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JANUARY 2007
  • N. Korea Official Meets Iran Delegation
    The Associated Press Friday, January 19, 2007; 5:37 AM SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korea's No. 2 leader met with a high-level Iranian delegation Friday, highlighting the good relations between the two countries, both facing international outcries regarding their nuclear programs. Kim Yong Nam had a "friendly talk" with Iran's Vice Foreign Minister Mahdi Safari, the North's official Korean Central News Agency reported, without giving any details of their discussions. The two countries also signed a three-year agreement on unspecified cultural and scientific exchanges at a separate ceremony, KCNA said.
  • Iranian Foreign Ministry Delegation Arrives
    Pyongyang, January 18 (KCNA) -- A delegation of the Iranian foreign ministry headed by its Vice-Minister Mahdi Safari arrived here Thursday by air.
  • Rodong Sinmun on WPK's Foreign Policy Idea
    Pyongyang, January 17 (KCNA) -- The stand and will of the Workers' Party of Korea and the Government of the DPRK to consistently adhere to the foreign policy idea of independence, peace and friendship are invariable and unshakable as declared in the joint New Year editorial, says Rodong Sinmun Wednesday in a signed article. Stating that the idea of independence, peace and friendship is the steadfast foreign policy idea of the WPK and the DPRK Government, the author of the article says: The WPK firmly maintains independence in external relations. The DPRK never allows anyone to encroach upon its sovereignty or interfere in its internal affairs and to rule and control it, but strongly opposes the violation of the sovereignty of other countries.
  • UN Chief Pledges to Work Together With Bush on Global Issues
    U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. President George W. Bush said Tuesday that they have agreed to work together to address conflicts and other global issues, including North Korea, the Middle East and Somalia. In his first meeting with Bush at the White House since taking the helm of the United Nations, Ban said that he had a ``very good, very useful meeting’’ with the president, in which he stressed the value of a strong partnership between the world body and the U.S. Ban said he hopes to work very closely with the U.S. government, including Bush, to achieve the common objectives of achieving peace, security, freedom and democracy. [Collusion]
  • U.N. KNOWN QUANTITY
    Don't Ban Your Instincts, Ban Ki-moon
    By John R. Bolton
    Sunday, January 14, 2007; Page B01 Ban Ki-moon, the new U.N. secretary general, has done some unusual things to kick off his tenure. At the recent annual dinner of the U.N. Correspondents Association in New York, for instance, he entertained the guests briefly by singing, to the tune originally written for Santa Claus, his own arrangement: "Ban Ki-moon is coming to town." On Tuesday, Ban is coming to this town, his first visit since assuming office on Jan. 1. The former South Korean foreign minister has already made it clear that he intends to be a different kind of "SG" from his predecessor. The United States backed Ban for his new post, largely with such a change in mind. Nonetheless, his first few days in office have already raised some questions. The struggle is underway to determine what sort of leader Ban will be: Will the status quo of the U.N. system overwhelm him, or will he follow his instincts and those of his supporters, including Washington?
    John R. Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, served as U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations from August 2005 to December 2006.
  • Invariable Foreign Policy of DPRK
    Pyongyang, January 12 (KCNA) -- The joint New Year editorial of Rodong Sinmun, Joson Inmingun and Chongnyon Jonwi clarified that the Workers' Party of Korea and the DPRK government will hold fast to the idea of independence, peace and friendship. Over the last years the DPRK, with independence as its life and soul, has viewed and decided all issues in an independent way and formulated and implemented its policies on its own way in accordance with its faith and discretion no matter what others say. The Korean-style socialist system established by the popular masses, under which they are shaping policies in accordance with their will and interests is the fruit of the independent politics, the Songun-based politics. It is the key principle of the DPRK government in its external activities to develop the friendly and cooperative relations with the world people who love peace and advocate independence.
  • Indonesian President’s Greeting to Kim Jong-il
    Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has sent a New Year's greeting to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, wishing him good health and better ties between the two countries, the North's media said over the weekend. ``I sincerely hope the governments and peoples of the two countries will maintain a closer friendly relationship,’’ the (North) Korean News Agency (KNCA) quoted a New Year greeting from the Indonesian president to Kim as saying. President Yudhoyono also wished Kim good health in the New Year, the KCNA quoted the message as saying. Yudhoyono indefinitely postponed his planned visit to Pyongyang in mid-July, following the test-firing of multiple missiles by the Kim’s regime a week earlier that generated strong international condemnation.
  • The U.N. under new Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
    Scholars discuss reform, peacekeeping, future of organization under new helm
    » Choi Young-jin, Permanent Representative of South Korea to the U.N (right) and Edward Luck, professor in the School of International and Public Affairs of Columbia University.
    The first-ever Korean U.N. secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, started his five-year tenure on January 1. In late December, the Hankyoreh arranged a discussion between Choi Young-jin, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations, and Edward Luck, professor in the School of International and Public Affairs of Columbia University. The two discussed the changing face of the U.N. under Ban Ki-moon's leadership.
    Luck: Well, I think there is a strategic problem now in the world generally, in that there is an enormous imbalance of power. And when you have one superpower, one dominant power, that makes it very hard to design multilateral decision making to work right, and so many countries have worried that the U.S. is somehow controlling everything
  • Envoy to Attend Inauguration in Nicaragua
    President Roh Moo-hyun plans to dispatch a special envoy to Nicaragua to attend the inauguration of new Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega next week.
    Korea and Nicaragua established diplomatic ties in 1962, but relations were nearly severed following a 1979 revolution by the Sandinistas. The two countries normalized the ties after a coalition of anti-Sandinista parties, led by Violeta Chamorro, won the 1990 presidential election.
  • U.N. chief reaffirms priority agendas, says Hussein execution was Iraq's choice to make
    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon began his first work day on Tuesday with a reaffirmed commitment to address the Sudan crisis and North Korea and a call to respect the rule of law in the wake of Saddam Hussein's execution
    He said Hussein's execution was a choice for Iraq to make. "The issue of capital punishment is for each and every member state to decide," he said when asked if the deposed leader should have been executed.
  • Ex-South Korean Foreign Minister Takes Helm of UN
    New UN Chief Names Chief of Staff, Spokesperson Korean Career diplomat Ban Ki-moon took the helm of the United Nations on New Year's Day as the world body's eighth secretary-general. He appointed a new chief aide and spokesperson in one of several personnel changes expected in the coming days.

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DECEMBER 2006
  • Yang Hyong Sop Meets Indonesian Ambassador
    Pyongyang, December 19 (KCNA) -- Yang Hyong Sop, vice-president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, had a talk with Daulat Hotma Audison Passaribu, new Indonesian ambassador to the DPRK, at the Mansudae Assembly Hall Tuesday when the latter paid a courtesy call on him.
  • Talks between Security Organs of DPRK and Syria Held
       Pyongyang, December 14 (KCNA) -- Talks between a delegation of the Ministry of People's Security of the DPRK and a delegation of the Ministry of Interior of Syria were held at the Mansudae Assembly Hall on Thursday. Present there from the DPRK side were members of the delegation of the Ministry of People's Security headed by Vice-Minister Sin Il Nam and from the Syrian side members of the delegation of the Ministry of Interior headed by Vice-Minister Ibrahim Faiz Mousli and Syrian Charge d'Affaires a.i. here Muhammad Adib Al Hani.     At the talks the two sides exchanged views on the issue of boosting the exchange and cooperation between the security organs of the two countries and a series of matters of mutual concern.
  • Ban Takes Oath as UN Secretary-General
    The new UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took the oath of office at the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday, swearing to conduct himself solely in the interests of the global body. In the oath administered by UN General Assembly President Sheikha Haya Al Khalifa, the new UN chief vowed to take no instructions from any government or other authority. “I, Ban Ki-moon, solemnly swear, to exercise in all loyalty, discretion and conscience, the functions entrusted to me as secretary-general of the United Nations," he said in the oath.
  • Incoming U.N. Chief Ban Pledges to Restore Trust
    By Colum Lynch Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, December 15, 2006; Page A27
    UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 14 -- South Korean diplomat Ban Ki Moon was sworn in Thursday as the United Nations' eighth secretary general in a ritualistic General Assembly ceremony as the United States and other countries praised Kofi Annan's 10-year stewardship of the world's premier political institution.
    Ban's remarks constituted an implicit rebuke of Annan, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate whose legacy was tarnished by his mismanagement of the agency's $64 billion oil-for-food program in Iraq. But Annan, who sat expressionless through much of the ceremony, received a rousing standing ovation and eulogistic tributes from representatives of Asian, African, European and Latin American countries.
    Ban sought to counter speculation that he is too discreet and cautious to confront the world's tyrants or stand up to the big powers [US dominance]

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NOVEMBER 2006
  • DPRK's Greatest Jubilees to Be Commemorated in Oceanian Region
       Pyongyang, November 24 (KCNA) -- An Oceanian regional preparatory committee for commemorating the Day of the Sun and February holiday in 2007 was inaugurated with due ceremony in Australia on Nov. 17. Present at the ceremony were personages of the Oceanian Solidarity Committee for Peace and Reunification of Korea, the Australia-DPRK Association for Friendship and Cultural Exchange and the New Zealand-DPRK Society.
  • Rodong Sinmun on Irresistible Trend of Global Independence
       Pyongyang, November 21 (KCNA) -- The trend of the times towards global independence can never be stemmed no matter how frantically the reactionaries of history may challenge, says Rodong Sinmun today in a signed article. The imperialists have made desperate efforts in the international arena this year to hold in check the onward movement of history but they could not arrest the struggle of the people for independence and peace and their moves to divert the trend of history have met only failure and frustration, the article notes, and goes on:     The dynamic struggle of the people for independence, progress and peace against the imperialists' military intervention and war moves has been under way worldwide. [Independent states]
  • DPRK Stand to Contribute to Peace and Security in Asia Clarified
       Tehran, November 15 (KCNA) -- The parliamentarians representing the voices of the Asian people, aware of the sense of responsibility as the master of the continent, should thoroughly reject the moves of the hegemonic forces to stamp out the history, culture and tradition of Asia, place the common denominators above their differences and demonstrate the united strength of the region in one voice in the international arena under the slogan of solidarity, peace and justice of Asia. Choe Thae Bok, chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK, who is leading the delegation of the DPRK to the 7th Assembly of the Association of Asian Parliaments for Peace held in Iran, declared this in a speech at its plenary meeting on Nov. 13. He said:     The struggle of the Korean people to achieve the reunification and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is now facing a grave challenge.     The Bush administration, in particular, openly listed the DPRK as part of an "axis of evil" and a target of preemptive nuclear attack and has since escalated the threat and pressure upon the DPRK such as staging nuclear war exercises and imposing financial sanctions against it, bringing to light an attempt to bring down its social system.     Under the extremely tense situation where the supreme interests and security of the DPRK were seriously threatened it successfully conducted on Oct. 9 an underground nuclear test under secure conditions as an exercise of its sovereign right to self-defence to cope with the U.S. nuclear threat, sanctions and pressure.     The DPRK will surely force the Bush administration to own its historic responsibility for having torpedoed the process of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.     It remains unchanged in its stand to peacefully realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and negotiation though it was compelled to conduct the nuclear test by the U.S.     As the DPRK has already clarified, its nuclear weapons are war deterrent for self-defence to cope with the U.S. nuclear threat and sanctions which have reached an extreme phase and it will feel no need to keep even a single nuke if the U.S. ceases its nuclear threat and sanctions against the DPRK in a verifiable and trustworthy manner. [Denuclearisation]
  • Adoption of Anti-DPRK "Human Rights Resolution" at UN Assailed
       Pyongyang, November 20 (KCNA) -- A spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry gave the following answer to a question put by KCNA Monday as regards the adoption of a "human rights resolution" against the DPRK at the third committee of the UN General Assembly: The anti-DPRK "human rights resolution," a product of the collusion and tie-up among hostile forces including the U.S. and the EU was railroaded through a meeting of the third committee of the 61st UN General Assembly on Nov. 17.     The resolution fabricated by hostile forces, toeing the U.S. line, is full of sheer lies that can convince no one as was the case with the similar one adopted last year.
  • Apec 'concern' at N Korea threat
    President Bush is keen to win China's support over North Korea Asia-Pacific leaders have expressed "strong concern" over North Korea's nuclear weapons test, calling it a clear threat to regional security. In a statement read out at the end of the Vietnam summit, the leaders urged Pyongyang to honour commitments not to pursue the development of atomic bombs. US President George W Bush has been seeking support at the summit for UN sanctions against North Korea. He is trying to persuade Chinese and Russian leaders to take a tougher line.
  • N.K. reacts to U.N. resolution
    From news reports North Korea on Saturday criticized South Korea for supporting a U.N. draft resolution on its human rights record, saying Seoul's decision was "a criminal act that creates another obstacle to inter-Korean relations."
  • APEC Leaders Call for N. Korea’s Denuclearization
    By Ryu Jin Korea Times Correspondent
    APEC leaders wrapping up summit: Leaders of 21 Asia-Pacific economies pose for a photograph wearing traditional Vietnamese “ao dai” clothes at the end of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, Sunday (Nov. 19). South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, left in the back row, and other leaders called for the dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear program. HANOI, Vietnam _ Leaders from 21 Asian and Pacific Rim countries called for an early dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear program at an international forum here on Sunday.
  • Economic Forum Urges N. Korea to Act
    Asia Summit Concludes With Verbal Agreement to Push Pyongyang on Vows to End Nuclear Ambitions By Michael A. Fletcher Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, November 19, 2006; 11:42 AM
    HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam, Nov. 19 -- President Bush arrived in this bustling business center Sunday after achieving only mixed results in convincing nations attending a summit of Pacific Rim nations to intensify pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons. The countries meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Hanoi concluded their two-day conference by agreeing to an oral statement urging North Korea to follow through on its previous pledges to dismantle its weapons and nuclear program.
  • UN Committee Passes N.Korea Rights Resolution
    Seoul Unlikely to Get Tough on N.Korea Human Rights A United Nations General Assembly committee on Friday passed a resolution calling on North Korea to respect human rights, a day later than originally expected. That leaves the way clear for ratification in the General Assembly next month, but a UN official said it is customary to accept resolutions passed in committee. North Korean Deputy UN Ambassador Kim Chang-guk was at the committee meeting on Thursday. Meanwhile, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, former Czech president Vaclav Havel and former Norwegian prime minister Kjell Magne Bondevik held a press conference at UN headquarters urging the Security Council to intervene in the North Korean human rights situation. They recently released a report on the issue.
  • UN Resolution Demanding Lift of Anti-Cuba Sanctions Hailed
       Pyongyang, November 15 (KCNA) -- A resolution demanding the U.S. lift economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba was adopted by an overwhelming majority approval of 183 member nations at the recent 61st session of the UN General Assembly. This is an expression of the international solidarity with Cuba. The U.S. anti-Cuba sanctions deserve such severe punishment by the world for its injustice and brigandish nature, says Rodong Sinmun Wednesday in a signed commentary.     The commentary goes on:     A pro-U.S. Batista dictatorial regime collapsed and a revolution triumphed in Cuba in January 1959. The U.S. has gone so mean as to pursue the vicious anti-Cuba policy of economic blockade since 1962.     Extraterritorial, unilateral and unjust measures are intolerable in the international relations. [Sanctions]
  • Congratulations to President-Designate of Nicaragua
       Pyongyang, November 11 (KCNA) -- Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, Friday sent a congratulatory message to Daniel Ortega Saavedra who was elected president of Nicaragua. Expressing the belief that the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries would grow strong in line with the desire and interests of the two peoples, the message wished the president-designate success in his responsible work for the country's stability and prosperity.
  • Indonesian President on Ties with DPRK
       Pyongyang, November 10 (KCNA) -- Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono referred to the ties with the DPRK when receiving credentials from the DPRK ambassador to Indonesia on Nov. 7. Noting that the relations between the two countries are traditional and solid ones and steadily developing on good terms as desired by the two peoples, the President expressed belief that these ties would grow stronger in the future, too.
  • Delegation of DPRK Supreme People's Assembly Leaves for Iran
    Pyongyang, November 9 (KCNA) -- A delegation of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK led by its Chairman Choe Thae Bok left here on Thursday to participate in the 7th meeting of the Association of Asian Parliaments for Peace to be held in Iran. After participating in the meeting, the delegation will pay an official visit to Iran. It was seen off at the airport by Kang Nung Su, vice-chairman of the SPA, and Jalaleddin Namini Mianji, Iranian ambassador e. p. to the DPRK.
  • 'Young Ban Chose Burgers Over Rice'
    US House Mother Shares 'Happy Moments' With Ban
    By Jane Han Staff Reporter Ban Ki-moon poses with his wife Yoo Soon-taek, left, Ban's homestay mother Libba Patterson, second from right, and Libba's daughter Maribeth Marionaccio at the Patterson house in Novato, Calif., last September./ Yonhap The pale-faced, reserved boy gazed through the car window on a warm July afternoon in San Francisco. He uttered few words and flashed shy smiles, but when asked what he wanted for dinner, it was a sure thing _ he wanted hamburger, not rice. Eighteen-year-old Ban Kimoon, the next secretary-general of the United Nations, was already developing an international appetite suitable for a world-traveling diplomat. [Ban Ki-moon]

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OCTOBER 2006
  • Respect for Sovereignty Called for
    Pyongyang, October 29 (KCNA) -- What is most important for establishing a fair international order is to respect the sovereignty of every country and establish equal relations among countries. It is a fundamental requirement for building a new fair international order to abide by the principle of respect for sovereignty. Rodong Sinmun Sunday says this in a by-lined article. It goes on: Without having sovereignty guaranteed, it is impossible to ensure the independent development of a country and nation nor is it possible to preserve and consolidate world peace and security. Nobody has the right to infringe upon the sovereignty of other country and nation. For this reason, the principle of respect for sovereignty constitutes a universally accepted norm governing the international relations to be observed by all countries. [Independent states] [Imperialism]
  • DPRK's Readiness to Boost Ties of Cooperation with International Community Reiterated
    Pyongyang, October 10 (KCNA) -- It is essential to create necessary international environment and conditions and take substantial measures as early as possible in order to eradicate poverty and promote development, the main task for attaining the millennium goal of development. A representative of the DPRK said this on October 3 when addressing the meeting of the Second Committee of the 61st Session of the UN General Assembly. He said: The developed countries should, to begin with, honor their promises officially made to help the developing countries in their development and set a specific timetable to fulfill them in conformity with their actual conditions. It is also necessary for them to take practical steps to settle the issue of foreign debts of the developing and less developed countries. [NK policy]
  • Security Council Approves South Korean as U.N. Chief
      By WARREN HOGE and CHOE SANG-HUN Published: October 10, 2006 UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 9 - The Security Council on Monday officially nominated Ban Ki-moon, the foreign minister of South Korea, to become the next secretary general of the United Nations, essentially assuring him the post.
    While Mr. Ban said it was an honor for him and his country, he noted that North Korea's announcement of a nuclear test cast a shadow on his nomination. "This should be a moment of joy, but instead I stand here with a very heavy heart," Mr. Ban said in a news conference in Seoul. "Despite the concerted warning from the international community, North Korea has gone ahead with a nuclear test." Kenzo Oshima, the ambassador of Japan, the Council president, announced that Mr. Ban had been approved by all 15 members by acclamation. His nomination had been assured after he won four informal polls of the Council's members over the summer, leading to the withdrawal last week of the six other candidates.
  • South Korean Won't Need to Wait Long, or Look Far, for First Crisis as U.N. Chief
    By CHOE SANG-HUN and MARTIN FACKLER Published: October 9, 2006 SEOUL, South Korea, Monday, Oct. 9 - Ban Ki-moon, the soft-spoken South Korean foreign minister, has spent much of his 35-year career steering his country between its biggest ally, the United States, and its biggest threat, North Korea.
    Now, with his formal selection as United Nations secretary general by the Security Council expected Monday in New York, North Korea says it has conducted a nuclear test, ensuring that Mr. Ban will face an early and difficult challenge in his new job. [Ban Ki-moon]
  • New and Fair International Financial and Monetary System Called for
    Pyongyang, October 6 (KCNA) -- To establish a new and fair international financial and monetary system is one of the essential requirements for the non-aligned and other developing countries to get rid of the imperialists' domination and subjugation, says Rodong Sinmun Friday in a signed article. The establishment of the new system is also important for those non-aligned and other developing countries to achieve self-supporting in economy, the article says, calling on the countries to work hard to establish the new and fair international financial and monetary system to successfully build self-supporting national economy. The article goes on: The new system is also necessary to check the imperialists' arbitrary practice in the financial and monetary field. It is impossible for the non-aligned and other developing countries to check the imperialists' arbitrary practice in the field as long as the unfair and old system remains in force. There may be big and small countries, more developed and less developed countries and countries with longer history and shorter history in the world. But there can never be a country of higher and lower position and a nation dominating others and a nation dominated by it. It is the common task of all countries and nations aspiring after independence to bring down the unfair and old financial and monetary system and establish a new fair international system in the field. [Finance] [NK Strategy]
  • Despair at UN over selection of 'faceless' Ban Ki-moon as general secretary
    · Officials 'glum' over choice to succeed Kofi Annan · Staff believe US pushed for weakest candidate
    Ewen MacAskill and Ed Pilkington in New York, and Jon Watts in Beijing Saturday October 7, 2006 The Guardian
      Senior officials at the United Nations expressed despair yesterday at the prospect of Kofi Annan being succeeded as secretary general by Ban Ki-moon, the South Korean foreign minister. "The mood among staff is glum," one of the officials said. "We are not very excited about the outcome." With morale low at the UN after five years dominated by divisions, deadlock and corruption, they are sceptical about Mr Ban's ability to turn the organisation round or provide the strong, inspirational leadership they had been hoping for.
    Another official, who has met Mr Ban several times, said: "He is pretty faceless and does not have much charisma. Kofi, for all his problems, is a man of considerable dignity, political insight and wide international experience." Officials, who requested anonymity on the grounds that they would be working for Mr Ban, portray him as more secretary than general, happier with the minutiae of administrative detail than broad strategy, and a man given to platitudes.
    Prof Kennedy believes Mr Ban has the benefit in his new job of enjoying the backing of both the US, with its tendency to push for intervention, and China, which is reluctant to interfere in the internal affairs of member states. "If anyone is going to try to bridge the gap between them then it would be somebody like this guy whom they both trust partly because he is not dramatic." The Times reported last week that South Korea, as part of a campaign to help Mr Ban, had pledged millions of dollars in aid to countries with seats on the security council, from an $18m (£9.6m) education grant to Tanzania to the gift of a grand piano to Peru. Mr Park described the accusations as unfounded and claimed it was based on a misunderstanding: South Korea has been gradually increasing its aid programme. But one UN official said sarcastically that it had just been "an accident of history" that South Korea's largesse to Africa coincided with the secretary general's selection. He added that two Asian ministers had been sufficiently concerned about it to have raised the issue with him earlier this year. [Ban Ki-moon]
  • FM Hints at More Aggressive Take on N.Korean Rights
    Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday he will have to make a decision what stance to take on North Korea's human rights abuses if he is elected as UN secretary-general, as seems likely. [Manipulation] {Ban Ki-moon]  
  • Ban's Improving UN Chances Bring Out Detractors
      Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon remains the front-runner for the next UN secretary-general after three straw polls in the Security Council, but a leading British newspaper alleges that may not be because he is the best man for the job. The Times said Friday the Korean government "has pledged millions of dollars in aid and offered other incentives to members of the United Nations Security Council to secure its candidate as the next UN secretary-general." Under the sardonic headline, "Millions of dollars and a piano may put Korean in UN's top job" and the subtitle "Aid campaign is crucial in race to succeed Kofi Annan," the day's top story in the paper's online edition broadly hints that the Korean government may be using means other than Ban's impeccable credentials to ensure he gets the job. As examples of "aid diplomacy," the newspaper cites Korea's tripling of its aid budget for African countries to US$100 million in February, the tens of thousands of pounds it contributed to sponsoring this year's African Union summit in the Gambia in July, and its donation of $180 million for an education program in Tanzania, a temporary member of the UN Security Council. [Aid weapon] [Ban Ki-moon]
  • Talks between DPRK SPA and Parliamentary Delegation of Indonesia
    Talks between the delegation of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly and the parliamentary delegation of Indonesia were held at the Mansudae Assembly Hall on September 12. Both sides exchanged views on the issue of boosting the relations between the two parliaments at a time when the friendly and cooperative relations between the DPRK and Indonesia are favorably developing in different domains and on a series of issues of mutual concern. Present from the DPRK side were Kim Wan Su, chairman  
  • Protocol on Cooperation between DPRK and Mongolian Foreign Ministries
    A protocol on cooperation between the foreign ministries of the DPRK and Mongolia was signed in Pyongyang on September 12. Present at the signing ceremony from the DPRK side were Kim Yong Il, vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, and officials concerned and from the Mongolian side were members of the delegation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headed by S. Khurelbaatar and Mongolian ambassador to the DPRK Janchivdorjyn Lomvo.

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SEPTEMBER 2006
  • South Korean Favored to Win Top Job at U.N.
    By WARREN HOGE Published: September 29, 2006 UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 28 - Ban Ki-moon, the South Korean foreign minister, moved significantly closer on Thursday to becoming the successor to Kofi Annan as United Nations secretary general by maintaining a wide lead over six other candidates in the Security Council's third informal poll. A fourth and more definitive informal poll is scheduled for Monday, and Mr. Ban, with 13 favorable votes from the 15 Council members, goes into that poll as the only candidate with the 9 votes required for approval. On Monday, the ballots of the five permanent members, Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, will be colored different than the others, a way of determining whether any nation with veto power has exercised it. Barring a veto, Mr. Ban's election in a subsequent formal vote appears assured.
    Mr. Ban has a master's degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, was assigned twice to the South Korean Embassy in Washington and is a former director general of American affairs for South Korea's Foreign Ministry. He has the firm backing of the Bush administration and is known as an ally of Washington. If he gets the job, that part of his political makeup will be closely monitored at the United Nations, where tensions between the United States and the developing world have been on the rise.
     
  • N. Korea's Deputy Envoy to UN to Be Replaced
    North Korea's deputy envoy to the United Nations is expected to be replaced soon by an expert on arms reduction, the Yonhap News Agency reported yesterday. In a New York dispatch, Yonhap said Han Song-ryol, deputy head of North Korea's U.N. mission, is expected to step down next month. Kim Myong-kil, a researcher from an institute of the North's Foreign Ministry on arms reduction and peace, was expected to take the post, it said, quoting diplomatic sources in New York.
  • Is Regional Integration Impossible Dream?
    By Ryu Jin Staff Reporter [Issue Today]
    President Roh Moo-hyun delivers a speech at the opening session of the 6th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Helsinki, Finland, on Sept. 10. Roh presented his vision for an EUlike regional integration of Northeast Asia in international forums, including the ASEM summit. At right are Chinese President Hu Jin-tao, top, and Shintaro Abe, bottom, who is expected to become Japan's next prime minister. / Korea Times When President Roh Moo-hyun met President George W. Bush in a summit on Sept. 14 in Washington, many eyes were on the bilateral issues between South Korea and the United States, including ways to deal with the North Korean nuclear program. Officials, however, said the two leaders also spent a considerable portion of their two-hour meeting on another significant issue: the future of Northeast Asia. Since his inauguration in early 2003, Roh has given priority to peace and prosperity in the Northeast Asian region, including the Korean Peninsula, as well as to his reform campaign at home. He has often set forth his ideas for regional integration during such multilateral forums as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the ASEAN+3, attended by Southeast Asian nations and China, Japan and South Korea. However, as not a few experts pointed out, regional integration in Northeast Asia seems to be an all but impossible dream, at least at the moment.
    ``South Korea does not want to play an independent role of balancer between China and Japan but rather tries to play a constructive role supported by the United States. That's what Roh tried to reassure Bush of,'' he added.
  • Peaceful Solution to Nuclear Issue on Korean Peninsula Supported by NAM Summit
    Pyongyang, September 19 (KCNA) -- The 14th NAM summit held in Havana on Sept. 15 and 16 expressed full support to the Korean people in their just cause of achieving the independent and peaceful reunification of the country and their efforts to seek a peaceful solution to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. The final document adopted at the summit said: Noting the importance of guaranteeing a durable peace and security in the Korean Peninsula for the sake of the common prosperity of the Korean people as well as the peace and security of Northeast Asia and the rest of the world, heads of state and government expressed the hope that the Korean Peninsula would be reunified through the genuine aspirations and concerted efforts of the Korean peoples themselves in a way as is stated in the North-South Joint Declaration issued at historic North-South summit talks held in Pyongyang on 15th June 2000.
  • Kim Yong Nam Calls for NAM's Increased Role
    Havana, September 16 (KCNA) -- The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) should put up collective actions against the arbitrary and high-handed practices of a specified country and take more practical measures to establish a new and fair international order. Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, said this on Sept. 16 at the 14th NAM summit now under way in Havana.
  • New ideas' failing to stir North Korea
      September 18, 2006 ? The latest call from the U.S. and South Korean presidents for North Korea to return to the six-nation nuclear disarmament talks was speedily rejected by the communist nation's head of state over the weekend. Kim Yong-nam, the second-ranking man in Pyongyang's official hierarchy, told the Non-Aligned Movement summit meeting in Havana on Saturday that North Korea would not return to the talks until Washington removes its sanctions against his country. Mr. Kim said sternly, "There is absolutely no justification to urge North Korea to go back to negotiations unconditionally. Our country will never return to negotiations under U.S. sanctions." He also reiterated the North's long-time argument that it needed nuclear weapons for self-defense. "We had no choice but to possess nuclear arms to deter [the United States]," he said. [Media] [NAM]
  • N.Korea Insists no Deal Until U.S. Lifts Sanctions
    The head of North Korea's parliament has repeated Pyongyang will not return to six-party talks on its nuclear program unless the U.S. lifts sanctions against it. The remarks were made by Kim Yong-nam, the president of North Korea's Supreme People's Assembly, on Friday during the Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, which brought together Washington's bitterest critics in Havana, Cuba. Kim also blasted the U.S. as a threat to world peace. [NAM]
  • Seoul, Jakarta to Promote Ties in Arms Industry
    By Jung Sung-ki Staff Reporter Military procurement officials from South Korea and Indonesia will discuss in Jakarta today ways of expanding cooperation in the weapons industry, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said Monday. During the three-day talks, the 13th of their kind since 1991, the two sides will focus on South Korea's participation in the Southeast Asian country's arms buildup project for a new submarine fleet, basic trainer aircraft and armored vehicles, the agency said in a press release. [Proliferation] [Military balance]
  • North Korea’s No. 2 leader rips U.S.
    Kim cites ‘high-handed acts and unilateralism’ at Havana summit
    Updated: 8:05 p.m. ET Sept. 16, 2006 HAVANA - North Korea’s No. 2 leader blamed the lack of world peace on the United States at the Nonaligned Summit on Saturday, saying its failure to respect the sovereignty of other nations has destroyed “the international order.” Parliament leader Kim Yong Nam said desires for peace by the 118 countries in the Nonaligned Movement were “confronted with grave challenges owing to the high-handed acts and unilateralism of the superpower, which denies countries and nations the independent choice of development.” The resulting imbalance in global politics constitutes “grave threats to world peace and security,” he said. [NAM]
     
  • Talks between DPRK SPA and Parliamentary Delegation of Indonesia
    Talks between the delegation of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly and the parliamentary delegation of Indonesia were held at the Mansudae Assembly Hall on September 12. Both sides exchanged views on the issue of boosting the relations between the two parliaments at a time when the friendly and cooperative relations between the DPRK and Indonesia are favorably developing in different domains and on a series of issues of mutual concern.
  • Protocol on Cooperation between DPRK and Mongolian Foreign Ministries
    A protocol on cooperation between the foreign ministries of the DPRK and Mongolia was signed in Pyongyang on September 12.
  • Kim Yong Nam Leaves for Cuba
    Pyongyang, September 13 (KCNA) -- Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, Wednesday left here to participate in the 14th summit of non-aligned countries slated to be held in Cuba. He was seen off at the airport by Yang Hyong Sop, vice-president of the Presidium of the SPA, Kung Sok Ung, vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, and Andrei Karlov, Russian ambassador to the DPRK, Liu Xiaoming, Chinese ambassador to the DPRK, and Enrique Montoto Cruz, charge d'affaires ad interim of the Cuban embassy here. [NAM]
  • Developing Nations Summit Gathers U.S. Foes in Cuba
    By REUTERS Published: September 10, 2006 Filed at 2:01 a.m. ET Skip to next paragraph HAVANA (Reuters) - Leaders of the Non-Aligned Movement of 116 developing nations will meet in Cuba this week for a summit that will gather some of the United States' fiercest critics just 90 miles offshore. The presidents of Iran and Syria, countries the Bush administration sees as members of an ``axis of evil,'' are expected in Havana, as well as a high-ranking delegation from another, North Korea.
    Cuba, which takes over chairmanship from Malaysia for the next three years, hopes to revive the movement by rallying nations critical of the U.S. role as a world policeman in the wake of the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions. But moderates like India want no such finger-pointing at the meeting, diplomats say. The summit serves as a bully pulpit for small countries, but ``this isn't the way the winds are blowing in the world,'' a diplomat from a major South American nation said. Larger emerging nations are looking to other forums to further their interests in trade and investment, the diplomat said. Cuba expects heads of state and governments from 50 nations to attend.
    bully pulpit is a public office of sufficiently high rank that it provides the holder with an opportunity to speak out and be listened to on any matter. The bully pulpit can bring issues to the fore that were not initially in debate, due to the office's stature and publicity. This term was coined by President Theodore Roosevelt, who referred to the American presidency as a "bully pulpit," by which he meant a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word bully as an adjective meaning "superb" or "wonderful" (a more common expression in his time than it is today). A pulpit is the elevated platform used by a preacher. The term has no relationship to the word bully in the sense of a "harasser". (Wikipedia) [Media] [NAM]
  • Asian Politicians Call for Easing Tension on Peninsula
    By Lee Jin-woo, Kim Sue-young Staff Reporters Asian political leaders were yesterday called upon to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula by inviting North Korea to the next International Conference for Asian Political Parties (ICAPP). The call came from Jose de Venecia, speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines. ``Political parties in Northeast Asia should undertake their own efforts, through the auspices of the ICAPP, to ease tensions on the the peninsula,'' Venecia said during the opening ceremony of the fourth ICAPP in Seoul. ``The obvious first step is to invite the North Koreans to join our conference.''
  • Swell of North Korean refugees could strain Thailand's tolerance
    Police held 175 refugees after a recent raid in Bangkok. The volume this year has topped 400.
    By Simon Montlake | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
    BANGKOK, THAILAND – Nearly two months after fleeing his impoverished homeland, Lee Dong-soo could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Guided by Christian activists, he had traveled thousands of miles overland across China to a rented house in Bangkok. There he waited for a safe passage to South Korea and the promise of a new citizenship. But on Aug. 22, Thai police, tipped off by neighbors, raided the house and arrested 175 North Koreans living there. Two days later, a Thai court sentenced 136 of the detainees, including Mr. Lee - a pseudonym - to 30 days in jail for illegal entry into Thailand.

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AUGUST 2006
  • Fidel Hails Revolutionary Korean Efficiency
    The ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro had high praise for Koreans in a meeting with staffers from Hyundai Heavy Industries, who are building packaged power stations in the Caribbean nation, the company said Monday. Right before falling ill with intestinal bleeding, Castro and a group of aides made a surprise visit to the construction site on July 11. The elderly revolutionary was dressed in military uniform and limped a little, witnesses said. After looking around the site, he told Korean workers it was extraordinary that such a small number of workers can build a power station. A mere 11 Korean workers are involved in the construction. The Cuban leader was quoted as urging his people to learn from the diligence and aggressive working style of Koreans.
    In May, Castro met with management of the Korean company to sign the contract for the station. At the time, he said Koreans were even more reliable than Japanese people since they work fast and push toward the goal. Hyundai Heavy Industries quoted Castro as saying South Koreans were also "better than North Koreans and Chinese."
    Hyundai Heavy Industries won the US$720 million contract to produce and install 544 packaged power facilities across the nation. Once completed by the end of next year, they will likely supply one-third of the total power generation in Cuba, the company said.
  • DPRK Ambassador to Indonesia Appointed
    Pyongyang, August 11 (KCNA) -- Jong Chun Gun was appointed as DPRK ambassador to Indonesia, according to a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly.
  • Greetings to President of Singapore
    Pyongyang, August 8 (KCNA) -- Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, sent a message of greetings to S. R. Nathan, president of Singapore, on Tuesday on the occasion of its 41st national day. The message wished the president and government of Singapore greater success in their work for the prosperity and development of the country, expressing the belief that the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries would grow stronger in various fields.
  • Roh Sends Letter to Vietnamese President on Ruling of Dissident
    President Roh Moo-hyun has recently sent a personal letter to Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet to seek his understanding of a Seoul court's ruling against Hanoi's request for extradition of a Vietnamese dissident, government officials said Monday. In the ruling on July 27, the Seoul High Court turned down the Vietnamese government's request to hand over Chanh Huu Nguyen. The 57-year-old dissident was arrested by the Korean police while traveling in Seoul last April. [Terrorism] [Human rights] [Double standards]
  • Israel's Aggression and U.S. Undisguised Support for It under Fire
    Pyongyang, August 5 (KCNA) -- Rodong Sinmun today in a signed commentary terms Israel's brigandish aggression of Palestine and Lebanon and its mass killings of civilians there an intolerable challenge to the Middle East countries and the international community desirous of the Mideast peace. The commentary blasts the U.S. wrong stance of openly supporting and patronizing Israel and the UNSC's incompetent behavior. Israel does not hesitate to invade other countries and commit mass killings, blatantly challenging the demands of the Middle East countries and the international community because the U.S. is unilaterally supporting and patronizing it from a biased stand, the commentary says, and goes on:
  • Kim Jong Il Sends Message of Sympathy to Fidel Castro Ruz
    Pyongyang, August 3 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il on Wednesday sent a message of sympathy to Fidel Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, president of the Council of State and president of the Council of Ministers of Cuba. The message said: Shocked to learn that you underwent an operation for unexpected sudden illness, I express profound sympathy and consolation to you. I wholeheartedly hope that you will recover your health as early as possible so that you may continue successfully fulfilling the heavy responsibility entrusted to you by the Cuban revolution and people.
  • Talks Held between Foreign Ministers of DPRK and Singapore
    Pyongyang, August 3 (KCNA) -- Talks between Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun who is heading the DPRK delegation on an official visit to Singapore and Singaporean Foreign Minister George Yong-Boon Yeo were held in Singapore on Tuesday. Present at the talks from the DPRK side were members of the delegation and the DPRK ambassador to Singapore and from the Singaporean side were the second permanent secretary of the Foreign Ministry and officials concerned.
  • Solidarity Message to Lebanese President
    Pyongyang, August 3 (KCNA) -- Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, sent a solidarity message to Emile Lahoud, president of Lebanon, on August 2. The message said: Upon hearing the shocking news that many civilians including at least 30 children in Qana village in the southern part of your country were brutally killed by a barbaric air strike of Israel on July 30, the Korean people bitterly denounce Israel for its indiscriminate man-killings. At this difficult time the DPRK government and people, sharing sorrow with you, vehemently demand an immediate stop to Israel's aggression, mass-killings and destruction being committed under the undisguised patronage of the United States, strongly call for prompt practical measures for preserving lasting and durable peace and stability in the Mideast and express firm solidarity and support to the Lebanese people in their struggle to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
  • Asean forum expresses 'concern' over missiles
      August 02, 2006 ? The Asean Regional Forum adopted a chairman's statement yesterday expressing concern over North Korea's missile launches last month while urging Pyongyang to put a moratorium on missile testing. Posted on the regional organization's official Web site, the statement said, "Most Ministers expressed concern over the test-firing of missiles by the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] on 5 July 2006 and believed that such tests could have adverse repercussions on peace, stability and security in the region." North Korea has not made an official response to the statement. [ARF]
  • The Two Koreas in Splendid Isolation
    The ASEAN Regional Forum in Kuala Lumpur on Friday adopted a chairman's statement saying North Korea's missile tests will have a negative impact on regional peace, stability and security. In a separate meeting, the foreign ministers of 10 member countries urged an early resumption of the six-party talks on the North's nuclear programs and implementation of the UN Security Council resolution on the July 5 missile tests. The 10 were the five parties in the six-way talks minus the North -- South Korea, the U.S., Japan, China and Russia -- plus Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Indonesia and New Zealand. [ARF]

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JULY 2006
  • Kim Yong Nam Meets Iranian Delegation
    Pyongyang, July 28 (KCNA) -- Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, met and had a friendly conversation with the Iranian parliamentary delegation led by Anoushiravan Mohseni Bandpei, chairman of the Iran-Korea Parliamentary Friendship Group, at the Mansudae Assembly Hall on Friday. Present there were Chairman of the DPRK-Iran Parliamentary Friendship Group Kim Wan Su, officials concerned and Iranian Ambassador to the DPRK Jalaleddin Namini Mianji and an embassy official.
  • Meeting grows to 10 countries, but North Korea still sits it out
      July 29, 2006 ? KUALA LUMPUR ? China made a last-ditch effort to try to get North Korea to show up at a meeting of the foreign ministers of 10 nations, which was held on the sidelines of the Asean regional forum. Still, North Korea did not show. At the meeting, the foreign ministers urged North Korea to return to six-party talks, while agreeing that its recent missile launch posed a security threat to the region. The participants also pledged to follow through with a UN resolution devised in response to the missile launch. Originally scheduled to be an eight-way consultation, China suggested yesterday including New Zealand and Indonesia in the meeting, along with Australia, Canada and Malaysia and the other five countries involved in the six party talks: South Korea, China, Russia, Japan and the United States. Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing joined the meeting late, after talking to his North Korean counterpart Paek Nam-sun. Sources said yesterday that Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon asked Mr. Paek, after a morning session of the Asean Regional Forum, to have a bilateral meeting. That, too, was turned down. At that morning session, Mr. Paek defended the North Korean missile launches and reaffirmed that Pyongyang will not return to nuclear talks as long as the financial sanctions are in place. Diplomatic sources said yesterday the minister also threatened to withdraw from the regional forum if a statement was adopted that criticized the North's missile launches. [Sanctions]
  • 10-Nation Coalition Urges N.Korea's Return to Talks
        The 10-party talks at the ASEAN Regional Forum in Kuala Lumpur included two more countries than originally envisaged. The chief diplomats expressed their misgivings about the missile tests and urged implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution on the matter. There was near unanimity that the international community needs to speak in one voice on the issue and that six-nation talks on the renegade nation's nuclear program should urgently resume so a statement of principles at the last round in September can be implemented, a government official said. In the statement, North Korea agreed to abandon its nuclear program for security guarantees and aid. South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon called for a "balanced two-way approach" of international unanimity and simultaneous efforts to restore a framework of dialogue.
  • Multilateral talks held without N.K.
    From news reports The United States was set to lead talks among 10 nations at a regional forum, including Japan and China, to discuss North Korea's nuclear weapons program on the sidelines of the Asian regional forum yesterday. Indonesia and New Zealand were among the countries taking part in the meeting, which excluded North Korea, Christopher Hill, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asia and the Pacific, told reporters in Kuala Lumpur. North Korea should end this "dirty nuclear business," he said. North Korea said yesterday that it does not care about the United States' move to impose additional sanctions against Pyongyang. "The U.S. says it's difficult to lift the financial sanctions, but there is nothing difficult. If the U.S. wants to, it can do it easily," North Korean spokesman Chong Song-il said in Kuala Lumpur. "We believe if the U.S. earnestly wants dialogue, it can do this." [Sanctions] [Chutzpah] [Double standards]
  • At Southeast Asian gathering, bid to engage North Korea
    ASEAN's annual regional meeting starts Friday. The North is spurning pleas for 'informal' six-party talks.
    By Donald Kirk | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – The crisis over North Korea's missile shots - and fears of an underground nuclear test - appear to be deepening even as foreign ministers of the powers with a stake in the region gather for crucial talks Friday in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. It's conceivable that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, arriving after bruising sessions on the Middle East, will shake hands with North Korea's foreign minister, Paek Nam Sun. But the North is spurning pleas to join in "informal" six-party talks on everything from nuclear weapons to missiles to counterfeiting.
  • Hopes end for a revival of six-party nuclear talks
      July 28, 2006 ? KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia ? Pyongyang reaffirmed yesterday that it would not return to six-party talks unless financial sanctions imposed by Washington are lifted, erasing hopes of a revival of the North Korean nuclear discussions at a regional forum here attended by the foreign ministers of all six nations. Jong Song-il, the spokesman for the North Korean delegation participating at the Asean Regional Forum, made the remarks to reporters after arriving yesterday.   [Sanctions] [Six Party Talks] [ARF]
  • Korean UN Secretary-General
    Foreign Minister Ban Comes First in Straw Poll
    People's expectations of having the first Korean U.N. Secretary-General flew high as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ban Ki-moon finished first in a close-door straw poll held at the U.N. headquarters in New York Monday on who is to become the next head of the U.N. Secretariat. But, it is too early to be optimistic based on the result because the race for the post has just started with the probability of having more candidates before the final vote.
  • Eight-Party Talks Friday to Proceed Without Protagonist
    A multilateral meeting of countries in talks on North Korea's nuclear program plus Canada, Australia and Malaysia will take place in Malaysia on Friday to discuss Pyongyang's missile tests. But the reclusive country will not be taking part.
  • Rice Does Not Expect 6-Party N. Korea Talks
    Thursday July 27, 2006 3:01 AM AP Photo ALT130 KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday she does not anticipate that the six parties seeking a solution to the North Korean nuclear issue will meet when Asian leaders gather later this week at a security forum in Malaysia. [ARF]
  • N Korea defiant over Asean talks
    North Korea raised regional tension with missile tests on 5 July Hopes appeared to be fading for talks with North Korea on the sidelines of a regional security forum in Malaysia. Officials from five countries involved in stalled talks with Pyongyang are at an Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) forum in Kuala Lumpur. But a North Korean spokesman said the US had first to lift financial sanctions before talks could go ahead. [Sanctions]
  • Waiting for Pyongyang, Asean urges 6-way talks
      July 27, 2006 ? KUALA LUMPUR - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has set the table, and its guests are waiting to see if Pyongyang will agree to meet here with other participants in the six-nation nuclear talks. After the Asean foreign ministers' annual meeting, the Asean Regional Forum will be held here tomorrow at Asia's only regional security forum. The foreign ministers of all the participants in the six-party talks on North Korean nuclear programs will be at the forum, including Paek Nam-sun from Pyongyang. [ARF]
  • DPRK Delegation Leaves for Malaysia
    Pyongyang, July 25 (KCNA) -- A DPRK delegation led by Paek Nam Sun, minister of Foreign Affairs, left here Tuesday to attend the 13th ministerial meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum to be held in Kuala Lumpur. The delegation will visit Malaysia and Singapore. It was sent off at the airport by Choe Su Hon, vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, Wu Donghe, Chinese ambassador to the DPRK, and Sarizam Bin Abu Bakar, charge d' affaires a.i. of Malaysia. [ARF]
  • Israel Urged to Stop Barbaric Man-Killing in Lebanon
    Pyongyang, July 26 (KCNA) -- A spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry gave the following answer to a question raised by KCNA Tuesday in connection with Israel's military aggression against Lebanon that drove the Mideast situation to the brink of war: As already reported, Israel is escalating its military actions while carrying out air-raids on different parts of Lebanon almost every day and hurling even its ground force into southern Lebanon. Israel's military aggression on Lebanon rendered hundreds of people dead or wounded and more than 500,000 people displaced in just a few days. The daily aggravating situation in this region is arousing serious apprehension among the international community.
  • N Korea talks 'unlikely' at Asean
    Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 July 2006, 06:09 GMT 07:09 UK
    Ban Ki-Moon wants to use the meeting to talk about N Korea Hopes are fading that an Asean summit in Malaysia can kick-start negotiations on the North Korean nuclear stand-off. Ministers from all six nations involved in talks on the North's nuclear aims will be at the meeting later this week, but officials say progress is unlikely. Another issue dominating the meeting is Burma. Critics say a statement by delegates voicing concern over the situation is not strong enough. The US and EU want Asean to pressure Burma into improving its democracy. Since North Korea test-fired a number of missiles earlier this month, the need to address its nuclear ambitions has taken on an added urgency.
    Asean ministers are meeting in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur Both American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and North Korean Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun are expected in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday. [ARF]
  • North Korea Focusing On Technological Development To Revive Economy
    by the Institute for Far Eastern Studies July 25th, 2006
    This report, published by the Institute for Far Eastern Studies at Kyungnam University, notes, "North Korea has chosen technology as a national priority and refocused its budget through the principle of 'focus and choice.' Furthermore, it seems to be pursuing technological development by simultaneously renewing its existing industries and establishing a foundation for high technology."
  • Statement by the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN Member Countries Calling for the Resumption of the Six-Party Talks on the Issue of the Korean Peninsula
    Kuala Lumpur, 25 July 2006
  • Joint Communique of the 39th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM)
    Kuala Lumpur, 25 July 2006
    FORGING A UNITED, RESILIENT AND INTEGRATED ASEAN  
    INTRODUCTION 1. We, the Foreign Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), met at the 39th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on 24-25 July 2006 in Kuala Lumpur.  His Excellency Dato’ Seri Syed Hamid Albar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia and Chairman of the 39th ASEAN Standing Committee, chaired the Meeting.
     The Honourable Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Prime Minister of Malaysia, delivered an Opening Address at the Opening Ceremony of the 39th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting.
    The Honourable Prime Minister also highlighted the latest developments in the Middle East which was gravely threatening international peace and security.  Being responsible members of the international community, ASEAN countries should not appear indifferent to the plight of the Palestinians.  He stated that we should condemn Israel’s latest use of disproportionate force in Gaza and in the West Bank. We should not tolerate Israel’s excessive military reprisals against Lebanon. ASEAN must make its voices heard, loudly and clearly and that ASEAN should not continue tolerating the subjugation and repression of the Palestinian people by Israel.
    • Korean Peninsula
    92. We expressed our concern over the latest developments in the Korean Peninsula including the test-firing by DPRK of its Taepodong-2 missiles on 5 July 2006 which could affect peace and stability in the region. We noted the unanimous adoption of the UNSC resolution 1695. We also expressed our desire for the realisation of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and our continued support for the early resumption of the Six Party Talks. We also expressed our hope that the on-going inter-Korean exchanges would continue to provide conditions which would be conducive to peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula. We also believed that the ARF can contribute to promoting peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and expressed the hope that members of the Six Party Talks can utilise their presence during the ARF to promote the resumption of the Talks.
  • Asean concerned at N Korea test
    Asean ministers are meeting in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur South East Asian nations have expressed concern over North Korea's missile tests and urged a return to talks on its nuclear programme.
    The appeal came in a joint statement issued after a meeting of Asean foreign ministers in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur. The tests could affect regional peace and stability, the statement said. The grouping has also criticised Israel's action in Lebanon and called for a tough stance on the issue. Foreign ministers from the 10 countries which make up Asean (the Association of South East Asian Nations) are holding talks in Malaysia until the weekend. They will be joined later in the week by participants from other Asian nations for the Asean Regional Forum.
    US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is expected to attend the conference on Thursday, after her trip to the Middle East. Officials say North Korean Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun will also take part.
  • Vietnam Seeks Dissident's Return
    By Park Chung-a Staff Reporter This week, a South Korean court is to decide the fate of a Vietnamese anti-communist, branded a terrorist by the Vietnamese government. Depending on whether it decides he is a democratic activist or a terrorist, a domestic court will decide whether to extradite Chanh Huu Nguyen to his home country at a hearing this week. Nguyen, 55, who spearheads Government of Free Vietnam (GFVN), has been detained in Seoul since April. He is being held at the request of the Vietnamese government, which wants him extradited so that he can be tried for terrorist acts. The Vietnamese government claims that he attempted to bomb Vietnamese embassies in the Philippines and Thailand.
    Since 1990s, after setting a pact over extradition of criminals, South Korea has asked Vietnam to extradite 10 South Koreans from that country. The Vietnamese government turned down none of them. It is the first time that Vietnam has requested a criminal extradition from South Korea and Nguyen's case is likely to have significant influence over future bilateral cooperation over criminals. Also, if South Korea fails to fulfill Vietnam's request, trade relations between the two countries could suffer. [Terrorism]
  • N.Korea to take centre-stage at meeting
    Jul 23, 2006 — By Mark Bendeich Reuters
    KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - North Korea will take centre-stage at a meeting of Asian and Western powers in Malaysia this week, but there is little optimism for a breakthrough in their standoff over the reclusive state's nuclear program. Preparations for the ASEAN Regional Forum, where southeast Asian nations host talks with the world's major powers, have already revealed discord over the issue, with Japan pushing for a sternly worded communique. [ARF]
  • Ban will soon send a letter to UN saying he's a candidate for top job
      July 13, 2006 ? Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon plans to send a letter soon to the UN Security Council saying that he is a candidate to lead the United Nations, a government source said yesterday. The council is expected to hold a straw poll later this month in order to get a rough idea of where each secretary general candidate stands with the other nations. South Korea announced Mr. Ban's candidacy for the job in February.
  • North Korean Minister to Attend ASEAN Meet
      SEOUL (Yonhap) - North Korea's Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun is expected to attend the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) scheduled to take place in Kuala Lumpur later this month, according to Malaysia's Bernama News Agency Sunday. The agency said Paek is expected to hold informal talks with other foreign ministers at the gathering, raising the possibility of a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The fiveday ARF meeting will kick off on July 24 in the Malaysian c a p i t a l along with the 39th ministerial meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
  • Syria's Exercise of Legitimate Right to Self-Defence Hailed
    Pyongyang, July 6 (KCNA) -- Rodong Sinmun Thursday in a signed commentary hails the strong military retaliation made by the air defence force of Syria against Israel's fighters as an exercise of its legitimate right to self-defence. Recalling that the Syrian government condemned the Israeli fighters' intrusion of its territorial air space as a reckless aggressive provocation, the commentary says that the above-said Israeli intrusion is not only a grave violation of the sovereignty of Syria but an internationally unpardonable attempt at terrorism against the Syrian state leadership [Independent states]
  • Special Envoy of Indonesian President Arrives Here
    Pyongyang, July 6 (KCNA) -- Councilor to President Nana Sutresna, special envoy of the Indonesian president, and his party arrived here on July 6. The special envoy was greeted at the airport by Kim Yong Il, vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, and Bambang Irawan K., Indonesian charge d'affaires a. i. to the DPRK, and embassy officials.
  • Special Envoy of Indonesian President Feted
    Pyongyang, July 7 (KCNA) -- The DPRK government hosted a reception at the Mansudae Assembly Hall on Thursday in honor of the special envoy of the Indonesian president on a visit to the DPRK. Present on invitation were Councilor to the President Nana Sutresna, special envoy of the Indonesian president, and his entourage and Charge d'Affaires Bambang Irawan K. and officials of the Indonesian embassy here. On hand were Paek Nam Sun, minister of Foreign Affairs, and other officials concerned.
    The special envoy said he cherished deep reverence for President Kim Il Sung, highly praising the undying feats performed by the President for the building of the DPRK. Saying he was visiting the DPRK again as a special envoy of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, he noted that his president was showing special concern for the building of deeper relations between Indonesia and the DPRK.

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JUNE 2006
  • Indonesian President to Visit Seoul July 19-22
    By Ryu Jin Staff Reporter President Roh Moo-hyun will hold a summit meeting with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Seoul on July 20 to discuss ways to promote bilateral ties and enhance cooperation in the international arena, Chongwadae announced Monday. After visiting Pyongyang from July 17 to 19, Yudhoyono will arrive in Seoul on July 19 for a four-day state visit at the invitation of Roh, Chongwadae spokesman Jung Tae-ho said in a press briefing.
    Yudhoyono's visit to both Koreas is relevant to the latest situation as Indonesia has kept relatively close relations with the Stalinist North since the 1960s.
  • Venezuela's Chavez to visit North Korea, Iran
    Reuters Monday, June 12, 2006; 2:24 AM
    CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced on Sunday that he will visit Iran and North Korea, two nations at odds with Washington over nuclear development, at a time when Chavez is seeking to distance Venezuela from the United States. Chavez, who has promised a socialist revolution to end poverty in the world's fifth-largest oil exporter, has drawn fire from the State Department for building alliances with U.S. foes like Cuba and Iran.
  • Ban Ki-moon Perfect Bridge Builder for UN'
    The Korea Times exclusively covered a round-table discussion, participated in by five U.N. experts at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul Thursday, before the official opening of a two-day international seminar on measures to make the United Nations fit to the 21st century. _ ED. By Park Song-wu, Christopher Carpenter Staff Reporters
    They also talked about who should become the next U.N. secretary-general and what qualifications he or she needed to be able to successfully reform the 191-member global body. They mentioned Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ban Ki-moon as one of the leading candidates for the top job in the United Nations.
  • North Korean Defectors Arrested in Laos
    SEOUL (Yonhap) -- Several North Korean defectors and two South Korean missionaries helping them are in police custody in Laos, an activist claimed Thursday. Tim Peters of Helping Hands Korea, a Seoul-based organization that helps defectors, said Laotian police arrested the defectors and the missionaries on charges of illegal activities. He did not identify them. [Refugee encouragement]
  • Rodong Sinmun on Principle of National Independence
    Pyongyang, June 5 (KCNA) -- The principle of national independence is a basic cornerstone that enables the Korean nation to remove the obstacles and difficulties lying ahead of the reunification movement by its united strength and reunify the country in a peaceful way. Rodong Sinmun Monday says this in a signed article. The principle of national independence is the basic principle of resolving the issue of national reunification proceeding from its essence and character, the article points out, and goes on: [Independent states]
  • Final Document of Ministerial Meeting of NAM Coordinating Bureau Refers to Issue of Korea
    Pyongyang, June 3 (KCNA) -- A final document was adopted at the ministerial meeting of the Coordinating Bureau of the NAM held in Malaysia on May 29 and 30. The document also referred to the issue of Korea. According to it, the ministers expressed support to the Korean people in their efforts to reunify the country by the united efforts in accordance with the joint declaration adopted at the historic North-South Summit held in Pyongyang in June 2000, recognizing that ensuring durable peace and security on the Korean Peninsula is important for the common prosperity of the Korean people and peace and security in Northeast Asia and the rest of the world.
  • Head of DPRK Delegation on Tasks before NAM
    Pyongyang, June 2 (KCNA) -- The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is required to intensify its activities to actively meet fresh challenges and cope with new changes. Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Choe Su Hon who is heading the DPRK delegation said this, clarifying the DPRK's stand on the matter at the ministerial meeting of the Coordinating Bureau of the NAM on May 30. The DPRK government has consistently maintained the unshakable stand to remain true to the fundamental principle and idea of the NAM, he noted, and continued: The DPRK delegation is of the view that the current meeting should pay particular attention to the following issues that should be solved to define the orientation of the movement for meeting new challenges and boost its capability for actions: First, the movement should further strengthen unity and solidarity in the struggle to protect the sovereignty of its member states. [Independent states]

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MAY 2006
  • Week Event of Iran-Korea Friendship in Teheran
    Teheran, May 23 (KCNA) -- A week event of Iran-Korea Friendship was held in Teheran from May 14 to 20. An opening ceremony was held on May 14. On display at the venue of the opening ceremony were photos of President Kim Il Sung meeting and having talks with leader Seyed Ali Khamenei, photos of leader Kim Jong Il giving on-the-spot guidance to different fields, their famous works, books and photos showing proud achievements made by the Korean people.
  • Fidel Castro Ruz on Boosting Cuba-Korea Relations
    Havana, May 23 (KCNA) -- Fidel Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, president of the Council of State and president of the Council of Ministers of Cuba, stressed the need to boost the friendly and cooperative relations between the two parties and two countries of Cuba and the DPRK in the joint struggle for socialism against the U.S., noting that the two countries have supported and cooperated with each other as the countries standing in confrontation with it. He met with the delegation of the Workers' Party of Korea led by Kim Ki Nam, secretary of its Central Committee, on a visit to Cuba and had a talk with it in a friendly atmosphere at the Revolutionary Palace on May 22.
  • Reactionary Nature of Economic Globalization Disclosed
    Pyongyang, May 23 (KCNA) -- The reactionary nature of economic globalization lies in that it bars each state from playing the role as the master of its national economy, hamstrings the independent development of economy in the developing countries, in particular, accelerates the pauperization of those countries and increases their economic dependence upon the West. Rodong Sinmun Tuesday observes this in a signed article in connection with the fact that the imperialists' evermore undisguised moves for economic globalization are rebuffed and condemned by the world public. [Globalisation] [Independent states]
  • Seoul to Participate in Hanoi Project
    By Kim Tong-hyung Staff Reporter
    Seoul City Tuesday reached agreement with Hanoi to participate in an urban development project in the Vietnamese capital, officials said on Tuesday. The agreement, signed by Seoul Mayor Lee Myung-bak and Hanoi Vice-Mayor Do Hoang An, follows the signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) last September to help develop industrial belts, residential areas and tourist attractions along Hanoi's Red River. Vice-Mayor Do Hoang An is currently visiting Korea. Under the accord, the Seoul city government will hire urban planners to design a framework plan for development projects along the Red River, including flood control, resident resettlement, land-use strategies. The plan is expected to cost around $5 million including expenses for on-site inspections, 90 percent of which will be financed by Seoul. The city will select a local company to take on the project by July.
  • DPRK Student Emerges Winner at International Concours
    Pyongyang, May 21 (KCNA) -- Korean student Hwang Un Mi studying at Santachechilia Conservatory in Rome, Italy emerged a winner at the 13th Giuseppe di Stefano International Vocal Concours. The concours held in Trapani, Italy from May 3 to 7 drew more than 80 men and women singers from 15 countries and regions including Italy, Russia, China, the U.S. and Japan.
  • Indonesian President to Visit Koreas
    Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will make a state visit to South Korea from June 7 to 9, the presidential office said on Friday. Prior to his arrival here, the Indonesian leader is to visit North Korea from June 5 to 7.
  • Malaysian FM Winds Up His Korea Visit
    Pyongyang, May 19 (KCNA) -- Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar and his party Friday flew back after winding up their three-day visit to the DPRK. They were seen off at the airport by Kim Yong Il, vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, and officials of the DPRK Foreign Ministry and Jamal Sharifuddin Bin Johan, Malaysian charge d'affaires ad interim and officials of the Malaysian embassy here. During their stay here the guests visited the Kumsusan Memorial Palace to pay homage to President Kim Il Sung. They also visited the E-library of Kim Chaek University of Technology, the Mangyongdae Schoolchildren's Palace and the Pyongyang Metro [ICT]
  • Malaysian Foreign Minister Feted
    Pyongyang, May 18 (KCNA) -- The DPRK government gave a reception in honor of the visiting Malaysian foreign minister at the Mansudae Assembly Hall on Wednesday. Present on invitation were Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar and his party, and Charge d'Affaires ad Interim Jamal Sharifuddin Bin Johan and staff members of the Malaysian embassy here. On hand were Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Yong Il and officials concerned.
  • Cambodian King Visits DPRK
    Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni visited the e-library and gymnasium at Kim Chaek University of Technology on April 19.
    Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni had an official visit to the DPRK from April 17 to 28 at the invitation of Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly(SPA). Papers in editorials on April 17 welcomed the visit of Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni to the DPRK.
  • Asian Regional Seminar on Juche Idea Held in India
    An Asian regional seminar on the Juche idea was held in India on April 8. It was attended by Director General of the International Institute of the Juche Idea Vishwanath, Honorary President of the World Peace Council Romesh Chandra, Director General of the Asian Regional Institute of the Juche Idea Reggie Ranatunge, and delegations from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Mongolia and Japan, and leading officials and members of Juche idea study groups and people from different walks of life in India.
  • UN's Annan endorses Seoul's North policies
    May 16, 2006 ? Settling the North Korean nuclear issue is the key to stability and peace on the Korean Peninsula, Kofi Annan told reporters yesterday. The secretary-general of the United Nations was in Seoul as part of a regional swing.
    With Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon, an announced candidate to succeed him, at his side, Mr. Annan endorsed Seoul's undivided focus on eliminating nuclear weapons in North Korea, saying it should have a "separate category and priority" than human rights and other issues. The remarks were an indirect criticism of Washington's policies on North Korean human rights issues and illicit trade by the communist regime. [Friction] [Camouflage]
  • Yang Hyong Sop Visits Norodom Sihanouk
    Pyongyang, May 10 (KCNA) -- Yang Hyong Sop, vice-president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, Wednesday visited Norodom Sihanouk, the great king of Cambodia, at the state guest house. He had a friendly conversation with the great king. . Present there were the great queen, the entourage of the great king and Cambodian Ambassador to the DPRK Chhorn Hay. . On hand were Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Yong Il and others.
  • Congratulations to Nepalese Prime Minister
    Pyongyang, May 5 (KCNA) -- Pak Pong Ju, premier of the DPRK Cabinet, sent a congratulatory message to Girija Prasad Koirala on his appointment as prime minister of the government of the Kingdom of Nepal. It expressed the belief that the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries would continue to favorably develop in the future, too.
  • N.K. Plan for Joint Vatican Visit Baffles Seoul Catholics
    The Catholic Association of North Korea has made a mysterious proposal to the Seoul Archdiocese's National Reconciliation Committee for a joint visit to the Vatican and an audience with the pope. Mgr. Thomas Aquinas Choi Chang-hwa, who led a 61-member group from the committee in a landmark visit to the North last month, said Wednesday the association made the proposal during a dinner on April 28. "But the North never made clear what the objective of such a visit would be," Choi added. The visit from the committee, which has provided aid to the North over the last 11 years, was the first to visit North Korea by an official body of the Catholic Church in the South. The North last year made its wish to visit the Vatican known to the Seoul Archdiocese and the Vatican's legation in Korea, also without clarifying the purpose. "I said, 'You'll have to show at least one priest living in North Korea and demonstrate that there is religious freedom and freedom to spread God's message for such a visit to be possible,'" Choi recalled. "But the North responded that that would be 'difficult.'" He said the North Koreans asked him to pass on their congratulations on the recent investiture of Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, the archbishop of Seoul. "When I asked if they were going to invite the cardinal they said, 'We'll discuss it,'" he said.
  • Agreement Signed between Governments of DPRK and India
    New Delhi, April 26 (KCNA) -- An agreement on cooperation in the field of information between the governments of the DPRK and India was signed here on Apr. 26. Present at a signing ceremony from the DPRK side were the information delegation headed by the vice-chairman of the DPRK Information Committee and the DPRK ambassador to India, and from the Indian side the assistant secretary of the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and officials concerned. The agreement was inked by the vice-chairman of the DPRK Information Committee and the assistant secretary of the Indian Ministry.

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APRIL 2006
  • Message of Sympathy to Egyptian President
    Pyongyang, April 27 (KCNA) -- President of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly Kim Yong Nam sent a message of sympathy to Egyptian President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak on Thursday. Upon hearing the news that a recent bomb explosion in Egypt caused considerable human casualties, Kim Yong Nam in the message expressed deep sympathy to the president and, through him, to the Egyptian government and the bereaved families.
  • Kim Yong Nam Receives Credentials from Venezuelan Ambassador
    Pyongyang, April 26 (KCNA) -- Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK, received credentials from Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the DPRK Rocio Maneiro Gonzalez at the Mansudae Assembly Hall Wednesday. On hand were Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Hyong Jun and staff members of the Venezuelan embassy here. After receiving the credentials, Kim Yong Nam had a conversation with the ambassador.
  • Iran Gets First North Korean-Made Missiles
    By ARON HELLERThe Associated Press Thursday, April 27, 2006; 8:20 AM JERUSALEM -- Iran has received its first batch of North Korean-made surface-to-surface missiles that put European countries within firing range, Israel's military intelligence chief said in an interview published Thursday. The BM-25 missiles have a range of 1,550 miles and are capable of carrying nuclear warheads, the Haaretz daily reported.

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MARCH 2006
  • Korean diplomat wins disarmament UN post
    March 30, 2006 ? A senior South Korean diplomat has been elected chairman of the the United Nations Disarmament Commission, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday. Oh Joon, Seoul's deputy ambassador to the UN, will lead the commission, a deliberative body under the UN General Assembly, for the next year.
  • Ban goes more public in UN post campaign
    March 28, 2006 ? Seoul seems to have changed its tactics, shifting away from its "quiet diplomacy" to bolster Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon's candidacy for United Nations secretary general. Mr. Ban himself openly asked for support at a summit meeting of the League of Arab States being held in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. Seoul announced Mr. Ban's candidacy for the post last month.
  • Greetings to Iranian President
    Pyongyang, March 21 (KCNA) -- Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, sent a message of greetings to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the occasion of the New Year in Iran. Kim Yong Nam in the message expressed conviction that the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries would develop on good terms, in the future, too and wholeheartedly wished him good health and happiness and great success in his responsible work to build independent and prosperous Islamic society.
  • KCNA Accuses U.S. of Inciting Civil War in Iraq
    Pyongyang, March 21 (KCNA) -- Bloodshed and violence among factions have never ceased in Iraq since the U.S. invasion of the country. They have now gone to extremes. The recent attack on a Shiite mosque has escalated tension among factions and increased social unrest. Armed men strut about the streets and the number of victims of clashes between Shiites and Sunnites reaches 30 on a daily average, reminiscent of a civil war. The unceasing clashes among nationalities and factions have created the imminent danger of a civil war that would engulf Iraq, to say nothing of Baghdad. Violence among factions in Iraq is an inevitable product of the war of aggression launched by the U.S. and its interference in the internal affairs of the country.
    The U.S. invaded a sovereign state in March 2003 under an absurd pretext invented by it to meet its political and economic purposes defying the United Nations and in gross violation of international law. It was an unpardonable crime.
  • NK Diplomat Calls for Disbanding UNC in Seoul
    NEW YORK (Yonhap) _ A senior North Korean diplomat has urged the United Nations to disband its command headquarters in Seoul, accusing the post of being a U.S. attempt to prolong its regional hegemony, South Korean officials said Saturday. Amb. Park Gil-yon, chief of the North's mission to the United Nations, made the request in a letter to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan on Monday, said officials at South Korea's mission to the world body. Washington has insisted on the continued deployment of the U.N. Command (UNC) in Seoul "under the name of the U.N. to maintain its military superiority in Northeast Asia and on the Korean Peninsula," the officials quoted Park as saying in the letter.
  • Great King of Cambodia Arrives
    Pyongyang, February 28 (KCNA) -- Norodom Sihanouk, great king of Cambodia, arrived here today by a special plane. He was greeted at the airport by Vice-President of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly Yang Hyong Sop, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Yong Il, Cambodian Ambassador to the DPRK Chhorn Hay and embassy officials and Chinese Charge d'Affaires ad Interim in Pyongyang Guan Huabing. Working women presented bouquets to the great king and the great queen.

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FEBRUARY 2006
  • Message of Sympathy to Polish President
    Pyongyang, February 1 (KCNA) -- Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, today sent a message of sympathy to Polish President Lech Aleksander Kaczynski over the casualties caused by a tragic accident that took place in Katowice. In the message Kim expressed deep condolences to the president and, through him, to the victims and their bereaved families and hoped that the wounded would recover as quickly as possible.
  • Congratulations to PM of Mongolia
    Pyongyang, January 30 (KCNA) -- Pak Pong Ju, premier of the DPRK Cabinet, sent a congratulatory message to Miyegombiin Enkhbold on the latter's appointment as prime minister of Mongolia. Expressing the conviction that the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries would continue to develop on good terms in the interests of the two peoples, the message wished him success in his responsible work for the stability and prosperity of the country.
  • Foreign Minister Eyes Top UN Post
    DAVOS, SWITZERLAND (Yonhap) _ Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ban Ki-moon said South Korea should increase its financial aid to underdeveloped and disaster-stricken countries, indicating again his intention to run for the top U.N. post. ``A U.N. secretary general is required to draw international attention to humanitarian assistance and muster member states' political wills. Anyone who takes the U.N. secretary general post is anticipated to perform such a role,'' Ban said in a recent interview in Davos, where he attended the World Economic Forum. The interview was conducted a day after he held a panel debate Thursday with two other potential candidates _ Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga and Sri Lankan diplomat Jayantha Dhanapala _ to succeed current U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, whose term ends on Dec. 31. If elected, Ban, a career diplomat who has called for sweeping reforms of the world body, would be the first Asian to head the world body.

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JANUARY 2006
  • Kim Yong Nam Meets Malaysian Ambassador
    Pyongyang, January 27 (KCNA) -- Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, met and had a talk with Malaysian Ambassador to the DPRK MD.Yusoff Bin MD.Zain who paid a farewell call on him at the Mansudae Assembly Hall on Friday. On hand was Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Yong Il.
  • Paek Nam Sun Meets Malaysian Ambassador
    Pyongyang, January 26 (KCNA) -- Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun today met and conversed with outgoing Malaysian Ambassador MD.Yusoff Bin MD.Zain.
  • Korea Offers to Sell Subs to Indonesia
    By Lee Jin-woo Staff Reporter Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung proposed selling South Korean-built submarines to Indonesia when he met with his Indonesian counterpart in Jakarta earlier this week, a government source said on Friday. Yoon offered to sell 1,300-ton Type 209 submarines, to be built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), to the Southeast Asian country during a meeting with Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono on Monday, the sourrce said. [Proliferation]
  • Greetings to President of India
    Pyongyang, January 25 (KCNA) -- Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, today sent a message of greetings to A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, president of India, on the occasion of the 56th day of the Republic of India. The message expressed the conviction that the good friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries would continue to expand and develop in the common interests of the two peoples and sincerely wished him greater success in his responsible work for the prosperity and development of the country.
  • Indian President to Visit Seoul
    By Ryu Jin Staff Reporter Indian President Abdul Kalam will visit Seoul from Feb. 2 to Feb. 9 for talks with President Roh Moo-hyun on ways to increase cooperation between the two countries, Chong Wa Dae officials announced on Tuesday.
  • Ambassador slaps UN for politicizing rights issues
    January 21, 2006 ? South Korea's ambassador-at-large for human rights, Park Kyung-seo, caused controversy at a religious forum Thursday by saying the North Korean human rights issue was being used politically at the United Nations. Mr. Park was speaking about remarks made at the UN Human Rights Commission held in April last year in Geneva, Switzerland, where he was South Korea's representative. "I witnessed member countries [Japan and the European Union] taking an offensive attitude, while ignoring the core issue on how they can serve constructive roles to promote human rights issues [in North Korea]," he said. "The human rights issue must not be used as a political means to attack a certain individual, group or a country," said Mr. Park. "Peace on the Korean Peninsula, which must take a higher priority than the human rights issue, must be achieved first," he added. Critics questioned whether it is proper for Mr. Park, a human rights ambassador, to make such remarks. This is not the first controversy brought about by Mr. Park, who was also a senior member of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea under the current administration. Last November at a seminar, he said the human rights issue should not be an item for discussion until the North and South Korea sign a non-aggression pact ? a remark he repeated earlier this month. by Seo Seung-wook [human rights [camouflage]
  • Korea to Field Candidate for Top UN Post This Year
    By Park Song-wu Staff Reporter
    South Korea is ``seriously'' thinking of fielding a candidate to succeed U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ban Ki-moon told reporters in New York on Wednesday. He stopped by the American city on his way to Washington, D.C. where he was to attend the inaugural ``strategic consultations'' between South Korea and the United States at the State Department on Thursday. ``It is true that the (South) Korean government has been seriously considering the idea of presenting a Korean national as a candidate to succeed Kofi Annan,'' he said after a 45-minute meeting with the U.N.'s top diplomat from Ghana.
  • House Speaker Visits Vietnam
    HANOI (Yonhap) _ National Assembly Speaker Kim One-ki arrived Saturday in Hanoi for talks with Vietnamese leaders on improving relations between the two Asian countries.
  • Plan for Cooperation in Field of Standardization, Measuring and Quality Control Signed between DPRK and Vietnam
    Pyongyang, January 11 (KCNA) -- A plan for cooperation in the field of standardization, measuring and quality control for 2006 was signed in Hanoi on Jan. 10 between the DPRK State Bureau for Quality Control and the Council for Standardization and Quality of Vietnam. The signing ceremony was attended by members of a delegation of the bureau from the DPRK side and officials concerned of the council from the Vietnamese side.
  • Labor Party Leader Visits HK to Observe Trial of Farmers
    SEOUL (Yonhap) _ The acting chairman of South Korea's minor opposition Democratic Labor Party, Kwon Young-ghil, left for Hong Kong Sunday to observe a court hearing of 11 South Korean farmers arrested last month for illegal street demonstrations, party officials said. [WTO]
  • Building of Independent, Peaceful and Friendly New World Called for
    Pyongyang, January 3 (KCNA) -- The stand of our Party and government to make a positive contribution to the building of an independent, peaceful and friendly new world remains unchanged. Rodong Sinmun today says this in a signed article. It is the unanimous aspiration and desire of humankind to live in an independent, peaceful and friendly new world, the article notes, and goes on: An independent, peaceful and friendly new world means a world where people are free from all sorts of domination, high-handed and arbitrary practices, the sovereignty and interests of all sovereign states are respected on an equal basis and the justice and impartiality are ensured in the international relations and peaceful international affair makes progress. The above-said world can be built only through a struggle for independence against imperialism. This kind of world free from domination, subjugation, aggression and war is unthinkable without a struggle for independence against imperialism. Invasion and war are the means for imperialism to exist. It can not live even a single day without them. Because of this intrinsic nature imperialism is indulged in aggression and plunder of other countries and nations. It is the foe of peace and the principal target of the people's struggle for independence. There should be nothing but a struggle against imperialism. [Independent States] [Imperialism]
  • Rodong Sinmun on WPK's Idea of Its Foreign Policy
    Pyongyang, January 4 (KCNA) -- Independence, peace and friendship are the avowed idea of the foreign policy of the Workers' Party of Korea. Rodong Sinmun today says this in a signed article. It goes on: It is the main principle governing the activities of the WPK and the DPRK government to take an independent view and judgment of all problems, act according to its own faith and solve all issues independently. The political and military potentials the WPK and the people of the DPRK have consolidated as firm as a rock by implementing the independent revolutionary line serve as a sure guarantee for protecting the sovereignty of the country and the gains of the revolution, successfully advancing the revolution and construction and checking and frustrating the imperialists' aggression and interference. It is an urgent task common to humankind to avert a war and defend peace. Doing so is prerequisite to building a new independent world. Peace can be won only when the people of all the countries in the world who love independence and peace turn out as one in the stubborn struggle against the imperialists' aggression and their war policy. It is the consistent stand of the WPK to develop the friendly and cooperative relations with the world people who advocate independence.

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Archive - 2005 and preceeding

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