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Summary of domestic news in North Korea this week

All News 16:00 June 14, 2019

SEOUL, June 14 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of domestic news in North Korea this week.

Koryo Tours launches stamp design competition for Pyongyang's marathon event

SEOUL, June 7 (Yonhap) -- A Beijing-based tour agency specializing in tours to North Korea has launched a stamp design competition for Pyongyang's annual international marathon event, its website showed Friday.

"We are inviting talented artists from all over the world to design a commemorative postage stamp for the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon," Koryo Tours said.

"The stamp should represent the spirit of this very special event: the themes of engagement & friendship are what the race, the stamp competition, and Koryo's work in general are all about," it added.

N.K. propaganda website says S. Korea, U.S. in discord over N.K. policy

SEOUL, June 10 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean propaganda outlet said Monday that the relations between South Korea and the United States are not in good shape, criticizing Washington for a "unilateral" and "gangster-like" attitude in its North Korea policy.

Meari, a propaganda website, said the U.S. is responsible for the discord as it has been "pressuring South Korean authorities to adjust the pace" of the inter-Korean reconciliation process with the progress in denuclearization.

"The U.S. and South Korean authorities are trumpeting 'a stronger than ever U.S.-Korea alliance,' but if we look inside, their relationship doesn't seem all that comfortable," it said.

ICRC distributes to N. Korean schools posters warning of dangers from unexploded bombs

SEOUL, June 10 (Yonhap) -- An international Red Cross organization said Monday that it has distributed thousands of posters to schools in North Korea aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of unexploded bombs, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) completed distribution of the posters to schools in North Korea earlier this year, according to its mission in Pyongyang. It did not specify exactly how many posters had been distributed or when.

In an interview with Yonhap News Agency in December, Bart Vermeiren, then head of the mission of the Geneva-based organization, said it would "soon" distribute posters to about 4,500 schools across the country.

N. Korea to hold elections to choose deputies for local assemblies

SEOUL, June 11 (Yonhap) -- North Korea will hold elections next month to choose new deputies for local assemblies of provinces, cities and counties across the country, Pyongyang's state media reported Tuesday.

The elections will be held July 21, the Korean Central News Agency reported.

In the previous elections in July 2015, 28,452 deputies were elected for a four-year term.

N. Korea's official newspaper confirms outbreak of African swine fever

SEOUL, June 12 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official newspaper confirmed an outbreak of African swine fever in the country on Wednesday, its first acknowledgment of the disease since Pyongyang reported a case to an international organization last month, saying nationwide efforts are under way to prevent its spreading.

"Emergency preventive efforts are actively underway across the country to stem the spread of African swine fever, a highly contagious virus," the Rodong Sinmun said in an article, adding that relevant government agencies and municipalities are working together to guarantee the safety of livestock.

North Korea reported a confirmed case of the animal disease at a pig farm in a region bordering China to the World Organization for Animal Health late last month. Its media, however, had been mum on the outbreak.

Vietnam sends food aid to N. Korea

SEOUL, June 13 (Yonhap) -- Vietnam has sent food aid to North Korea, the North's state media reported Thursday, amid growing worries that Pyongyang faces worsening food shortages.

The food aid by Vietnam arrived at the western North Korean port of Nampo earlier in the day, the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported in a one-sentence dispatch, without elaborating on the size or what the food packages were.

Last week, South Korea approved a plan to donate US$8 million to U.N. agencies for their humanitarian assistance projects in North Korea.

N. Korea launches guidance committee ahead of local elections

SEOUL, June 14 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has launched a guidance committee to supervise nationwide local elections to be held next month, Pyongyang's media reported Friday.

The Central Election Guidance Committee was organized for the election of deputies to provincial, city and county assemblies, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The KCNA earlier reported that the elections will be held July 21. In the previous elections in July 2015, 28,452 deputies were elected for four-year terms.

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