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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

WEEKLY NK NEWS (2000.8.21 - 2000.8.27)

Kim Jong-il was back on the inspection trail visiting the Wonsan-Kalma Sanatorium, constructed by KPA service members, with Worker's Party Secretary Kim Kuk-yae and KPA's General Hyun Chul-hae. Chairman Kim also presided over a report session commemorating North Korea's Youth Day on August 27th, a day ahead of the actual holiday (Aug. 28th), at the Central Youth Hall with Yang Hyung-sup and Choi Tae-bok and other ranking government officials.

On the foreign policy front, North Korea and Japan held the Tenth Normalization Talks in Tokyo from August 21st to the 23rd, and announced a joint three-article report, which included an agreement to hold the next (eleventh) session in October at a third country mutually agreed upon by both sides. In addition, Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong-il dispatched a message to Russian president Vladimir Putin, offering his condolences on the death of crew members on board the doomed submarine, The Kursk.

Turning to inter-Koran issues, North Korea stressed that all non-apostate North Korean prisoners in the South were `patriots who have spent their entire lives for the sake of unification', and that the North would welcome the wholeheartedly as such. However, the usual political diatribe did not let up, with North Korea criticized the four-point security plan announced by South Korea at the defense ministers' conference on August 24th, placing emphasis on strengthening the military and cooperation between the ROK and the US, as `action directly contradicting the joint declaration on June 15th'.

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