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NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 241 (Dec. 20, 2012)
*** NEWS IN BRIEF

N. Korea Launches Satelite Rocket under Five-year Plan: Choson Sinbo

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea prepared for its recent rocket launch as part of its "five year plan for scientific and technological development," the pro-Pyongyang newspaper in Japan said on Dec. 13, arousing interest in the North's plan.
In an article written by Im Jong-hyok, professor at Joson University in Tokyo, Choson Sinbo said that this year is the last year of the five year plan for scientific and technological development in the DPRK (North Korea) and the launch of the second version of satellite Kwangmyongsong-3 is directly linked with this plan.

   "The recent satellite launch was a desire at the behest of leader Kim Jong-il and a peaceful work in line with the plan for scientific and technological development for the economic construction and the improvement of the standard of people's living," the (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted the article.

   The general goal of the five year plan for scientific and technological development, which started in 2008, is to develop science and technology for solving all the problems arising in improving the standard of people's living, according to Im.
North Korea, at the same time, set the long-term goal of making itself a scientific and technological power by 2022, Im said.

   The launch of the scientific and technological satellite equipped with various kinds of observation apparatuses is part of this plan, Im stressed in the article.

  
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150,000 North Koreans Gather to Celebrate Successful Rocket Launch

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- Hundreds of thousands of North Koreans gathered in Pyongyang to celebrate the country's successful launch of what the international community sees as a long-range missile on Dec. 12, North Korea's state television showed on Dec. 14.

   The (North) Korean Central Broadcasting Station, monitored in Seoul, broadcast live the celebratory mass gathering held in the Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang starting at 11:00 a.m. The television said about 150,000 North Koreans gathered in the plaza and nearby areas.

   On Dec. 12, the North successfully fired off what it claims to be a rocket carrying a "working satellite," a launch which the international community has condemned as a test of rocket technology used to make long-range ballistic missiles.

   Neither North Korean leader Kim Jong-un nor his powerful uncle Jang Song-thaek were among the many top officials attending the event presided over by Mun Kyong-dok, a party secretary.

   "Accurately orbiting the Unha-3 carrier rocket, a science technology satellite, built with our own ability and technology, is a gift of loyalty to our party, army and comrade Kim Jong-il and a national feat that accomplished the very dying instruction of the general," Kim Ki-nam, a party head for the propaganda bureau, told the crowd.

   Another official also claimed in a speech during the event that Kim Jong-un visited the launch site and helped solve problems facing the rocket launch.

   Similar mass gatherings were organized following the country's previous rocket launches in April and in April 2009.

   The celebratory mood came as the country prepares to mark the first anniversary of late leader Kim Jong-il's death on Dec. 17.

   Since the beginning of this month, North Korean media outlets had been carrying commemorative content about Kim Jong-il, but now it has mostly been replaced by the triumphant celebration of the latest rocket launch.

  
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Kim Jong-un again Visits Sohae Space Center to Encourage Scientists, Technicians

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un again visited the Sohae Space Center located in Cholsan County, North Phyongan Province, to congratulate scientists and technicians on their great contribution to the successful launch of the second version of the satellite Kwangmyongsong-3, the KCNA said on Dec. 15 without revealing the date when Kim visited the center.

   Kim Jong-un arrived at the center at dawn and highly praised the scientists and technicians "for having performed feats in successfully putting the satellite into orbit by carrier rocket Unha-3, true to the last instructions of leader Kim Jong-il," the KCNA said, adding that he had a photo session with them.

   Kim dropped in at the General Satellite Launch Command Center to rewatch a video showing the process of the satellite launch.

   Kim said the successful launch of the satellite is a striking demonstration of the general national power of the DPRK (North Korea) and invited the scientists and technicians to visit Pyongyang.

   He told them to come to Pyongyang and accompany him on a visit to Kim Jong-il who lies in state at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun to make a report to him on the successful launch of the satellite, the KCNA said.

   He said that the successful launch of the satellite once again demonstrated before the whole world the will of the DPRK to unconditionally carry out what the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) decides to do.

   "The successful satellite launch is a shining victory of the WPK's policy on science and technology and its idea of pushing back the frontiers of latest science and technology," he stressed, adding that it is necessary to continue holding fast to the policy of giving importance to science and technology in the future.

   Earlier, the KCNA said that Kim Jong-un gave a final written order regarding the launch of the second version of Kwangmyongsong-3 to the Korean Committee of Space Technology at 8 a.m. on Dec. 12, 2012 and arrived at the space center a hour before lift-off on the same day.

  
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North Korea Calls Five-year Reign of Lee Myung-bak 'Nightmare'

  
SEOUL (Yonhap) -- Rodong Sinmun, the organ of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party of (North) Korea, labeled the five years of South Korea under President Lee Myung-bak as a "period of nightmare, despair, catastrophe and resentment" and argued that the nightmare should not be allowed to repeat.

   In a commentator's article on Dec. 16, three days ahead of the presidential election in the South, Rodong Sinmun claimed South Korean society became a graveyard of democracy and a horror-ridden land of darkness under Lee's administration. Justice was suppressed by injustice, patriotism fell victim to treachery and the media were stifled, the KCNA quoted the Rodong Sinmun article as saying in an English dispatch.

   "It was their biggest crime that they have ruthlessly violated the north-south joint declarations and brought the north-south relations to a total collapse," the article said.

   "The group of traitors perpetrated such hideous provocation as insulting the compatriots in the north during the great loss to the nation and malignantly defamed the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK. These crimes can never be pardoned," it said.

   It went on that the South Korean people should be most serious in exercising their suffrage in each election. They should not allow such regime of traitors as the Lee Myung-bak regime to emerge again.

   At a time when they are standing at the crossroads of whether they advance toward a bright future or go back to the past of darkness, they should not be taken in by lies of the traitors, but put an end to the corrupt politics, the paper said.

   Meanwhile, Rodong Sinmun said in the same article written in Korean that North Korea will join hands with a new government in the South with pleasure if a "democratic government which really hopes for peace and reunification and national prosperity" is set up, denouncing Park Geun-hye, presidential candidate of the ruling Saenuri Party.

   "She is openly revealing her intention to follow traitor Lee Myung-bak's 'policy' toward the North," the paper said.

  (END)
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