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NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 38 (January 22, 2009)

All Headlines 10:10 January 22, 2009


SEOUL (Yonhap) -- The following is a chronological review of major developments related to North Korea from Jan. 15-21.


15 The North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) says North Korean leader Kim Jong-il inspected light industrial facilities in the capital city, including the Pyongyang Silk Mill and the Pyongyang Gum Factory.

15 Ranking Pyongyang officials, including Kim Yong-nam, chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) Presidium, and SPA Chairman Choe Thae-bok, watch a film presented to Kim Jong-il by a Chinese film studio in celebration of the New Year marking the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between North Korea and China.

15 The International Affairs Department of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of (North) Korea (WPK) arranges a reception in honor of staff members of the Chinese embassy in Pyongyang in celebration of the New Year.

15 Kim Ik-hyon, vice marshal of the (North) Korean People's Army (KPA), dies at the age of 87.

16 The Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the WPK and the SPA Presidium issue an obituary on the death of KPA Vice Marshal Kim Ik-hyon.

16 Kim Jong-il sends a wreath to the bier of the late KPA Vice Marshal Kim Ik-hyon.

16 The DPRK (North Korea) foreign ministry arranges a reception for the staff members of the Chinese embassy in Pyongyang to mark the New Year with Chinese ambassador Liu and North Korean foreign minister Pak Ui-chun attending.

17 KCNA says Kim Jong-il inspected a sub-unit under KPA Unit 2752, honored with the title of O Jung-hup-led Seventh Regiment.

17 KCNA says Kim Jong-il provided field guidance to the Mt. Ryongak Recreation Grounds in Pyongyang, which has been "successfully" built into a people's recreation center.

17 Premier Kim Yong-il sends a congratulatory message to Sheikh Nasser Al-Muhammad
Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on his reappointment as Kuwait's prime minister.

17 A spokesman for the KPA General Staff issues a statement threatening to take an "all-out confrontational posture" to shatter Seoul's hard-line policy toward Pyongyang.

17 A foreign ministry spokesman issues a statement saying Pyongyang has no intent to scrap its nuclear program even after the normalization of ties with the United States.

18 Rodong Sinmun, organ of the WPK, denounces New Year policy goals announced by Seoul's Unification Ministry, claiming the ministry intends to pursue an anti-Pyongyang agenda behind the slogan of "mutual benefits and common prosperity."

19 Rodong Sinmun accuses the United States of condoning Israeli attacks on Gaza.

19 Rodong Sinmun publishes a commentary in support of a strongly-worded statement from the KPA General Staff, saying that North Korea never engages in "empty talk."

20 The (North) Korean Central Broadcasting Station says Kim Jong-il sent letters of thanks to public officials and workers engaged in major construction projects.

20 Workers of the Pyongyang Silk Mill and the Pyongyang Gum Factory hold rallies resolving to fulfill instructions given by Kim Jong-il during his recent on-site guidance tour to the plants.

20 The International Affairs Department of WPK Central Committee arranges a friendly meeting with Cuban embassy officials in Pyongyang to celebrate the New Year.

21 KCNA reports U.S. President Barack Obama's inauguration less than one day after the event.

21 A delegation of the International Liaison Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, led by committee head Wang Jiarui, flies into Pyongyang. The WPK Central Committee gave a reception that evening for the Chinese delegation.

21 The opening ceremony for the 14th Paektusan Prize Sports Contest is held in Pyongyang, with officials of state institutions in attendance, in the run-up to Kim Jong-il's birthday, which falls on Feb. 16. Deputy Premier Kwak Pom-gi attended the ceremony.

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