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Summary of domestic news in North Korea this week

All News 16:00 October 23, 2020

SEOUL, Oct. 23 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of domestic news in North Korea this week.

N. Koreans exposed to gruesome human rights abuses in pretrial detention: rights group

SEOUL, Oct. 19 (Yonhap) -- North Koreans under pretrial detention experience extreme human rights abuses by corrupt law enforcement, from confinement in dirty and overcrowded cells to coerced confession and sexual assault, a report claimed Monday.

The Human Rights Watch, the international nongovernment organization, shed further light on the rights conditions in the North with the report titled "Worth Less Than an Animal: Abuses and Due Process Violations in Pretrial Detention in North Korea."

It found that the investigation and judicial procedures in the reclusive regime are so "arbitrary and opaque," and bribing officials has become rife as a way to avoid detention or reduce charges.

N. Korean leader vows to further develop ties with China

SEOUL, Oct. 20 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has pledged to further boost friendly relations with China, the North's state media said Tuesday.

Kim said he would make positive efforts with Chinese President Xi Jinping to "further consolidate and develop the traditional DPRK-China friendly relations," the North's Korean Central News Agency reported, using the acronym of the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Kim made the remarks on Monday in a reply message to Xi, who sent a congratulatory letter to Kim earlier this month to mark the 75th founding anniversary of the North's ruling Workers' Party.

N. Korea develops mobile payment service: propaganda outlet

SEOUL, Oct. 21 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has introduced a payment service that allows people to purchase goods on mobile phones without having to carry around cash or plastic cards, a propaganda outlet said Wednesday.

Meari, one of the North's propaganda websites, said that a joint research team from the central bank and a government agency in charge of information technology has "developed a mobile payment service and is introducing it in everyday lives."

"The mobile phone electronics payment system is a new type of transaction method that allows users to transfer payment including service fees or other fees using their smartphones," it said.

N. Korea suspends scheduled mass gymnastic shows this month: official

SEOUL, Oct. 22 (Yonhap) -- North Korea appears to have suspended its signature mass gymnastic shows scheduled to be held until the end of this month after leader Kim Jong-un recently attended its performance, a unification ministry official said Thursday.

North Korea's media earlier reported that the propaganda shows would be put on stage from early last week to the end of this month at the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang on the occasion of the ruling party's 75th founding anniversary on Oct. 10.

Kim attended its performance held on Oct. 11, but no more shows have been held since, the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

N.K. leader pays respects to fallen Chinese soldiers

SEOUL, Oct. 22 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited the cemetery of Chinese soldiers who fell during the 1950-53 Korean War to mark the anniversary of their participation in the conflict, state media said Thursday.

It appears be in line with Kim's push to further strengthen bilateral ties with China at a time when the North is in need of support from the ally amid stagnant economic growth and stalled nuclear negotiations with the United States.

Kim visited "the martyrs of the Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) in Hoechang County, South Pyongan Province, and paid a high tribute to them on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the entry of the Chinese People's Volunteers into the Korean front," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

N.K. leader sends floral basket to cemetery in China in honor of fallen soldiers

SEOUL, Oct. 23 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent floral baskets to China to pay tribute to fallen soldiers from the 1950-53 Korean War, state media said Friday, in an apparent effort to highlight his strong and friendly relations with the ally.

This came a day after Kim visited the cemetery of fallen Chinese soldiers in the North's South Pyongan Province and paid his respects to mark the anniversary of their participation in the conflict.

Kim sent floral baskets to the cemetery of "the martyrs fallen in resisting America and aiding Korea" in the Chinese city of Shenyang and to a monument in Dandong City in Liaoning Province, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

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