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Summary of domestic news in North Korea this week

All News 16:00 September 04, 2020

SEOUL, Sept. 4 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of domestic news in North Korea this week.

N. Korea's paper calls for recovery efforts in typhoon-hit farming sector

SEOUL, Aug. 31 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official newspaper on Monday urged stepped-up efforts to minimize damage from last week's typhoon to the farming sector, calling it an "urgent" matter needed for the country's self-reliance and self-prosperity.

Typhoon Bavi passed through North Korea on Thursday, causing flooding and destruction in many areas, including its southwestern province of Hwanghae known as a major rice-producing region. Leader Kim Jong-un visited the province, calling for recovery efforts though he said the damage is "smaller than expected."

"Minimizing damage to crops is a urgent demand necessary to open the path toward self-reliance and self-prosperity," the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling party, said in an article.

N.K. oil ministry downgraded back to 'bureau'

SEOUL, Aug. 31 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's oil ministry has been scaled down to a bureau after nearly 16 years, state media reports suggested Monday.

The North Korean Ministry of Oil Industry was promoted from a bureau in 2004 and had handled oil imports as a ministry under the country's cabinet.

In March, the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling party, carried an article referring to the agency as a ministry. On Monday, however, Korean Central TV Broadcasting Station referred to the ministry as a bureau in its report on the country's damage from heavy rainfall.

Top N.K. officials, including nuclear missile development chief, visits typhoon-hit areas

SEOUL, Sept. 1 (Yonhap) -- Top North Korean officials, including the country's nuclear and missile development chief, visited typhoon-hit regions, state media said Tuesday as the country is striving to minimize damage from last week's storm to its farming sector.

Ri Pyong-chol, vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers Party, visited regions in the country's southwestern province of Hwanghae and inspected damage from Typhoon Bavi that passed through the country on Thursday, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

Ri, who is believed to have overseen the North's missile and nuclear weapons development, was recently appointed as a member of the presidium of the party's politburo. He is presumed to be handling military affairs in the country's powerful five-member decision-making body.

N.K. leader sends congratulatory message for Vietnam's state founding anniv.

SEOUL, Sept. 2 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent a message to Vietnam's president to congratulate him on the country's founding anniversary, hoping the ties between the two countries will advance "onto a high stage" based on a summit agreement last year, state media said Wednesday.

Kim extended warm congratulations to Nguyen Phu Trong on the occasion of the 75th state founding anniversary and lauded his people for "many achievements in the struggle for building a prosperous and civilized socialist state," according to the Korean Central News Agency.

He also expressed his confidence that their "long-standing relations of friendship and cooperation" would further develop "onto a new high stage in the spirit of the agreement made with the general secretary in March last year," the KCNA added.

N. Korea begins rehearsing for military parade to mark party founding anniv.: 38 North

SEOUL, Sept. 2 (Yonhap) -- North Korea appears to have begun rehearsals for a military parade it is expected to hold next month to mark the 75th party founding anniversary, a U.S. monitoring website said Wednesday, amid speculation Pyongyang could use the event to showcase its new strategic weapons.

Satellite imagery taken on Aug. 31 of the "Mirim airfield" in Pyongyang shows "hundreds of vehicles parked in the northwest parking lots adjacent to the parade grounds, and thousands of troops in formations near or in the area that replicates Kim Il Sung Square," 38 North said in a report posted on its website.

"North Korea has been widely expected to hold a major military parade on October 10 this year to mark the 75th anniversary of the Workers' Party of Korea. These images provide the first evidence that rehearsals are underway," it said.

Typhoon Maysak causes heavy flood damage in eastern regions of N. Korea

SEOUL, Sept. 3 (Yonhap) -- Typhoon Maysak dumped torrential rains in eastern parts of North Korea on Thursday, triggering heavy flooding in the coastal city of Wonsan and causing residents near Mount Kumgang to evacuate to safer areas, state media reported.

The Korean Central Television Broadcasting Station has been running breaking news in real time and updates on the ninth tropical storm of the season nearly every hour since 6 p.m. Wednesday.

"Typhoon No. 9 as of 10 a.m. has reached the sea about 90 kilometers south of Kimchaek City. The country's entire eastern region has come under the influence of the typhoon ... and it landed near Kimchaek city after 11 a.m.," the station reported.

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