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Summary of domestic news in North Korea this week

All News 16:00 April 10, 2020

SEOUL, April 10 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of domestic news in North Korea this week.

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N.K. propaganda outlet calls recent launches 'self-defensive'

SEOUL, April 3 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean propaganda outlet lashed out at South Korea on Friday for what it called an attempt to mislead the public over its recent "self-defensive" firing drills.

North Korea fired two projectiles, which Seoul said were short-range ballistic missiles, toward the East Sea on Sunday, marking the fourth major weapons test this year. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the launches were "very inappropriate" and called for an immediate halt.

In an interview with Uriminzokkiri TV, an editor of the North's main newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, sharply criticized the South Korean military.

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N. Korea highlights Kim Il-sung's foreign policy legacy ahead of his birthday

SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) -- North Korea said Monday that it will continue to expand cooperation with developing countries, highlighting late founder Kim Il-sung's foreign policy legacy ahead of his birthday next week.

The North's foreign ministry said in a statement posted on its website that Kim laid the groundwork for the so-called South-South cooperation, which it said has become a "self-reliance" strategy for many developing countries.

"(We) will continue to make active efforts to establish new international economic relations based on justice, equality and fairness, while advancing friendly ties with developing countries," the ministry said.

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N. Korea completes basic evacuation work for hospital construction in Pyongyang

SEOUL, April 8 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has completed initial evacuation work for the construction of a general hospital in Pyongyang, only about 20 days after ground was broken for the project, state media reported Wednesday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has shown much interest in the Pyongyang General Hospital project, attending its groundbreaking ceremony on March 17 and ordering construction be completed by Oct. 10, the 75th founding anniversary of the ruling Workers' Party.

"We have made achievements in completing large-scale basic evacuation work about 20 days after ground broke for the construction of Pyongyang General Hospital," the Korean Central News Agency said.

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N. Korea's main paper calls for eradication of illegal economic activities

SEOUL, April 8 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's main newspaper on Wednesday called for rooting out embezzlement and other illegal economic activities amid the country's efforts to prevent an outbreak of the coronavirus.

Pyongyang's state media outlets have emphasized the importance of self-reliance and "frontal breakthrough" frequently since leader Kim Jong-un said in December that he expects no easing in sanctions from the United States and called for a "frontal breakthrough" to tackle challenges.

"As the frontal breakthrough campaign moves forward more boldly, we should further strengthen efforts to establish law and order," the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North's ruling party, said in an editorial.

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N. Korea's main paper highlights late leader Kim Jong-il's achievements on anniversary

SEOUL, April 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's main newspaper highlighted the accomplishments of late leader Kim Jong-il on the 27th anniversary of his 1993 assumption of power Thursday, urging people to build on such feats to make the communist nation more powerful and prosperous.

The Rodong Sinmun, an organ of the North's ruling Workers' Party, carried the message in an editorial, saying the late father of the current leader Kim Jong-un contributed greatly to advancing the country's self-reliant defense industry.

"Comrade Kim Jong-il pushed ahead with the 'military-first' principles during the 1990s when socialism was at a crossroads between progress and setbacks," the paper said, lauding the late leader for laying the groundwork for a powerful state.

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N.K. leader supervises mortar firing drill ahead of major parliamentary meeting

SEOUL, April 10 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has overseen a mortar firing drill, state media reported Friday, ahead of a key meeting of the country's rubber-stamp legislature to be watched closely for any message to the United States.

Kim's attendance in the exercise suggests that a politburo or a plenary meeting of the country's ruling Workers' Party, which used to be held on the eve of a Supreme People's Assembly session, did not take place, and therefore, Friday's SPA meeting may not lead to significant decisions.

The official Korean Central News Agency said that Kim "guided the drill of mortar sub-units" of the Korean People's Army "aimed at learning about the power of light guns and heavy weapons" and "judging and estimating the firepower combat abilities of mortar-men."
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