GoodFriends: Research Institute For North Korean Society

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North Korea Today No. 253

RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR NORTH KOREAN SOCIETY
http://www.goodfriends.or.kr/eng
[Weekely Newsletter] No.253 November 2008

[Hot Topics] Wealthy Citizens Buy Up Grain to Prepare for the Food Crisis Next Year
[Food] Kaesong , “Please lower the army provisions”
[Politics]
- Man Tries to Cross Border into South Korea to See His Brothers
- Farm's Leading Secretary of Eunduk County , Discharged from Hoarding Food Secretly
- A Rumor That People Who Escaped into South Korea Were Caught Is False
- Officials' Distress, “Due to non-tax contribution, being the official is difficult”
- Prohibition on the Use of Chinese VCR
[Economy]
- Increasing Complaints over the Rise of the Winter Gimjang Salt Price
- Increase in Peddling as Strict Market Controls Are Enforced
[Women/Children/Education]
- An Elder Homeless Girl (Kkotjebi Sister) Faints at the News of the Death of Her Younger Sister
- I Want To Get Married With the Money I Make From a Few Years of Rope Making
[Society]
- Many Have Been Arrested for Cursing at the Country
- Family Stops a Father from Committing Suicide
- Word on the Street: “Gotta have an offspring in Government to glean fields”
[Accidents] A Ship Sinks Off the Sinpo Shore Due To High Winds
[Commentary] Coming Soon!
[Planning a Series] Reading North Korea 2008 Through “ North Korea ’s Nationwide Report”
In North Korea 2008, What Was Accomplished and What Was Not?
Part 1 Review of New Year’s Combined Editorial 2008

[Hot Topics] Wealthy Citizens Buy Up Grain to Prepare For the Food Crisis Next Year
In Pyongsung City, South Pyongan Province, the wealthy (돈주들) have bought grain including corns and tofu peas in bunches with the anticipation of a continued food crisis in next year. People who have been selling manufactured goods and used bicycles in the market are also buying and storing grain. These people are expecting difficult times in the market due to increased patrols and future competition from others seeking to buy grain. On the other hand, people who only make scant profits by selling food, vegetables, or noodles cannot even dream of buying large amounts of grain.

Residents expect the market price of corn to go up to 1,500 NK won per kg in next spring from the current price of 800-900 NK won per kg. Rich people are storing grain and waiting for prices to go up, whereas poor people are waiting for them to go down.

Kim Cheol-joo (44), who makes frequent trips between Pyongsung and Soonam Market in Chungjin City, North Hamgyong Province to sell goods by wholesale, explained what foreign food support means for poor people in North Korea: “The wealthy who buy and store grain in large amounts are hit badly when the foreign food support comes in. That is because their profits decrease when the market prices decrease. On the other hand, for the general population, foreign food support means the difference between life and death.

[Food] Kaesong, “Please lower the army provisions”
As the collection of the army provisions increased in November, farmers in Kaesong City have requested that the City Party and the Farming Management Commission lower the amount of grains needed for the army provisions. “If the army takes the entire harvest from this year, what do farmers have to eat and seed next year? Please lower the military collection amount.” After the collection, the remaining amount for the farmers may not even be 4 months worth of food. Farmers claimed that their food situation would be extremely bad if even the 4 months of worth was cut into by government collectors. The City Party of Kaesong, as with all other City Parties, said that “we cannot lower the amount that’s sent to the armies just because farmers go hungry a little.”

[Politics]
- Man Tries to Cross Border into South Korea to See His Brothers
- Farm's Leading Secretary of Eunduk County, Discharged from Hoarding Food Secretly
- A Rumor That People Who Escaped into South Korea Were Caught Is False
- Officials' Distress, “Due to non-tax contribution, being the official is difficult”
- Prohibition on the Use of Chinese VCR


Man Tries to Cross Border into South Korea to See His Brothers
Kim Yong-geun (age 80) who is from Haeju City, South Hwanghae Province, has a dispersed family. He left his brothers at Yeosoo, South Jeonra Province in South Korea. He wishes to meet his family at least one time before he dies. However, due to the food shortage problem, his livelihood has become serious. Therefore, he decided to escape North Korea and went up to near the national borderline with all his family: his son, daughter-in-law, grandson etc. He stayed at his youngest son's place in Moosan Country, North Hamgyong Province. Because of expensive cost of crossing the river, they stayed there longer than planned. The National Security Agency of Moosan County suspected them and brought them in for a hearing. Because they found that Kim's family tried to cross the river, the family was sent to the police station. Kim cried out loud saying, “It will be impossible to see my brothers' faces again before I die.” Those who watched him cry had tears in their eyes also.

Farm's Leading Secretary of Eunduk County, Discharged from Hoarding Food Secretly
An official of Booryong County, North Hamgyong Province was discharged from his job as the leading secretary of a model farm in Eunduk County. It was less than a year since he acquired this position. He was released from office due to hoarding food for personal purpose and he degenerated into labor of daily necessary-factory. With this news, residents of Booryong Country felt sorry for him saying, “Other secretaries had no trouble with 6-7 years of hoarding but he ruined himself by attempting to take too much in the most difficult times.” Farmer Ham Mi-hwa (age 45) said that the fact that people feel sorry for him does not mean that hoarding food is right, but “it is like an old saying, 'Men are blind in their own causes.' People feel sorry that someone from Booryong County is being dismissed in a time like this, when it is hard to find people with a sense of morality.”

A Rumor That People Who Escaped into South Korea Were Caught Is False
On October 30, a worker, who belongs to Bangjin-dong Fisheries Enterprise of Chungarm District, Chungjin City, North Hamgyong Province, disappeared with all his family. There was a rough guess that he escaped to South Korea since a barge was missing. Officers of the Police bureau asked his relatives and friends and started the pretrial interrogation process. Not long later, there was a rumor that some people who tried to leave the country were arrested. People who know the situation say that it is a false rumor and the party spread the rumor to stop people from being affected and attempting to escape themselves.

Officials' Distress, “Due to non-tax contribution, being the official is difficult”, “It is worse than being a worker”, “Being a party member does not guarantee food.”
Officials of Chungjin City, North Hamgyong Province, are annoyed because of the order of the upper party that they should support the construction of the Samsoo power plant. Officials say, “It is hard to tell workers who are suffering from food shortage problems to contribute non-tax payments. There are too many pretexts to demand extra contributions, which makes us feel sorry for workers.

Park Jong-geun (age 41) exposed hold-up he has to gather non-tax payments saying, “Lately it is very difficult to be an official at the factory or enterprise. Sometimes I think it is worse than being a worker.” He also says that mobilizing labor is a difficult problem. From November 1, Chungjin City ordered every factory and enterprise to send 2 workers to the construction of Samsoo power plant. Up to now, workers of the factory and enterprise took turns doing labor mobilization for half a year. But the problem is that many of the workers failed to tolerate the work and instead came back, running away from the scene. Workers who came back from the mobilization try not to go to the construction site because of the intense labor with unsuitable food. Whenever this kind of thing happens, it is the officials of the factory-party committee who are blamed Park said, “We propagate that people who work for three years at the construction site will become a party member but it does not help. Workers just laugh but nobody volunteers.” Lee Kang-cheol (age 31), a worker of the factory said, “Workers always talk about it saying, “who wants to work in the hell for three years to become a party member at this time? Does party membership give food or clothes?'”

Prohibition on the Use of Chinese VCR
North Korean Authorities banned the sale of a Chinese VCR at the market and also restricted the use of the VCR, which was imported after October, 2005. On October 29, when security guards visited every single house and checked for TV and VCRs, they confiscated them all, except ones that are registered before October 2005. People, who bought them after that time gave the security guards some money and put their items on the list just like they were registered before October 2005.

[Economy]
- Increasing Complaints over the Rise of the Winter Gimjang Salt Price
- Increase in Peddling as Strict Market Controls Are Enforced


Increasing Complaints over the Rise of the Winter Gimjang Salt Price
The distribution of the salt for Gimjang (김장)* this fall has begun in each Province. In September, the residents of Bookchung County in the South Hamgyong Province paid 350 NK Won for a kilogram of salt. However, the salt price has gone up to 400 NK Won per kilogram due to the increasing loss of salt during the transportation. As a result, the residents are being asked for 50 more NK Won per kilogram. Since the salt is badly needed, the residents have no other option but to pay more money.

Han Gap-sook (age 40) protests, “Although the salt store should be a government-run non profit store, the store owners are busy with pursuing profits under the guise of being a “public company” and are selling the salt at high prices.”

*Gimjang (김장): preparing a large amount of Gimchi for winter consumption.

Increase in Peddling as Strict Market Controls Are Enforced
In Pyongyang, the number of peddlers has increased after the government started a program of intensive control over businesses in the market. The peddlers lay out their fabric bundles in the corners of alleyways and run away quickly when they hear of control officers coming their way. One time, when someone joked that the officers were coming, the peddlers hurriedly gathered their items, bumping into each other and falling upon the ground. The scene soon became a mess. When they knew that it was just a joke, some fell unconscious from exhaustion or cursed loudly and came back to their business spots. Hwang Mi-sook (age 28), who watched all of these happenings from the beginning, laughed in despondency, saying, “In the future, this kind of incident will continue in the alleyways. Since this kind of incident occurs even in Pyongyang, we do not have to say what will be happening in other counties and cities.” Jang Hye-young (age 31) laments that, “It would be really great for common people, like me, if the government would consider our current difficult economic situations. Instead, what the government does is strictly control this kind of peddling. It is a pitiful situation to try to sell something to live, sent running in fear from a simple joke! I really hope that the authorities understand this situation.”

[Women/Children/Education]
- An Elder Homeless Girl (Kkotjebi Sister) Faints at the News of the Death of Her Younger Sister
- I Want To Get Married With the Money I Make From a Few Years of Rope Making


An Elder Homeless Girl (Kkotjebi Sister) Faints at the News of the Death of Her Younger Sister
Last November 2, a homeless (Kkotjebi) girl starved to death at Sinyang Station, South Pyongan Province. Beside her dead body, a girl who seemed to be about 12 years old was crying. The crying girl was an elder sister of the dead child.

To find their parents, the elder sister wandered about from station to station with her younger sister. Her father was sent to Re-education center for stealing a cow. Her mother went to China after leaving the children in the care of her relatives. But she was deported last year and was sent to the Re-education center as well.

Until the end of last year, the girls’ relatives, even though begrudgingly, allowed the girls to stay and eat with them while their mother was sending money but soon forced the girls out when the money stopped coming. The girls thought that they could meet their parents if they visited the Re-education center by themselves since they were only ten-year-old young kids. However, their travel was harsher than they had imagined.

After enduring much suffering, they went to the Jeungsan Re-education center where their mother was incarcerated. However, they could not meet with her because the center did not allow young children to meet with inmates.

With nowhere to go and barely alive from hunger, the girls stumbled to the Sinyang Station where the younger child eventually died of starvation. While holding the already stiff body of her younger sister, a poor girl cried so hard that passers-by and even the passengers on the train stopped and gathered with sympathetic ears for the girl’s story.

As more people gathered, the crowd became noisier which incited the police officers to disperse the crowd and take the crying child and her dead sister away. The authorities buried the younger sister and sent the elder sister to a Relief Institution for Kkotjebis.

I Want To Get Married With the Money I Make From a Few Years of Rope Making
Similar to their married female workers, unmarried women are in the habit of putting their names on the official work roster at their company while working on their part time jobs. From the beginning of November, the Euhhang-dong, Soonam District of Chungjin City, North Hamgyong Province is seeing an increase in the number of young women working part time to make sandfish nets and ropes. Although men and women of all ages of every household are taking on this part time job, this is proving especially profitable to young women given their nimble, skillful hands.

Song, Hyang-yi (19) who just recently graduated from her middle school has been submitting 15,000 NK Won to her company to miss work because she thought that she could make more money through this part-time job.

Miss Song confidently said, “If I work for a couple of years, I was told that I would be able to buy things like a TV, a VCR, an audio recorder, a bicycle, etc.” She described how young women who did not take on a part-time job and just went to work were barely able to buy beddings for their weddings.

Miss Song’s mother also agreed with her daughter saying, “Lately, if young ladies just go to work, they cannot save enough money for their wedding.” Jeong Geum-oak who is a member of Democratic Women’s Union said, “The reason why every young woman prefers a part-time job to a regular-desk job is not to get married well, but to feed themselves. Indeed, many women do not want to go to work because they cannot survive if they go to only their regular jobs without having part-time jobs.”

In this context, Youth Union has intensified inspections, but the number of women who go to work in name only and have part-time jobs is increasing.

[Society]
- Many Have Been Arrested for Cursing at the Country
- Family Stops a Father from Committing Suicide- Word on the Street: “Gotta have an offspring in Government to glean fields”

Many Have Been arrested for Cursing at the Country, “It feels good to not have to worry about what I’m saying here in the mountains”, "Only if I could eat white rice and beef meat soup before dying”….

Although they often do not have enough to eat, one couple is very satisfied with their life farming in the mountain in Daehongdan County, Ryanggang Province. The husband Park Sung-duk (51) said “We have to watch our P's and Q's when we live with a lot of people. But we are now in the middle of the mountains. It is not necessary to mind whatever I say here." When asked what kinds of things he says that he would not be able to say in a more crowded neighborhood, he replied, "Nothing in particular.” However, continued with “I was told that in China, even farmers use machinery for their work but here in Chosun, we are still stuck in primitive times depending only on human labor for farming. When will we ever develop as much as China? It will take forever for our county to get to where China is today. Things like this I would not be able to say if I were living elsewhere. I have heard that many people who live below the mountains have been arrested because they blamed and criticized the government out loud but because I live above all that I don't have to watch everything I say." His wife, while lamenting, "If only I could eat white rice and beef soup until my stomach was full before I died, I’d have no other wants. I am worried about how we will get through this winter season,” also laughingly commented, “but it is easy for us to get firewood and we saved more grains than usual this year for the winter. Next to having enough food, peace of mind is the best thing.”

Family Stops a Father from Committing Suicide
Hwang Hyuk (age 14), who lives in Sinyang County, South Pyongan Province is still shaken from his father’s recent suicide attempt. His father who has been suffering from high blood pressure for more than two years tried to commit suicide after falling victim to fraud by relatives. At his young age he is uncertain of the details, but it was around mid October when he noticed his parents troubled by their relatives from Nampo. Not long after the relatives returned home his father tried to kill himself by drinking poison. Fortunately, his mother who had came home from the small patch lot earlier than usual that day asked him, "What are you drinking?" and took the poison away sparing him from fatal injury. After making sure that her husband was safe she cried, "Our children are still alive. How can you do this?" Hyuk and his brothers all heard their mother’s cry and rushed to the scene. They held their father and the whole family broke out into tears. Hyuk cried and said, “I never imagined that my father could commit suicide. I don’t know about others, but I cannot comprehend how my father tried to abandon us like that”. Hyuk’s father replied in pain,” I realize that I have to live for the sake of my children; however, I still don’t know how we’re going to survive. I lost the crops that I have worked to grow all summer to my relatives. Now, beginning next year we are not even allowed to farm on a small patch lot. I don’t know how I am going to feed my family”.

Word on the Street: “Gotta have an offspring in Government to glean fields”

Townspeople from a farming village near Jungju City in North Pyongan Province, are talking a great deal about a certain couple whose son is the chief of police in a substation. Thanks to their son, the couple has been avoiding all labor-intensive tasks in the Fall Farming Mobilization. With an excuse of ill health, they only do the easiest jobs like gleaning a field. However, instead of picking up all the leftover grains, they were seen cutting some of the stalks off from bunches of rice stalks and putting them in their backpacks, thus finishing their day early. Even knowing about this, those who are in charge of the farm cannot say anything because of the couple’s son. In the past, even when they worked only on their private small patch lot farming (소토지 농사), farm management committee (농장관리위원회) and Division Party did not stop or reprimand them. The neighbors resent the couple, but only have this sarcastic remark to make about the current state of affairs: “What can we do. If you are envious of them, you should’ve had an offspring who is high up in the government.”

[Accidents]
A Ship Sinks Off the Sinpo Shore Due To High Winds

On October 28, in Sinpo City, South Hamgyong Province, fishing ships of a Fishery Enterprise (수산사업소) and a support division (후방부) of the 8th Bureau (8총국) sunk after meeting with heavy winds on the sea. There were no survivors. Some of the bodies washed into the shore in Hamheung city during the first week of November. From this news, the families of the victims and the fisheries enterprise have been searching neighboring seashores for the remaining victims. The Ministry of Fishery consoled the families of the victims by offering them an arirang TV.

[Commentary] Coming Soon!

[Planning a Series] Reading North Korea 2008 Through “North Korea’s Nationwide Report”
In North Korea 2008, What Was Accomplished and What Was Not?

Part 1 Review of New Year’s Combined Editorial 2008
Part 2 Executive Plan on New Year’s Editorial 2008
Part 3 Making Distinction from Lee Myung-bak Regime
Part 4 Warnings against Moral Hazards by Party Leaders
Part 5 Food Crisis, To Break Through? Or To Persuade?
Part 6 Love and Hate toward United States
Part 7 What North Korea Could Accomplish; What North Korea Could Not Accomplish;

Part 1: Review of New Year’s Combined Editorial 2008
This time of year, Good Friends aims to review and assess national accomplishments. It is a time to review how the year’s worth of plans were executed, what was accomplished, and what was not accomplished. Overall, North Korea has been facing controversies surrounding the nuclear issue. Internationally, North Korea succeeded in having its name removed from the list of ‘designated state sponsors of terrorism’ by the United States in October. Domestically, however, worsening food crisis, more severe than last year, has put North Koreans in a more vulnerable situation for survival.

The United States will have a new government headed by Democrat President-Elect Obama in the New Year, and the political situation on the Korean peninsula centering around the North Korean nuclear issue remains uncertain. The World Food Program warns that the dangers caused by the food crisis will continue to exist without external aid.

Before attempting to predict what might happen in 2009, “Good Friends” feels that it is necessary to review what the North Korean government planned, what has been accomplished, and what was left undone. Consequently, North Korea Today will attempt to investigate what the North Korean government paid the most attention to and compare its actions to our New Year’s Editorial 2008 and the North Korea’s Nationwide Report.

Why Do We Review New Year’s Combined Editorial?

Since 1995 the North Korean government announces its “State of the Nation” through New Year’s Combined Editorial instead of Annual New Year’s Speech. During the month of December, New Year’s National Goals and Principles on the National Plan are announced. In response, 2.16 Group writes New Year’s Editorial and has it published on the newspapers, including the Party Reports(Rodong Shinmun), the Military Reports(Korean People’s Army), and the Youth Reports(청년 전위) on New Year’s Day.

The New Year’s Editorial mainly deals with decisions concerning political, economic, military, cultural affairs and policy toward South Korea.

The significance of the North Korea’s New Year’s Editorial is huge because it is the only method the supreme leader of the nation uses as propaganda toward the outside world and as an educational tool domestically. When reading the New Year’s Editorial, one should pay the most attention to what modifiers are used, where the core emphasis is placed and what new words are used, etc, other than the content itself.

For example, New Year’s Combined Editorial 2007 states “This year is the 40th anniversary of Great Leader’s historical 5.25 Instruction and the Party’s instruction on ideology should be enhanced.” What is new in this Editorial is that 5.25 Instruction was emphasized as never before. 5.25 Instruction was the policy of the late Chairman, Kim Il-Song. He used it to purge his political enemies and strengthen his base, in the name of preserving the roots of the revolution of 1967. What the mention of 5.25 Instruction indicated on its 40th anniversary in 2007 was to declare war. Declaration of war was directed toward the party leaders and some elite groups who were involved in anti-socialist and luxurious life styles and corruption. The declaration of war also indicated a pre-warning that punishment of ‘release from their positions, prison sentences including capital punishment’ will follow as a consequence of the complete review of the situation.

Accordingly, in the year 2007, more thorough inspections were conducted on the anti-socialist groups, Central Prosecutor’s Office, Security Agencies and party leaders of other agencies. As a result, public executions were carried out on those leaders including President of Leungra 8.8 Company of Yonsa, Manager of Soonchun Stone Processing Plant, President of Soonchun Vinalon Factory and other workers in trading industry and economics field.

Peculiarities of New Year’s Combined Editorial 2008

Year of ‘Transformation’


What was peculiar in the Combined Editorial 2008 and how did it progress? First of all, “the high spirit of steep ascending directly to the top of the mountain, shown in New Year’s Editorial 2007” is toned down in the Editorial 2008. Titles differ. Editorial 2007 states, “With high level of confidence in victory, let’s open a booming era for military-first Chosun”, which promotes an aggressive forward-moving spirit. Editorial 2008, however, states, “This year is the 60th anniversary of foundation of the Republic. Let’s shine with a year of historical transformation, to be remembered long in the history of the Republic.” The tone has softened. What is to be noted in the title is the expression, “historical transformation.”

“Transformation” is interpreted to mean that the top of the mountain will not be scaled directly but it will be reached by going around the waist of the mountain. What “transformation” indicates is that the relationships with the outside world has improved as shown by 2.13 Agreement, and yet accomplishments are not up to what was planned. The other peculiarity was that ‘internal control within the system and protection of the leader by all means’ were intensely emphasized. This reveals the seriousness of the domestic crisis within North Korea. This year’s Combined Editorial emphasizes that the nation’s problems should be overcome by the ideological struggle based on the fundamentals of socialism.

Three Crises - Economic, Party and Military

North Korean authorities in the New Year’s Editorial point to three domestic crises; economic, party and military.

Economic crisis refers to the unsatisfactory accomplishment in 2007 when the Ministry of Electricity and the Ministry of Coal were separated and foreign funds were poured into the economic cabinet.

Even after the Park Bong-joo cabinet was replaced by the Kim Young-il cabinet, the problems in with electricity were paralyzing and no visible improvement.

The most serious is the problem food crisis in North Korea. The editorial states in length that there is no other desperate and important task than feeding the people at this time. The Editorial uses the words, “desperate” and “important” to emphasize the nation’s resolve to solve the food problem. However, their plans to solve the problem seem to remain unchanged. They just emphasize the farming of potato and soybean without providing any specific solution to the problems of lack of fertilizer and soil. This makes one feel that solutions to the food problem seem so remote.

Second, the party crisis refers to weakening of system of reporting unity from the Central Party to Provincial Party to City/County Party. All this happened because of the collapse in the central food rationing system, causing the County Party, City Party, and Provincial Party, each to act independently for its own survival. Consequently, control of the Central Party over the parties in the countryside has weakened. The Central Party continues to restore control by means of intense instructions and inspections against anti-socialist activities.

Lastly, this year’s Editorial mentions in length the military crisis without precedent and it indicates its seriousness. Internal discipline has become loose. There is a lack of unity in the chain of command and the orders are so confusing that it is hard to tell who commands whom. Even though the People’s Army encourage setting an example to create a spirit of patriotism among the people, the relationships between People’s Army and North Korean residents are becoming worse and worse since the March to the Hardship. Authorities have said, “Lets maintain a highly ‘agitated state’ and protect our socialist fatherland by all means.” They try to maintain the sense of urgency by using such word as “agitated state.” Highly ‘agitated state’ refers to a state of gun without safety pin and ready to fire.

Crisis Can Be Overcome By ‘Ideology Struggle’ Only, Pre-Warning of More Intense Market Control

What does North Korea think the solution is to overcome the three crises? North Korea emphasizes ‘ideology.’

“Today’s Forward March is Forward March by Ideology”, “Crush without mercy ideo-cultural invasion and psychological warfare by the reactionary enemy”, “Core of spiritual strength of our People’s Army lies in protection of our leader by all means”

All the above statements claim that establishing a strong nation requires strengthening the struggle for ideology and rejecting all that goes against socialism. Here lies the understanding that an open-door policy will lead to collapse. Also, here lies the hidden intent to control the markets because the authorities believe the markets are not where socialism demands them to be.

Relationship between North and South Koreas with Emphasis of “Among Ourselves” - A Little Hope toward Lee Myung-bak Regime

Domestically, the North Korean government presented solutions for the three crises. Internationally, what was their intention in the relationship with South Korea? The North Korean government did not show any preference toward the new government in South Korea. They praised highly the 6.15 Common Declaration, emphasized “Among Ourselves” policy and hoped the new South Korean government will inherit the policies of Kim Dae-jung and No Moo-hyun regimes.

Their statement, “6.15 Principle is an important factor in transforming the great task of unifying the fatherland to a new level” shows that they believe the 6.15 Principle to be an historical event in the unification of the two Koreas. As expected, 6.15 Principle plays an important role to hold the South Korean government responsible for hardening the relationship between the two countries. It should be recognized that the perspective of the North Korean government is quite different from that of the South. Domestic propaganda by the North Korean government states, “President Kim Dae-jung came to surrender” shows why they so highly praise 6.15 Common Declaration. Their emphasis, “Among Ourselves” also provides a quite different perspective from that of South Korea. If the South Korean government suggests that travel without any restrictions between the two countries is the way to accomplish the intent of genuine “Among Ourselves” principle, would the North Korean government agree to it? North-South relationship is so important that it will be reintroduced through reviewing the North Korea’s Nationwide Report published in April, 2008.

The Nationwide Report states, “Let everyone join in the struggle to accomplish the aggressive tasks announced in this year’s Combined Editorial.

On our next issue, a detailed review will be provided on what the specific plans are in the New Year’s Editorial.”

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