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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Koryolink commercial

We came across this interesting video clip of North Korean commercial on Koryolink, North Korea's 3G cellular network that was launched as a joint venture between the Egyptian telecommunications giant Orascom and the North Korean central government in December 2008, today. North Korean Economy Watch has written about Koryolink a while ago, but thought the commercial was interesting to share.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A short note on Strategic vs Tactical North Korean Rhetoric

With recent increase in North Korean rhetoric and today's North Korean live fire exercise that rattled the nerves of the South Korean military and increased tensions between the two countries, we thought it might be worth a while to discuss very quickly the differences of the North Korean rhetoric that is designed for strategic and for tactical purposes.

North Korea uses varying levels of rhetoric depending on its objectives. Overall, rhetoric issued by higher levels of governmental body tend to be strategic whereas lower level government body pronouncements tend to be tactical.

  • Strategic Rhetoric: Tends to address larger issues, often framed as the regime's initiative in order to achieve diplomatic and political progress. It is typically designed to hint and provide justification for the regime's foreign policy priorities. Contrast to the tactical rhetoric, strategic rhetoric is almost always carried by domestically oriented media outlets.

  • Tactical Rhetoric: Tends to be more inflammatory, often framed as responses to events external to the country. They have been used in the past to strengthen the regime's negotiating position ahead of bilateral or multilateral negotiations. Tactical rhetoric is also typically carried by the externally oriented media outlets, and they are designed to give the regime with maneuver room to either turn-up or -down the rhetoric as situations dictate.

Greater Tumen Area Economic Development Project: A Background

Many in Northeast Asia wish to see the Tumen Basin develop into a place for economic cooperation and competition. One such plan is the Greater Tumen Initiative (GTI), formerly known as Tumen River Area Development Project (TRADP), being carried out under the auspices of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The 20-year 80 billion USD plan calls for the creation of port facilities and transportation infrastructure in the region to support a multinational trading hub. Countries participating in the GTI are China, Mongolia, North Korea, Russia and South Korea.

The goal of GTI is to make the area into a free economic zone for trade to prosper and attract investment into the area. For China, the project would give traders in Northeast China easier access to major international ports without having to circumnavigate the Korean Peninsula and thus stimulating growth in China’s northeast rustbelt. For Russia, the project would give the ability to better exploit resources in Siberia and allow easier access to North Korea’s resource-rich hinterland; the area just to the south of the Tumen contains reserves of oil, minerals, coal, timber, and abundant farmland.

Development of the Tumen River area and North Korea’s participation in this project means inflow of hard foreign currency, improvements in infrastructure, and possible increase in industrial capacity. North Korea, with its bleak economy, therefore, will most likely continue to support the development of Tumen River area and increase its future involvement in the project as it seeks to break the economic isolation and hardship it has suffered since the collapse of most of its communist allies and the implementation of international sanctions.

Click here for a copy of full product.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Photos Indicate Demotion of North General?

A close aid of Kim Jong-il has dropped a rank, from four-star to three-star general, in a recently released photo that shows Kim Jong-il inspecting a joint training of ground, naval and air forces.

General Kim Myong-guk, 70, a high-ranking official in charge of military operations under the North's general political bureau of the Ministry of the People's Armed Forces, appears as a colonel general in the pictures released by Korean Central Television in Pyongyang, which showed Kim Jong-il observing the joint drills along with three generals, including General Kim, on Monday. In the photos, General Kim is explaining the training operations to Kim Jong-il. Reporting on military operations is the responsibility of a colonel general.

South Korean government sources said Kim seems to be retaining his position at the ministry. The colonel general was promoted to general in 1994, and the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper for the North's ruling Workers' Party, had called him a four-star general until last September.

But General Kim might have been demoted since then.

"Kim Myong-guk has remained a general for a long time. And since he accompanied Kim Jong-il recently for the joint drill inspection, Monday's photo was not an old one taken before he was promoted to four-star general," a high-ranking South Korean government official said to the South Korean JoongAng Ilbo on condition of anonymity. "We have intelligence that he has been demoted, but we are still trying to verify that, and if it's true to determine the cause of the demotion."

Another official told JoongAng Ilbo, "Even though there are some cases in North Korea where generals have been removed from their positions due to political or professional negligence, it is unprecedented to see an officer remaining a general while being demoted."

Political science professor Choi Jong-kun at Yonsei University said there is no recent incident other than the inter-Korean naval clash near Daecheong Island on the Yellow Sea Nov. 10 that would account for a demotion. Pyongyang reinforced the intensity of its training in areas around the Yellow Sea after the battle and declared waters around Northern Limit Line "a peacetime naval firing zone."

"I believe North Korea demoted Kim Myong-guk as a penalty for losing the naval skirmish," Choi said.

Other sources said they believed the punishment was the result of abuse of authority by General Kim. They also said General Kim likely retained a general's title because he is a core aide of Kim Jong-il.

General Kim accompanied the North's leader to inspections 15 times last year.

South Korea postpones military talks with North Korea

On January 22, North Korea proposed to South Korea for a round of military talks on Tuesday, January 26, to discuss transportation, communications, and customs system at the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC). Today, South Korea notified the North that its desire to postpone the military meeting until after the second round of talks on improving the operation of the KIC is held on February 1.

The South Korea Ministry of National Defense said it would make more sense to hold the military talks after the results of February 1 meeting, and that it would propose a new date to North Korea at "an appropriate" time.

On one hand, it is a very reasonable and pragmatic statement...on the other, it is some good old positioning.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

North Korea's State Media says Kim Jong-il Views 'Shattering' Military Drill

The North Korean state media reported on Sunday, January 17, Kim Jong-il has inspected a joint military drill of "shattering" intensity in the first such disclosure since he became military commander two decades ago.

Release of Kim's visit to the joint military drill comes after North Korea threatened on Friday, January 15, to break off all dialog with South Korea unless Seoul apologized for reportedly drawing up a contingency plan to handle potential instability in the North.

The North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Kim, who viewed the drill by the army, navy, and air force from an observation platform, expressed great satisfaction.

The state media, however, did not disclose when or where the maneuvers were held.

The North's state television, Korean Central Television (KCTV), released photographs of Kim Jong-il on a hilltop overlooking the exercise and scores of multiple-rocket-launchers.

It was the first time North Korea has released news of Kim inspecting such a joint drill since he was named supreme commander of the armed forces by his father, Kim Il-Sung, in December 1991.

KCNA reported, "With the order for the
start of the maneuvers, flying corps, warships and ground artillery pieces of various kinds showered a merciless barrage at the 'enemy group' in close coordination, thus shattering the 'enemy camp' to pieces and turning it into a sea of flame."

We had a few theories on the release of the occurrence by the North's state media:
1. It was designed to display a show of force against South Korea as part of its negotiating tactics.
2. It was designed for domestic consumption to quell the restless.

Given all the events that has been taking place in North Korea since last November, our money is on scenario number 2 as being most likely reason for the most recent release.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

North Korea’s Economic Policy in 2010: Resolutely against the Insurmountable Tide of Market Expansion

By Park Hyeong Jung, Senior Research Fellow
Korea Institute of National Unification Online Series

The new year’s joint editorial for 2010 demonstrated the continuity of North Korea’s domestic and foreign policy since August 2009. As for the economic policy, North Korea will reinforce the measures against the market expansion which have been gradually strengthened since 2005 and culminated in the money exchange measures at the end of 2009. North Korea would confront with daunting challenges in 2010, caused by its conservative orientation, which faces against insurmountable wave of societal and economic changes in the society and the world.

Though it began in 2005, the conservative economic orientation became a component of North Korea’s new strategic posture since August 2009. After having finished offense against South Korea and the U.S. from October 2008 to July 2009, North Korea set out five policy objectives domestically and internationally: First, to be acknowledged as a nuclear weapon state; second, to negotiate Korean peninsula peace regime and to end hostile relations with the U.S.; third, to domestically construct ‘economically strong state’ through conservative policy and mobilization; fourth, to frame inter-Korean relations for exchange and cooperation while avoiding to discuss nuclear issues; and fifth, to endeavor strongly to attract foreign investment.

The content of new year’s joint editorial was dictated by these five strategic objectives. In the new year’s joint editorial, on the hidden diction of being a nuclear state, North Korea avoided hostile expressions against South Korea and the U.S. to induce and facilitate prospect for ‘friendly’ relations. As to South Korea, it took placatory expressions, such as ‘improvement of North-South Korea relations’ and ‘active promotion of inter-Korean reconciliation.’ As to the U.S., North Korea wanted to ‘finish hostile relations between the DPRK and the U.S.’and ‘to establish solid peace regime on the Korean peninsula through dialogue and negotiation.’

In truth, the joint editorial places its main emphasis not on deterring outside threat but on rearranging domestic conditions. Setting such emphasis signifies that after achieving allegedly a nuclear state in the early 2009 and thereby having favorably rebalanced power relations with the neighboring countries, the North Korean authorities have prioritized to rearrange relations between the regime and society on behalf of the former since the late 2009 and in 2010. In this, two points could be mentioned: First, North Korea would see this year as a year of relative stability in its foreign relations so they can focus more on domestic power balance between the regime and society. Second, they would like to manage the consequences of monetary reform started in November of 2009 which meant a draconian attack on the economic activities outside of the state control, and to pressure the restoration of state sector predominance in the economy.

Click here for the full article.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

North Korea releases photos of Tank Exercises for the First Time

On January 6th, the Korean Central Television (KCTV) in Pyongyang ran still photos of tank drills by the North Korean People's Army 105th Armored Division. Kim Jong-il apparently was present to observe the drills, marking it his first field inspection of 2010. His first inspection of 2009 was also the 105th division. The KCTV reported that Kim Jong-il was pleased with the preparedness of the division. The 105th division is the first unit that invaded Seoul at the onset of the Korean War in 1950. Four of the photos released by KCTV clearly showed signs bearing names of South Korean cities and highways. While the North has been known to conduct military drills aimed at the South, this marks the first time the photos of such exercises were reported in its state media.

This unprecedented action seems to be primarily aimed at domestic consumption. The North may have been trying to boost the military's morale - especially with the Dear Leader himself in attendance, and to justify to the North Korean public that military has to be the focal point amid its economic turmoil.

Click on the photo to see all the photos released by KCTV.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

North Korea Started Uranium Program in 1990s, South Korean Foreign Minister Says

The South Korean Foreign Minister, Yu Myung-hwan, said on Wednesday [January 6] that North Korea apparently began pursuing a uranium enrichment program in 1996 - just two years after the 1994 Agreed Framework between the US and North Korea - in an interview with the Yonhap News Agency. Foreign Minister Yu said, "It appears that North Korea started its uranium enrichment program at least in 1996...What's clear is that the North began the enriched uranium development quite early." Yu did say, however, many things do remain unclear: "how far the program has advanced, how much enriched uranium, and how many nuclear weapons there are."

This being North Korea notwithstanding, this news is not too surprising. If the program indeed began in 1996, that means the planning and foundation work for the program has been on-going long before. It is also logical for a country to negotiate away something that it can afford to lose and have alternatives available to compensate for that loss. Oh, and of course, it should achieve maximum gain by negotiating something away. Given all this, it would only make sense North Korea traded away its nuclear program for international assistance after it already had plans in place to replace the loss internally. After all, no responsible leadership of a country relies strictly on the promise of the international community to guarantee its future.

[This almost makes North Korea seem logical and responsible, doesn't it?]

Well, for all of its faults, no one can argue that the North Korean leadership is definitely an extremely responsible and logical bunch when it comes to regime survival and domestic control.

Monday, January 4, 2010

found this while cleaning our archives

We were cleaning out our archives to reclaim some space on our server and found this clip of Robert De Niro's Saturday Night Live opening... We are very much sure that most of you have seen this already, but we thought this was hilarious and wanted to share it with everyone. Enjoy.

Friday, January 1, 2010

North Korea's 2010 New Year's Joint Editorial

Here's the full translated text of North Korea's 2010 New Year's joint editorial.

Today, our army and people greet the New Year, Chuch'e 99, 2010, with the great dignity of victors who created a great new history of a great revolutionary upswing.

A heyday of prosperity unprecedented in the history of the nation unfolds on the road before our army and people, who are boldly dashing toward the world as they let loose military-first Korea's infinite potential.

Standing at the head of the great revolutionary upswing, which is advancing with the might of single-hearted unity, great leader Comrade Kim Jong Il is leading the great battle of powerful state construction to a shining victory. Currently, all the people's army officers and men and the people are presenting their warm gratitude and greatest honor to respected and beloved Comrade Kim Jong Il, who is opening up a splendid future of our fatherland and revolution with his infinite energy and unremitting leadership, and they are full of firm resolve to uphold the party's causes to the end with their burning loyalty and heroic feats.

Last year, Chuch'e 98, 2009, was a year of transformation worth a special mention in the fatherland's history and a year of a dramatic turnabout when a singular era, where all the ideals of the people were realized, unfolded.

With a new great revolutionary upswing, great Comrade Kim Jong Il unfolded last year grand plans and operations that would open up a decisive phase in our revolution and the construction of a powerful state, and wisely led our army and people's struggle. The extraordinary leadership of the respected and beloved general who, upon kindling the torch of the great upswing in the land of Kangso'n, the home of Ch'o'llima, proposed to wage the 150-day battle and the 100-day battle and took revolutionary measures for their victory, was a fundamental source of having unprecedented storms of great innovation and great leap rage in this land. The peerless attack spirit of the respected and beloved general, who continued with a superintense forced march to seething hard-fought fields of the great upswing throughout the year as he burned his heart with the passion of sublime patriotism and love for the people, exploded the spiritual strength of millions of soldiers and people like an active volcano and had miracles which shook the world up and down be created everywhere. Epoch-making changes took place on all fronts and the nation's dignity was highly displayed even in a grim situation where imperialism's anti-Republic sanctions and crushing maneuvers reached an extreme. This is a valuable fruit of the strong, independent faith and will, powerful pluck, and energetic revolutionary activities of the respected and beloved general, who always brings victories with his head-on strategies and tactics. Last year's struggle more clearly etched in the truth in all the hearts of our army and people that the respected and beloved general's determination means practice, and that they will always win victory after victory if they follow the general.

Last year, astounding events which knocked on the gate to a powerful state took place one after another.

We successfully launched the artificial earth satellite Kwangmyo'ngso'ng-2 with our own efforts and technology and successfully conducted the second underground nuclear test. These were historic events that sounded the first boom of guns of splendid victories in the construction of a powerful state. The sounds of hurrahs for completing a chuch'e steel production system burst forth in So'nggang, and our CNC [computer numerical control] technology firmly broke through the world's cutting edge. These were great victories of the great chuch'e idea and nationwide, all-people auspicious events that demonstrated our infinite economic and technological potential. The fireworks soirees, which unfolded on the significant Sun's Day, May Day, and the October holiday powerfully displayed at home and abroad how grand our ideals and aspirations are for building a powerful state and how splendid is the future of military-first Korea, which is advancing under the guidance of the great party.

The country's economy entered a full-scale stage of ascent while an all-people, general decisive battle was being waged under the party's leadership.

The 150-day battle and the 100-day battle were unforgettable battles that etched in the most brilliant page in the history of our great upswing. The entire process of the 150-day battle and the 100-day battle, where all the people, including the working class, rose up as one and waged a heroic struggle, clearly showed what miracles and changes take place when the might of our perfect harmony, where the party believes in the people and the people death-defyingly safeguard the party and the leader, explodes.

Production grew epochally in the leading sectors and the basic industrial sectors of the people's economy, and industrial sectors in general were revitalized. New Ch'o'llima speed and Hu'ich'o'n speed were created, and monumental creations of the military-first era, such as Yo'ngwo'n Power Plant, Wo'nsan Youth Power Plant, the Miru Plain waterway, and houses on Mansudae Street, rose up everywhere. The Namhu'ng gasification project was completed and the modernization of major plants and enterprises was promoted vigorously. Last year, rapid achievements were attained in agricultural production and rural construction, countless cooperative farms changed into ideal villages of a powerful state, and the production foundations and potential of the light industrial sector, such as the textile industry and the food-processing industry, were much more strengthened.

Prominent achievements were attained in the construction of socialist culture as well.

Under the great general's energetic guidance, the flames of literary and artistic revolution of the military-first era burned up fiercely, and thus masterpieces were created and represented one after another in the film, opera, play, and music sectors. Models of mass culture and arts of a great upswing era were created, and the entire country was all afire with revolutionary passion and militant spirit. Educational institutions, such as Kim Il Sung University and Wo'nsan University of Agriculture, were excellently set up in line with the demands of the new century, and sports games results which brought great pleasure to our people were attained.

The great victories of the great upswing attained last year corroborated that our fatherland is soaring frightfully on a swift horse of leap and that the day when the drum beats of victory would resound for declaring a powerful state is now approaching. The great achievements of respected and beloved Comrade Kim Jong Il, who glorified the year 2009 as a year that served as a watershed of history in our party and revolution and the construction of a powerful state with his bold operations, the attack spirit of Paektu, infinite energy, and patriotism and unremitting self-sacrifice, will remain eternal and immortal in the fatherland's history.

New Year, Chuch'e 99, 2010, is a year of a general offensive in which [we] should concentrate all-party, nationwide efforts in the improvement of the people's living standards based on the proud victories and achievements of the great revolutionary upswing.

Great leader Comrade Kim Jong Il pointed out as follows:

Our [goal] of building an economically powerful state is ultimately aimed at epochally improving people's living standards. Only when [we] decisively raise the people's living standards can the hurrahs of socialism and the sounds o f the song Arirang of great prosperity resound more highly throughout the country and can the gate to a powerful state be opened.

This year is a meaningful year which greets the 65th founding anniversary of the glorious Workers Party of Korea [WPK] and the 65th anniversary of the fatherland's liberation.

The WPK is the most mature and sophisticated staff of the revolution in our era, and it is the great motherly party that brings valuable life and endless happiness to our people. The 65th founding anniversary of the party will serve as a meaningful occasion for glorifying great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung's immortal achievements, which he built up in the construction of our party, the cause of the chuch'e revolution, and mankind's cause of independence, and for displaying a great national spirit and a spirit of sure victory of our army and people, who, single-heartedly united around the nerve center of the revolution, are building a powerful socialist state which the world will envy. We should glorify the 65th founding anniversary of the party as a grand revolutionary auspicious event worth a special mention in the history of the Kim Il Sung nation by bursting forth to the maximum a fever of loyalty that is inflaming every heart for the party of great guidance, which has unfolded an endlessly splendid future along the road before the fatherland and the people, and struggling vigorously.

Our march of great upswing, which has advanced vigorously while raising a hot wind of creation and leap that dominated the century under the party's leadership, has welcomed a new phase.

The country's economic might, such as heavy industry, has been further strengthened amid fierce flames of a great upswing, thereby providing a springboard of leap on which our fatherland, which is displaying its might as a politically and ideologically powerful state and a militarily powerful state, can reach the high peak of an economically powerful state in a dignified manner.

Right now, our party is implementing unprecedentedly grand plans and operations to bring about a decisive turnabout in the people's living standards based on the great victory of the great revolutionary upswing. It is our party's steadfast determination and resolve to have our people, who have weathered difficult hardships following the party, enjoy being blessed with socialism to their hearts' content by having the achievements of the great upswing actually be allotted to the people, and to blossom into reality, without fail, the sublime intent and desires of the fatherly leader, who dedicated his entire life to the people. We should concentrate and mobilize all our efforts in a struggle for improving people's living standards by upholding the sublime intent of our party, which sets forth as the supreme principle of its activities to ceaselessly raise the people's living standards and spares nothing for the people.

Waging a great offensive to bring about a decisive turnabout in the improvement of the people's living standards amid very high flames of the great revolutionary upswing -- this is the general direction of this year's struggle.

Improving the people's living standards is not economic and technical work; it is important political work that shows off the justness of our party's causes, which are aimed at implementing the fatherly leader's behest and bring into bloom the millions of types of ideals of the people. By forcibly waging an all-party, nationwide general offensive for improving the people's living standards, we should have the victories of the great upswing lead to greater victories and have this meaningful year become a year of prosperity overflowing with the people's happiness.

We should advance while holding high the slogan, "Let us achieve a decisive turnabout in people's living standards by accelerating light industry and agriculture once again this y ear, which greets the 65th party founding anniversary!"

Light industry and agriculture are the main fronts of the struggle for improving the people's living standards.

The foundations of our light industry and agriculture, which our party has laid one by one as it looked ahead to today amid severe trials, are remarkable. Only when we continue to strongly seize our party's light industry revolution policy and agricultural revolution policy and display to the full our production potential, which has been consolidated already, will a great revolution take place in the people's living standards.

By concentrating all-party, nationwide efforts, [we] should increase people's consumer goods on a large scale. The light industrial sector should continue to achieve the modernization of plants and enterprises at a high level and powerfully wage a struggle to improve the quality of people's consumer goods. It should operate local industrial plants at full capacity and cause a sensation in all possible units to produce more daily necessities of various types which receive favorable reviews from the people.

The agricultural sector should epochally increase agricultural production by brilliantly materializing the party's agricultural revolution policies, such as the party's seed revolution policy, two-crop farming policy, potato farming revolution policy, and bean farming policy. It should thoroughly meet the demands of chuch'e-based farming methods and positively accept new farming methods and farming technology, such as organic farming. It must ensure that modern livestock, fish farming, and fruit production bases where a chuch'e-based seed production system is established and the principle of seeking actual profits is materialized turn out to be greatly effective in reality.

[We] should decisively increase national investment in those sectors related to the people's living standards, and all sectors and all units should smoothly guarantee in a timely manner raw materials and materials needed for light industrial goods production. [We] should contribute to economic construction and the improvement of the people's living standards by expanding foreign markets and positively waging foreign trade activities.

The four leading sectors are the locomotives of the people's economy and the key links to resolving people's living standards issues.

Great leader Comrade Kim Jong Il kindled the flames of the New Year's struggle at the Kim Ch'aek Iron and Steel Complex in December last year and placed the So'ngjin Steel Complex working class, which completed the chuch'e steel production system, at the forefront of the great revolutionary upswing of the military-first era. Permeated here are the enormous trust and expectations of the respected and beloved general, who wishes for the four leading sectors, such as the metal industry, to increase their marching speed of the great upswing to a maximum and serve as roots which firmly guarantee economic construction and the improvement of the people's living standards. From a steadfast point of view that the development of light industry and agriculture hinges on the development of heavy industry, the four leading sectors should powerfully push ahead with today's general offensive for improving the people's living standards with a high productive upsurge.

Only when steel materials come out will rice and machines come out. The metal industrial sector should increase its chuch'e steel production capabilities based on our raw materials and fuel and conquer at all costs the pig iron, steel, and rolled steel production goals presented by the party. The electric power industrial sector should positively push ahead with the construction of large-scale hydroelectric power plants, such as Hu'ich'o'n Power Plant, while concentrating its efforts in guaranteeing [the operation of] thermoelectric power plants at full capacity. The coal industrial sector should cont in ually increase its production capabilities by unconditionally producing and guaranteeing the coal needed for main objects, such as thermoelectric power plants and chemical plants, and accelerating their modernization. The railway transport sector should establish strong discipline and order like the military, produce more new locomotives and freight cars, and modernize railways and make railway tracks heavy-duty.

The machine industrial sector should produce more high-performance cutting-edge machines and facilities by continuing to achieve CNC-ification at a high level in line with the demands of the age of information industry and starting a tool revolution.

[We] should have all people become true enjoyers of the benefits of socialism by thoroughly materializing the party's and state's popular policies.

Our socialism's true nature lies in giving priority to and absolutizing public welfare and directing all benefits to the people. [We] should ensure that popular policies -- such as the free medical treatment system and the free compulsory education system, which the fatherly leader provided and which our party and state have historically implemented -- better reach the people's living standards. [We] should vigorously push ahead with the construction of 100,000 houses in Pyongyang with the houses on Mansudae Street serving as an example; [we] should build socialist fairyland streets and fairyland villages of the 21st century in more numbers in cities and rural areas. [We] should thoroughly observe socialist principles in commodity circulation and decisively raise the quality of service for the people.

The fundamental secret to achieving a new leap in this year's general offensive lies in boldly waging a struggle to break through cutting edge in all sectors.

In today's era of knowledge and economy, the pioneers of cutting-edge technology are the conquerors and victors of the future. The shortcut to raising to a world-class height the country's overall sectors, including the economy and science and technology, and building a socialist paradise where everything is prosperous and affluent, lies in breaking through cutting edge.

We should rise up as one while holding the slogan, "Let us break through cutting edge on all fronts of the construction of a powerful state and leap higher and faster." [We] should have the victorious gunfire sounds of knocking on the gate of a powerful state continuously echo from the national defense industrial sector, a basic front in the battle of breaking through cutting edge, and have the hot wind of breaking though cutting edge arise in all sectors and all units of the people's economy. We should bring science and technology close to production and, concentrating on enhancing the ability to develop our own technologies and products, carry out modernization and scientification in a far-sighted manner. [We] should correctly map out a strategy for the development of science and technology and rapidly develop core basic techniques, technology in important sectors, and basic science in accordance with the demands of the 21st century. With the determination to glorify our fatherland worldwide by [waging] a battle of brains and a technical battle, scientists and technicians should fulfill their roles as outpost duty soldiers in breaking through cutting edge and as standard-bearers in building a scientifically and technologically powerful state. [People] everywhere should vigorously wage a mass technical innovation movement to break through cutting edge and create new standards and new records.

Today's thrilling reality demands that [we] bring about revolutionary improvements in economic organizational work.

Innovative perspectives of foreseeing the future of economic development, bold operations, meticulous and perfect operational work, and active combat command -- this is the way of work th a t e conomic functionaries should have in the era of great upswing. Leading economic functionaries should map out enterprising and realistic enterprise strategies and business strategies and proactively push ahead with today's march of great upswing. [They] should enable the superiority of the highly organized socialist planned economy to clearly manifest itself by thoroughly establishing a planned discipline, a financial discipline, and a labor administration discipline. Functionaries should possess economic management knowledge broadly and deeply and should know how to correctly use various types of economic levers.

In order to increase the speed of the advance of this year's general offensive to the maximum, [we] should constantly heighten the infinite spiritual strength of the millions of soldiers and people.

Our people are great people who possess the strongest spiritual strength in the world, and our cause of building a powerful state is an invincible cause that advances with [our people's] spiritual strength as a basic weapon. There is no change in our party's position of advancing while holding fast to ideological power and spiritual might, no matter how the situation may change. We should have the masses' ideological and spiritual strength be displayed to the maximum by continually strengthening ideological education work, such as chuch'e idea education and military-first idea education, among party members and working people.

The lofty spiritual strength of our people is based on the strong will and the attack spirit of the respected and beloved general. All the party members and people should become resolute revolutionaries and vanguard fighters of death-defying defense of the leader, who sacrifice their lives to blossom into reality the great upswing idea and the far-reaching plans of the great general, who continues the road of his unremitting forced march for the fatherland and people. [We] should comprehend deep in our hearts the greatness and immortal leadership achievements of our party, which assumes full responsibility for the people's destiny and leads them to victory, and should exert ourselves, exert ourselves, and exert ourselves again to repay the party's trust and expectations with heroic feats and high work results. We should have the slogan, "If the party decides, we will do!" become the eternal motto of our people's life and struggle.

To us, who should leap toward the world higher and faster, national pride is as valuable as life. The bold spirit that makes one's eyes look out to the world while planting one's feet in one's land, the confident pluck believing that the Korean people can accomplish anything once they are determined to do so, and the extraordinary conviction and patriotic passion to overtake and outstrip the world's advanced standards and seize supremacy in every field -- these should seethe like lava in every heart of our party members and people. Befitting the people of a dignified powerful state that pioneered a cutting-edge era in which our satellites are flying in space, [we] should thoroughly embody the spirit of the-Korean-nation-is-the-best idea in all fields of social life.

The literary and art sector should create many masterpieces that philosophically and deeply reflect our party's greatness and our people's struggle and lives in the new era of great upswing, and should do this with an innovative eye of the 21st century and the creative method and fighting spirit of the 1970s so that the spiritual strength of the millions of soldiers and people surges to the highest level. Reporters and journalists should become the first buglers of great upswing in the military-first era, encouraging and promoting the general onward march ranks that are racing ahead like a gale.

To conquer the combat goals presented by the party this year, [we] should strengthen in every way the might of our revolutionary ranks whose core is the people 's arm y.

The people's army is the main force of the chuch'e revolution and the first standard-bearer in building a powerful state. The victory of the great upswing and the happiness of the people are guaranteed by the mighty military-first gun barrel.

In this significant year, which marks the 50th anniversary of the respected and beloved Supreme Commander Comrade Kim Jong Il's start of the military-first revolutionary leadership, the people's army should uphold the party's idea of breaking through cutting edge and should design and carry out all military and political work at the highest level, thereby more highly demonstrating the boundless and powerful might of the Mt Paektu revolutionary powerful army.

Our people's army is an elite unit of perfect harmony with the same idea, will, temperament, pluck, feeling, and emotion as the respected and beloved comrade supreme commander. The people's army should highly hold up the slogan, "Let us defend with our lives the nerve center of the revolution headed by the great Comrade Kim Jong Il," more strongly kindle the flames of the movement to win the O Chung-hu'p Seventh Regiment, and bring up all officers and men to become vanguard fighters of the military-first revolution exactly resembling the respected and beloved comrade supreme commander and death-defying corps of human bombs whose hearts are burning with the spirit of safeguarding the leader. [The people's army] should hold the work to establish a revolutionary command system and military ethos as the main line of the party work and political work, and should unceasingly deepen [the work] so that the entire army is overflowing with the soldier temperament of unconditionally implementing the respected and beloved comrade supreme commander's orders and instructions. [The people's army] should continue to exert great efforts to accelerate the revolutionization of the entire army.

The people's army should hold fast to the five-point training policy and four-point training principles presented by the party and strongly blow the hot wind of Paektu training. In accordance with the demand of the battle of breaking through cutting edge, [the people's army] should intensely conduct all training in an actual war atmosphere like a real fight so as to prepare commanding officers as omnipotent commanding officers with extraordinary resources and commanding art and strong pluck and courage; and prepare soldiers as brave fighters who can independently implement combat missions entrusted to them in the worst conditions. The entire army should improve the units' command and management, thoroughly establish military discipline, and more strongly show off the appearance of the most elite revolutionary strong army. The people's army should always maintain a high state of agitation without a moment of laxity and leniency, and should prepare thorough combat mobilization readiness so as to resolutely smash the enemy's any surprise provocative maneuvers.

With revolutionary soldier spirit, the people's army officers and men should continue to create feats that will shine in history at grand construction battle sites such as the Hu'ich'o'n Power Plant construction site. [They] should highly hold the slogan "Let us help the people!" and solidify like steel the unity between the army and the people, which is the root of military-first Korea, and should set examples in society in all aspects, including ideological, spiritual, moral, sports, and artistic aspects.

All the people, including the working class and the youth, who are brave participants in the great battle of building a powerful state, should conduct a brave offensive, considering their outposts as fronts.

The working class is the vanguard detachment that leads the great era of great upswing and the pillars of construction of an economically powerful state. Our party is designing a brilliant future of the construction of a wealthy and powerful fatherland and leading the constru ct ion t o victory, believing in the high revolutionary character and tenacity of the DPRK's working class, which does not know anything impossible. Our working class should create a new speed of march with the same spirit and mettle of manifesting the feats in the 150-day battle and the 100-day battle. The noble patriotism and loyalty of wanting to highly uphold their leader [ryo'ngdoja] in practice; the thorough chuch'e faith of believing in one's own strength and creating and fighting in our own style; and mass heroism of creating ceaseless miracles and innovations with the united strength of the collective -- [the working class] should make these strongly palpitate in every outpost guarded by our working class.

The youth, who are the shock brigade of the revolutionary great upswing, should open a breakthrough of advance on the most difficult and laborious fronts, including the construction site of Paektusan Military-First Youth Power Plant, and should build more monumental creations of the military-first era, bearing the burning passion to move thousands of mountains if it is the party's call. [They] should become youth heroes who unsparingly manifest the welling strength and wisdom of youth and glorify the era of great upswing with immortal feats; and become able youth talents who break through cutting edge and highly manifest the dignity of the fatherland.

To achieve brilliant victory in this year's general offensive, [we] should strengthen the party and extraordinarily enhance the role of party organizations.

This year, which marks the 65th founding anniversary of the party, party organizations should achieve a new turnabout in party work and highly manifest our party's militant might that has been solidified in the storms of the military-first revolution. Putting forth the people as heaven and fighting for the people's happiness is a proud aspect of our party. Party organizations of all levels should make all party work aspire to realize the party's intention to epochally raise the people's living standards. Party organizations and party functionaries should rally all party members and working people around the party like steel and become a blower that bursts forth the masses' spiritual strength to the maximum. [They] should further deepen the movement to win the three-revolution red flag and make the three kinds of flags -- ideological, technological, and cultural -- strongly flap at all battle sites. [They] should vigorously conduct the frontline-style political work in the seething reality and fill the entire society with a great revolutionary ambience so that everyone can enter the grand festival venue of October, bearing proud labor results to be dedicated to the motherly party.

[We] should thoroughly protect and realize the masses' interest in accordance with the demand of the party's revolutionary masses line and solve all problems by the strength of the masses. Functionaries should become people's true servants who take hold of public sentiments and carry out their work in accordance with public sentiments, and become trustworthy commanders who have easy-going personalities and a noble human touch and who are respected and loved by the masses. [Functionaries] should ceaselessly revolutionize themselves and become mirrors of the masses in all aspects. Party organizations and party functionaries should put great efforts in the supply work and further encourage the working people's revolutionary enthusiasm and militant spirit.

All party members should bear high political consciousness of being the members of the glorious WPK, should beat the drum of the great upswing before others anywhere, and should become skillful political activists and brave assault fighters who always hold up the flag at the van of the ranks as they advance.

Working people's organizations should further strengthen the ideological education work among union members and actively conduct various mass movements, including socialist com petiti on, so that all working people will unsparingly explode their patriotic passion in today's great battle of building a powerful state.

This year is the 10th anniversary of the announcement of the historic 15 June North-South Joint Declaration.

The 2000 meeting between the supreme leaders of the North and South and the announcement of the 15 June Joint Declaration were historic events that bear great significance in carrying out the cause of the fatherland's reunification. A new era of independent reunification was opened, following the banner of the 15 June Joint Declaration, and achievements unseen in the past were made in the development of North-South relations and the fatherland's reunification movement. The 4 October Declaration, which is the action program of the 15 June Joint Declaration, was adopted and the past 10 years, when our nation advanced along a path of independent reunification and peaceful prosperity, clearly proved that the North-South joint declarations are the most just reunification programs and it is none other than By Our Nation that is the national spirit and the only idea of the 15 June reunification era.

Last year, we exerted sincere efforts while taking proactive and bold measures to improve the aggravated North-South relations and to open an epoch-making phase in the fatherland's reunification. Our measures brought about great support and sympathy from home and abroad and created an atmosphere of dialogue and cooperation between the North and the South. The maneuvers by the splittist forces at home and abroad to block the advance of the 15 June reunification era are vicious, but the nation's aspiration and will to achieve independent reunification and national prosperity by implementing the North-South joint declarations cannot be broken, and it is inevitable for the reunification patriotic forces to overwhelm the splittist forces and achieve victory.
This year, we should advance by holding high the slogan, "Let the entire nation unite under the banner of North-South joint declarations and realize the fatherland's reunification as soon as possible!"

[We] should open up a road of improving North-South relations.

Our position of improving North-South relations and opening up the path ahead of the fatherland's reunification based on the historic 15 June Joint Declaration and the 4 October Declaration is unshakable. If the South Korean authorities negate the 15 June Joint Declaration and continue to cling to confrontational commotion by colluding with the outside forces, North-South relations can never be improved. The South Korean authorities should not do things that aggravate confrontation and tension but should respect the North-South joint declarations and come out to a path of North-South dialogue and improved relations.

[We] should positively realize national reconciliation and cooperation.

[We] should promote reconciliation by putting the nation's common interests at the forefront and give impetus to cooperative projects through comings and goings and contacts between people from all walks of life. All types of legal and institutional mechanisms that hinder projects for the nation's common interests and co-prosperity should be abolished, and free reunification discussions and activities by a broad range of people should be guaranteed.

The entire nation's unity is a decisive guarantee for the fatherland's reunification. All the brethren of the North, South, and overseas should strengthen solidarity and unity to develop the fatherland's reunification movement. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the announcement of the 15 June Joint Declaration and the 30th anniversary of the proposal for founding the Democratic Confederal Republic of Koryo', [we] should further heighten on a nationwide scale an atmosphere of independent reunification, reconciliation and cooperation, and unity.

The flames of the struggle for independence, democracy, and reunification should be vigorously kindled in South Korea. [We] should hold high the banner of independent reunification and the anti-war, pro-peace flag for a world of reunified people where there are no outside forces.

The entire Korean nation should beat back all types of challenges from the anti-reunification forces through united strength and, by accelerating a nationwide grand reunification march, brilliantly decorate the year 2010 as a year of opening a new phase of independent reunification.

The fundamental problem arising in guaranteeing the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and the region today is putting an end to the hostile relationship between the DPRK and the United States. Our position to provide a solid peace regime on the Korean peninsula and realize denuclearization through dialogue and negotiations remains consistent. Our party and the Republic's Government will develop good-neighborly and friendly relations among countries with the banner of independence, peace, and friendship held up high and vigorously struggle to make the world independent.

Our party is a great guide leading the fatherland and people toward victory after victory, and our army and people are a heroic army and people for whom there is nothing they cannot do if the party plans and decides [to do something]. The spirit of our army and people, who have risen up in a magnificent road of march to glorify this year, which greets the 65th founding anniversary of the party, as a year of great change which is worth a special mention in the history of the construction of a powerful state, is sky high now.

The magnificent sounds of fireworks which will burst open over the skies of auspicious October will shake the whole world as sounds of fireworks of the pledge of the millions of soldiers and people who are determined to advance along the military-first road to the end by following the party, and as sounds of fireworks of jubilance where all the people enjoy being truly blessed with socialism.

[Let us] all firmly unite around the nerve center of the revolution headed by great Comrade Kim Jong Il and more vigorously fight for the brilliant victory of the construction of a powerful state and the chuch'e cause.