of sympathy to Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino, the president of the Philippines, in connection with a recent typhoon, which hit its southern part, claiming heavy casualties and great material losses.

   8 The WPK delegation led by Ri Yong-su, the department director of its Central Committee, returns home after visiting Namibia to attend the 5th National Congress of the South West Africa People's Organization of Namibia.

   8 The spokesman for the (North) Korean Committee of Space Technology says its scientists and technicians are now seriously examining the issue of readjusting the launching time of the second version of Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite "for some reasons."

   9 The (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) says Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun sent a congratulatory message on Dec. 3 to Francis Zammit Dimech upon his appointment as the foreign minister of Malta.

   10 The spokesman for the (North) Korean Committee of Space Technology says North Korean scientists and technicians found a technical deficiency in the first-stage control engine module of the rocket carrying the satellite and decided to extend the satellite launch period to Dec. 29.

   10 Kim Yong-nam sends a message of greeting to Blaise Compaore, the president of Burkina Faso, on the occasion of the country's national day.

   10 A memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the (North) Korea Foreign Investment and Economic Cooperation Committee, and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission is signed in Pyongyang.

   10 The KCNA says North Korea has experienced an exceptionally cold winter from Dec. 4.

   10 The KCNA says Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun in his message on Dec. 7 congratulated Tewodros Adhanom upon his appointment as foreign minister of Ethiopia.

   11 Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun meets with Jerome Sauvage, the UN resident coordinator and resident representative of the UNDP in the DPRK, who paid a farewell call on him.

   11 The KCNA says a document film was produced to mark the first anniversary of the death of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

   12 Yang Hyong-sop meets with the visiting delegation of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development headed by Deputy Director General Hesham Al-Wagayan at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang.

   12 An agreement on cooperation between the Ministry of Land and Environment Protection of the DPRK and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development is signed at the People's Palace of Culture in Pyongyang.

   12 A 2013 protocol for cooperation and development of the economy, science and technology between the governments of the DPRK and Cuba and a 2013 protocol for exchange of goods is signed in Pyongyang.

   12 The KCNA says the rocket Unha-3 carrying the second version of satellite Kwangmyongsong-3 successfully lifted off from the Sohae Space Center in Cholsan County, North Phyongan Province.

   12 The KCNA reports a spokesman for the foreign ministry said, "The successful satellite launch in the DPRK was a desire at the behest of leader Kim Jong-il and part of peaceful work in line with the country's scientific and technological development plan for the economic construction and improvement of people's living standard."

   12 The KCNA said journalists inspected the General Satellite Control and Command Center in Pyongyang after the successful launch of the second version of satellite Kwangmyongsong-3.