Spokesman of DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs on developing relations with EU

    Pyongyang, May 17 (KCNA) -- The European Union decided to establish diplomatic relations with the DPRK at a meeting of foreign ministers held in Brussels on May 14 and officially informed the DPRK of it, said the spokesman of the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs in an answer given to a question raised by KCNA on Wednesday. He continued:
    The DPRK appreciates and welcomes this decision as it was prompted by the desire to develop the relations between the DPRK and the EU on a fresh basis and thus contribute to peace and security on the Korean peninsula.
    The DPRK has consistently maintained the stand to establish good-neighbourly and friendly relations with all the countries of the world friendly to the DPRK guided by the idea of independence, peace and friendship, the tenets of its foreign policy.
    Pursuant to this policy, in September last the DPRK proposed to the EU to establish diplomatic relations and develop the bilateral relations on a fresh basis in conformity with the need of the new century.
    The top-level EU delegation's recent visit to the DPRK marked an important occasion in developing the bilateral relations.
    It was a historic event in the relations between the DPRK and the EU that leader Kim Jong Il met the delegation.
    Many countries of the world positively appreciate the relations between the DPRK and the EU developing on good terms in keeping with the trend of the times toward peace, detente and cooperation.
    The DPRK will in the future, too, strive to develop the relations with the EU in all fields.

Japanese chief executive's remark under fire

    Pyongyang, May 17 (KCNA) -- The chief executive of the Japanese government expressed his intention to visit the Yasukuni Shrine in his personal capacity as the prime minister on August 15. In this regard Rodong Sinmun today in a signed commentary says:
    The chief executive of Japan is seeking to create social atmosphere for calling back the departed soul of the fallen militarists on the occasion of the day of the most disgraceful defeat of the Japanese imperialists.
    The visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, the symbol of militarism and overseas aggression, is the most sensitive political issue. That is why it is a touchstone that distinguishes Japan's position as to whether it intends to turn away from militarism of the past or launch militarist aggression again.
    The Japanese reactionaries have made military and legal preparations to commit any war of aggression by accelerating the conversion of Japan into a military power.
    What remains to be done by Japan now is to get an ideological preparation to mobilize its people in the event of its start of overseas aggression.
    The Japanese reactionaries are using the visit to the Yasukuni Shrine as the best chance to do so.
    The Japanese chief executive's planned official visit to the Yasukuni Shrine pursues such a sinister aim.
    By taking the lead in the official visit he seeks to woo cabinet members and officials and all other people to follow suit in a bid to create social atmosphere and implant militarism and revanchism into the Japanese.

Erection of monument to Kim Jong Il's exploits proposed in Russia

    Pyongyang, May 17 (KCNA) -- TheRrussian Association for Friendship and Cultural Cooperation with the DPRK proposed to erect a big monument in the area of the secret camp on Mt. Paektu, the venue of a "meeting to congratulate the sun of the 21st century," to convey to posterity the exploits of leader Kim Jong Il whom the world people praise as the great sun of the century. The organization clarified this stand in a statement issued after discussing a proposal of the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Committee for Supporting Korea's Reunification to celebrate Kim Jong Il's birthday next year with splendour.
    The statement extended full support to the committee's proposal to inaugurate national preparatory committees to grandly celebrate February 16, 2002, organize multifarious functions and hold the "meeting to congratulate the sun of the 21st century" in the area of the secret camp on Mt. Paektu as a grand international political and cultural festival.
    Kim Jong Il is a brilliant leader and the great sun of the 21st century who has made an immortal contribution to the Korean people's struggle for socialism and national reunification, the statement said, adding:
    The association will make every possible effort to significantly greet February 16 next year.

U.S. urged to stop hampering Mt. Kumgang tour

    Pyongyang, May 17 (KCNA) -- The plan for South Koreans' tour of Mt. Kumgang was accepted by the north in November 1998 out of noble patriotism and the desire to contribute to national reunification by meeting the South Koreans' strong wish to see Mt. Kumgang, the famous mountain of the nation, and helping them contribute to national reconciliation, unity and great national unity. The United States has hampered the tour in every way from the outset as it is displeased with the favourably developing inter-Korean relations and any movement for the reunification of Korea.
    In order to scotch the Mt. Kumgang tour which started as an undertaking for non-governmental cooperation when the relations between the north and the south remained frozen, the U.S. directly meddled in this affair, asserting that expenses paid for the tour would be "exclusively used for a military purpose," and hampered it in various ways.
    On December 28, 1998, when South Koreans' tour of Mt. Kumgang just started under the contract with Hyundai the Japanese Yomiuri Shimbun reported that the U.S. North Korea policy coordinator, Perry, during his visit to Seoul early December, referring to the South Koreans' tour of Mt. Kumgang, expressed his apprehension as to the possible diversion of a huge amount of money paid to the DPRK for the tour into military spending and, accordingly, the South Korean authorities put the brake on Hyundai's remittance to the north.
    The February 2, 2001, issue of the Japanese Sankei Shimbun reported that "the concern over North Korea's possible use of Hyundai's fund for a military purpose has been expressed by both sides of the government and the military since the days of the Clinton administration and the U.S. forces command in South Korea met the Hyundai representative in November last year to protest such assistance." This proves that the U.S. military authorities pressurized South Korea not to pay for the tour.
    Commander of the U.S. forces in South Korea Schwats testified at the U.S. senate on March 27, 2001, that "threat from North Korea has grown more serious than last year and North Korea is conducting intensive military drills and busy buying arms," bringing into bolder relief the "threat from North Korea" and craftily trying to support through such expression as "arms purchase" his assertion that Hyundai's payment for the tour may be exclusively used as military spending. (March 29, 2001, issue of Kyunghyang Daily News)
    A researcher specializing in Asian affairs at the investigation bureau of the U.S. congress said on January 4, 2001, that "Washington government, the people and the military are deeply concerned about the fact that North Korea might have used the money the Hyundai paid to it for the tour for a military purpose. The Bush administration would be critical of such deal." (January 4, 2001, Voice of Free Asia) All these facts go to prove that the U.S., undesirous of reconciliation, cooperation and reunification between the north and south, was not pleased with the Mt. Kumgang tour from the outset and is now meddling in every affair of other country, saying this or that, and keen on obstructive moves.
    If the tour is suspended or derailed, the U.S. and its followers who have stood in its way will be held wholly responsible for it.
    The U.S. is well advised to stop meddling in the Mt. Kumgang tour, the business of the Korean nation.

S. Korean authorities urged to stop abuse of power

    Pyongyang, May 17 (KCNA) -- The UN human rights organization on May 11 demanded the South Korean authorities stop criminal actions against trade unions and restrain the misuse of government power, according to Seoul-based Yonhap News. The organization said:
    The police force was hurled to crack down upon demonstrations of South Korean workers, a result of recent massive dismissal and unemployment. It is totally unacceptable to incriminate trade unions' actions.
    It also laid down 13-point demands including reexamination of status of part-time workers and guarantee of their rights and three labor rights to teachers and public employees.
    In this regard, the society for human rights movement, referring to the people's sufferings growing due to unstable employment, the widening gap between the rich and the poor, and high education fee, on May 12 urged the authorities to implement the recommendations of the UN human rights organization at once, said the MBC.

U.S. "Missile Defence" system rejected in S. Korea

    Pyongyang, May 17 (KCNA) -- The joint measure committee for checking the U.S. NMD and TMD and achieving peace called a press conference in Seoul on May 14, according to an Yonhap News report from Seoul. The organisation said at the press conference that "missile defence" system, which is believed to be pushed forward in real earnest with U.S. deputy state secretary Armitage's tour of South Korea as a momentum, would spark a world-wide arms race and the waste of tremendous resources and lay a major obstacle to peace and reunification on the Korean peninsula.
    The organisation called for a prompt stop to the moves to push ahead with the "missile defence" system.
    It accused the U.S. of seeking to sacrifice the Korean nation for the development of the "Missile Defence" system.

Putting national economy on modern and information basis called for

    Pyongyang, May 17 (KCNA) -- Putting the national economy on a modern and information basis is prerequisite to attaining a high rate of growth in production on the basis of the latest scientific and technological achievements to build a powerful nation and improve the standard of people's living, Rodong Sinmun today in a signed article says. It goes on:
    Only when the national economy is placed on a modern and information basis is it possible to put the economy on the world's level and develop it our own way with our technology despite the imperialists' moves to isolate and stifle the DPRK.
    The modernization of the national economy is a strategic line of socialist construction and placing the national economy on an information basis is a high phase of modernization. the modernization of the national economy in the 21st century means modernization based on putting all fields of the national economy on information technology (it).
    Only when modernization is combined with it, is it possible to give full play to the might of the material and technical foundation of the national economy.
    Placing the national economy on an information basis means equipping production processes and management with it.
    What is important for placing all fields of the national economy on an information basis in conformity with the era of the information industry in the 21st century is to develop information science and technology.
    Korean-style socialism has strong potentialities to put the information industry on the world's level in a short span of time.

Scientific and technological information service active in DPRK

    Pyongyang, May 17 (KCNA) -- The Central Scientific and Technological Information Agency is popular in the DPRK for its good service. The agency renders, in the main, information service through its computer network. It, at the same time, makes various forms of scientific and technological information service.
    Subscribers get all kinds of information everyday including new scientific and techonological information, common knowledge and TV program. The agency provides them with e-mail and electronic news services.
    Meanwhile, the agency renders computer-processed services including provision of scientific and technological computer encyclopedia and computer foreign language dictionaries, database for different fields, books, magazines, programs and information on common knowledge. it also publishes a variety of computer publications.
    It gives intensive and uninterrupted service to the institutes tasked to solve the latest key scientific and technological problems. Through its computer network the agency helps various units keep abreast of the trend of scientific development in the world and actively promote production and researches.
    Services to form network or repair hardware are also available at the agency.
    Various institutions receive from the agency services for designing a suitable network, purchase of equipment installing a network, technology of its operation, management, development of programs for editing, training of technicians, hardware overhaul and so on.
    The agency is now busy with various projects to gather more scientific and technological information to provide speedy and accurate information service to different fields of the national economy.

Int'l fact-finding group hears testimonies

    Pyongyang, May 17 (KCNA) -- The international group to probe the truth behind the GIs' atrocities headed by Ramsey Clark, former U.S. attorney general, Wednesday visited the Sinchon Museum in South Hwanghae Province, the DPRK. Displayed in the museum are materials proving that U.S. imperialist aggression troops brutally killed more than 35,000 guiltless civilians of Sinchon county or a quarter of its total population during their 50-odd day occupation of the county in the last Korean War (June 1950-July 1953).
    The atrocities committed there by GIs put the crimes the Hitler fascists committed at the Oswiecim concentration camp in the shade.
    The members of the group probed the truth behind mass killings, visiting a bomb shelter of the then Sinchon county party organization, a powder store in Wonam-ri, tombs of 5,605 patriots, 400 women and 102 children.
    They heard testimonies made by those people who suffered untold misfortune and sufferings at the hands of the GIs.
    Testifying to the fact that their parents, brothers and sisters were massacred in cold blood and they narrowly escaped from death, victims asked the group to indict and denounce the U.S. imperialists for their crimes.
    The head of the group said that as an American citizen he felt guilty about GIs' atrocities during the Korean War. He noted that the testimonies made by victims are of great importance as they exposed part of the U.S. history of aggression of Korea. He stressed that materials and testimonies gathered would be widely used to let many people know about the sufferings the GIs brought to the Koreans.
    He also noted that the U.S. government, afraid of the GIs' atrocities beyond human imagination being known to the world, is trying to cover up the truth.
    Referring to the fact that GIs' crimes are still reported on the Korean peninsula, he declared that they are certain to be settled generation after generation.
    The South Koreans cannot enjoy genuine freedom as the U.S. troops remain in South Korea.
    He underscored the urgent need to let the world know about the GIs' atrocities not only for the sake of victims but for the prevention of such crimes.
    Brian Becker, chairman of the U.S. Get Out of Korea Committee, who is a member of the group, said that he would make every possible effort for the withdrawal of the U.S. troops from South Korea and the realization of a lasting peace on the Korean peninsula.

Greetings to Norwegian King

    Pyongyang, May 17 (KCNA) -- Kim Yong Nam, President of the presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, today sent a message of greetings to Harald V, King of Norway, on the national day of his country. Extending warm congratulations to the king and his people on the occasion, the message wished him good health and happiness and the people of the country progress and prosperity.

S. and N. Korea-Japan network to be formed

    Pyongyang, May 16 (KCNA) -- The network for postwar compensation for damage, a Japanese civic organization, and the South Korean Council for Promoting Compensation to the Pacific War Victims decided to inaugurate the "network of south and north Korea and Japan for postwar compensation," a permanent solidarity organization, to make a joint counteraction, according to MBC from Seoul. The secretary general of the network said that the distortion of facts in history textbooks mirrored the Japanese government's wrong perception of history intended to evade postwar compensation, and that "victims should unite and force Japan to apologize and compensate them."