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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

WEEKLY NK NEWS (2000.9.18 - 2000.9.24)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il conducted his usual round of inspections tours, this time to the recently constructed aquaculture complex with political heavyweights Chong Myung-rok and Kim Young-choon, and supervisory secretaries for the Chagang. S. Pyongan, N. Pyongan, and South Hwanghae joining the entourage. In other domestic news, ranking members of the party, the army, and the government. along with workers and students from all parts of the country, commemorated the fifty-first anniversary of the death of Kim Jong-sook (Kim Jong-il's mother) by laying wreaths at her statue and visiting the Pyongchon Revolutionary Momument

On the diplomatic front, North Korea announced on Sept 21st concerning a dispatch of official proposals from its foreign minister Paek Nam-soon to foreign services of European countries including Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK for opening of formal diplomatic relations, with a similar proposal also being sent to the European Union foreign department. The announcement was followed by minister Paek's departure from Pyongyang (Sept. 23) for officially scheduled visits to Yugoslavia and Italy.

In inter-Korean news, an editorial in North Korea's official organ the Worker's Daily labeled the 22nd Conference of the Korea-US Military Commission on Sept. 21st as `a direct affront against the North-South Joint Declaration', and also stating that `all attempts to bolster offensive forces for a northward invasion will be scrutinized in all seriousness'.

An written agreement was adopted by northern and southern negotiators at the Second Red Cross Conference in Kumgangsan (held Sept. 20-23) after achieving concordance of opinions. In addition, a group of thirteen North Korean military representatives headed by their defense minister Kim Il-chul were in Cheju for the inter-Korean defense ministers conference (Sept. 24-26), and chairman of the North Korea's National Economic Coalition Chung Woon-up arrived in Seoul with fourteen other representatives from the North to participate in the working conference with their southern counterparts (Sept. 24-26).

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