Archive for May, 2013

Bird flu in the heart of Pyognyang

Monday, May 20th, 2013


Pictured above (Google Earth): Tudan Duck Farm

UPDATE 1 (2013-6-11): According to Yonhap (via Global Post):

North Korea has reported to the international agency on animal health that the country has seen no new bird flu cases since early last month, agency officials said Tuesday.

Ri Kyong-gun, the North’s agricultural department chief, said, in a report sent to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), “There are no new outbreaks” as of May 22, some 10 days after a duck farm near Pyongyang reported animals showing symptoms of avian influenza, known as the H5N1 virus.

While the source of the outbreak and its origin are not yet known, the communist country “humanely culled all ducks in the infected cages and has vaccinated 500,000 heads nationwide,” the official said in the report.

According to the comments there, weekly follow-up reports will be submitted, “as the event is continuing.” The May 22 report is the latest one available on the OIE website.

The international agency earlier said the highly contagious virus was presumed to be spread by migrating birds from China, where its Tibet Autonomous Region saw 35 chickens die at a farm after showing symptoms of avian flu.

In a move to conduct an on-spot inspection into the recent cases and to help North Korea with quarantine activities, three experts from the OIE and the Food and Agriculture Organization made a one-week trip to the communist country from June 3, the Washington-based Voice of America said.

An outbreak of the avian flu led to a mass cull of 210,000 chickens in North Korea back in 2005.

ORIGINAL POST: According to KCNA (2013-5-20):

DPRK Strives to Prevent Spread of Bird Flu Virus

Pyongyang, May 20 (KCNA) — The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has been making big efforts to prevent the spread of the bird flu virus.

According to an examination made by the Central Epizootic Prevention Center and the Veterinary Institute under the Academy of Agricultural Science on May 7, it was found that ducks in the Tudan Duck Farm in Pyongyang were infected with the H5N1 virus by migratory birds. They briefed UN bodies concerned on this situation while taking steps to kill as many as 160 000 ducks in the farm and quarantine and disinfect it.

More than 1 360 veterinary epidemic control teams are now working throughout the country to keep a close eye on poultry and movement of wild birds. Efforts are made to raise the diagnosis capability of provincial epizootic prevention organs and increase preventive medicines.

Meanwhile, preventive measures are being taken against H7N9 virus under the direction of the State Emergency Anti-epidemic Committee. They include checkup of persons from the bird flu virus-hit areas, test and quarantine of poultry and restriction on movement of living fowls. A strict step was taken to hedge fowl, duck, pigeon and other domestic poultry off from the outer world.

Intensive hygienic information service is going on among inhabitants.

Additional information as the WSJ Korea Real Time.


Concentration on economic construction based on nuclear deterrance

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)

The official mouthpiece of the (North) Korean Worker’s Party, Rodong Sinmun, claimed on May 3, 2013 that the key to rapid economic growth was to concentrate on economic construction based on the country’s foundation as a powerful nuclear state and obtaining a powerful nuclear deterrent.

On the same day, it ran an editorial entitled “Our Party Line of Economic Construction and Nuclear Weapons Development Is Permanent”, which claimed that “as demonstrated throughout history, the greatest path to economic construction is developing a reliable nuclear deterrent.”

While this is a restatement of the nuclear weapons development and economic construction plan adopted on March 31 at a plenary session of the Party’s Central Committee, it also indicates that in the future North Korea may focus on capital investment in the economic sector.

The editorial mentioned the importance of developing the nuclear energy industry, uranium resources, and the knowledge and skills of North Korea’s nuclear technicians. It also mentioned that “Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il provided us with a robust nuclear energy industry and we possess both inexhaustible supplies of uranium and world-renowned nuclear technicians.” The article also claimed that “the Party’s policy is based on our sovereign right to nuclear power and while developing nuclear weapons, the Party aims to address the issue of insufficient electric power.” This can be seen as an indication that North Korea intends to make use of its nuclear technology in solving its electricity woes.

In respect to the current political situation on the Korean peninsula, the editorial commented, “the current state of affairs in the future is dependent on the attitudes of the enemy that could take a turn toward a nuclear war or appeasement.” It denounced the United States, saying that “whether it adopts a hard line or appeasement policy, its nefarious attitude toward our republic, contriving the collapse of the regime remains unchanged.”

It claimed the only solution to alleviate the tension on the Korean peninsula and to improve relations with the South was through reinforcement of nuclear power and economy which can “ultimately terminate the schemes of the external powers and accelerate our nation’s long-cherished wish of national reunification.”

The principle of self-reliance was named as the imperative strategy to engender major revolution and growth and encouraged “all sectors, ranging from the Workers’ Party to business administration, education, literature and arts, must establish innovative and effective ways that meet the realistic demands of development and overcome schemas and rigidity.”


DPRK debt

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future, Victor Cha, 2012, p116-118.

The third bad decision took place in the 1970s. It related to foreign debt. The DPRK continued the same trends of previous decade as economic resources were diverted to the military. Despite having half the population, North Korean military spending exceeded that of the South every year from 1968 to 1979. The buildup of this decade included increasing the size of the armed forces from 485,000 to 680,000, which was twice that of the ROK. By 1980, troop number stood at 720,000 and continued to swell, with the majority deployed along the thirty-eighth parallel with their sights set on the South. Special forces grew from 15,000(1970) to 41,000(1978)The military began Scud missile development, boosted its submarine and surface flee, and the air force grew to over 200 attack plane. The army added 2,500 armed personnel carriers, about 1,000 heavy tanks, and 6,000 or so artillery tubes and rocket launchers. Military doctrine was revamped to increase the speed, power, and lethality of attacks in combat, focusing on rapid advance advance and infiltration tactics. In spite of its relatively limited technological base, by 1992 the North had twice the number of tanks and artillery that U.S-ROK defenses had in the South.

Academic Lee Hy-Sang, who has written one of the best scholarly treatment of the North Korean economy, has noted that this obsession with aggrandizing the military was driven by ideology as much as it was by external security threats. Self-reliance required the strongest military one could muster. The net effect, however, was an increasingly reckless and irresponsible approach to the economy. In order to offset the strain of the military budget on the economy, the DPRK should have directed efforts at excavating coal and other mineral resources to trade for hard currency, which mighty then have been used to finance heavy industry development, and to address energy shortages. Instead, the government decided to engage in massive borrowing from foreign markets. At the times, it seemed like the right decision. Sino-American rapprochement and U.S.-Soviet detente transformed relations between the East and West, and in this wider political context Western European countries were willing to extend credit to countries like North Korea. More important, the North began looking over its its shoulder as the 1970s saw the gradual acceleration of South Korean growth and development of major heavy industries like the Pohang Steel Complex.

So, in 1972, Pyongyang borrowed $80 million from France to build a fertilizer plant. The following year they borrowed another $160 million, from the United Kingdom to build a cement factory. In 1974, they borrowed $400 million from countries including Japan for large-scale plant equipment. In fact, between 1970 and 1975, the North borrowed approximately $1.2 billion before foreign governments realized that Pyongyang could not service the debt, These numbers do not account for whatever else might have been provided to the North from Eastern bloc countries and China.Thus, in 1976, the debt market dried up for the North as precipitously as it had opened to them six years earlier. Trapped by it own self-reliance ideology, the North could not do things normal nations would, such as issue bonds to finance its debt. Today, North Korea’s external debt is estimated $12.5 billion and no one expects them to pay it off. An attempt was made to pay back some of this in 1990 and 1991, but the DPRK has long since defaulted on its long-term debt. Pyongyang has occasionally asked Russia and former Soviet satellites like Czech Republic to forgive the majority of the debt. In response, these countries have asked for North Korea to repay part of the debt through barter. Pyongyang asked Russia in 2007 to make a “high-level political decision” to forgive $8.8 billion in unpaid debt. In August 2010, Prague asked for zinc ore as repayment for an outstanding $10 million in unpaid loans from the Cold War when it provided Kim Il-sung with machinery and equipment. Pyongyang responded that it would provide four hundred tons of “heavenly ginseng root” worth some $500,000. Since annual consumption of the root in the country was barely two tons, this would have kept Czechs well-stocked with ginseng—which, among its many reported benefits, boasts of enhancing sexual vitality—for two hundred years. As unusual secondary market has emerged for North Korean debt that a few courageous investors have dared to enter. It sells DPRK debt paper at about 6 cents on the dollar, based on the bet not that Pyongyang would ever repay but that under a future unification scenario, South Korea would want to reestablish North Korean creditworthiness as it worked to gradually reintegrate the two systems. If Seoul were to take on this debt, it could repay it all, speculators hope, with only one week’s addition to its foreign exchange reserves. Even if Seoul were to pay off only a portion of the debt, speculators could make six to seven times what they have paid for North Korean paper.


UN WFP report claims DPRK citizens undernourished

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

According to Yonhap:

Eight out of every 10 North Korean families are suffering malnutrition with little access to protein foods, a U.S. media report said Tuesday.

In its survey of 87 North Korean families from January to March, the World Food Program (WFP) found that 80 percent of them were undernourished mainly due to a lack of protein intake, the Washington-based Voice of America (VOA) said.

About 38 percent of those surveyed were not able to eat high-protein foods during the one week before the survey, such as meat, fish, eggs or beans, said the report, monitored in Seoul.

Quoting the WFP report, the VOA said the North Korean families, on average, eat meat 1.3 days a week or beans 1.2 days per week.

The report also said about 14 percent of the 86 hospitalized North Korean children under age 5 whom its aid workers visited during the January-March period were in serious malnutrition conditions.

Meanwhile, AmeriCares, a U.S. non-profit aid group, is about to send 10.5 tons of drugs in humanitarian assistance to the North this week, another U.S. media report said.

The aid package, which includes antibiotics, stomach medicines and dermatology drugs, will be shipped later this week to six hospitals in Pyongyang and other areas, the Washington-based Radio Free Asia reported. The shipment will also include personal hygiene items like toothbrushes and soaps, it said.

The RFA said the latest aid has no political consideration and is solely for humanitarian purposes.

AmeriCares began its aid to the North in 1997 as the first American private group to do so. Last year, it sent US$7 million worth of medicine for flood victims in the impoverished country.

Read the full story here:
Eight out of 10 N. Korean families undernourished: report


On the DPRK’s thriving black market in real estate

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

According to Radio Free Asia:

Private ownership of homes is illegal in North Korea, but residents of Pyongyang who make frequent trips to China and residents of cities on the border between the two countries told RFA it is no longer strange to hear about “sales” of government properties between individuals.

According to a virtual housing market for North Korean civilians, the country’s most expensive homes are located in Sinuiju, with Hyesan city in northern Yanggang province next in cost and Pyongyang in third.

A single family home or large apartment in what is deemed a good location in Sinuiju can fetch around U.S. $30,000, while those in the suburbs of Pyongyang and other border cities are priced less.

While houses are being built everyday in Pyongyang to supply a growing demand, it is difficult to find new homes in other cities, leading to a rise in the cost of real estate, the sources said.

A resident of Hyesan told RFA that homes in cities like his, near the border with China, command the highest prices on the black market because they provide access to Chinese money and infrastructure.

“I can’t say all houses in Hyesan are expensive, but those which are good for the smuggling trade and receive a clear Chinese cell phone signal are really high priced,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Several houses by the riverside are even priced similarly to Chinese houses on the opposite side of the border in [Jilin province’s] Changbai city,” he said.

Sources told RFA that the North Korean government has canceled licenses several times in recent years, issuing statements which describe the practice of housing transactions as an “offence against the system of the North Korea.”

But attempts to stamp out the trend have repeatedly failed as those involved in the sales include untouchable high-ranking officials and because the practice is too far reaching.

Read the full story here:
Illegal Trade in North Korean Homes Flourishes
Radio Free Asia


Chinese Banks cut ties with DPRK Foreign Trade Bank

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

UPDATE 3 (2013-5-23): More news coming out on aid agencies that are facing new challenges in making payment transfers. According to the Associated Press:

Gerhard Uhrmacher, program manager for German humanitarian aid organization Welthungerhilfe, said when recent bank transfers failed, he managed to keep projects running by routing 500,000 euros ($643,000) to Chinese or North Korean accounts in China to pay for building supplies and other goods.

He said Welthungerhilfe, which signed the communique and works on agriculture and rural development projects in North Korea, has some reserves in Pyongyang but must also resort to carrying cash into the country by hand.

“It doesn’t give a good impression. We’re trying to be transparent, to be open to all sides and now we’re more or less forced to do something that doesn’t really look very proper because people who carry a lot of cash are somehow suspect,” said Uhrmacher who is based in Germany and has worked in North Korea for the past 10 years.

“Whatever you’re doing, everybody looks at you very closely,” he said. “That’s why we don’t like it because bank accounts are proper. Everybody can have a look at it and everybody can control it. Now we are forced to do something else.”

Some analysts said aid groups were simply “collateral damage” and that they will find a way to work around the sanctions as they have been forced to do in other countries. Others said the poorest North Koreas would be hurt if some humanitarian groups have to pull out of the country. The aid groups work on a range of issues from food security to improving health and assisting with disabilities.

UPDATE 2 (2013-5-23): Many NGOs are now unable to transfer funds to the DPRK. According to Reuters:

Aid agencies helping millions of people in North Korea could be forced to pull out after a Chinese bank cut ties with main foreign exchange bank, a humanitarian group said on Wednesday.

Some aid workers are now resorting to bringing in cash in person, putting them at personal risk. It is thought some agencies have only enough reserves to last a couple of months.

“All agencies with offices in Pyongyang are affected and everyone is extremely concerned,” Mathias Mogge, director of programmes for German aid group Welthungerhilfe, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“This could eventually reduce our ability to carry out projects or even force a complete close down. If all the agencies had to pull out, it would affect millions of people,” said Mogge, who has just returned from the secretive country.

See here also.

UPDATE 1 (2013-5-10): Additional Chinese banks are cutting ties with the DPRK. According to the Asahi Shimbun:

China’s four largest state-owned commercial banks have suspended money transfers to North Korea as part of sanctions against Pyongyang’s missile launch and nuclear test.

The action was based on a direct instruction from a government agency, sources close to the banks said.

The Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the China Construction Bank and the Agricultural Bank of China took the step following North Korea’s third nuclear test in February, the sources said.

“North Korea came under sanctions over issues including the launch of ballistic missiles,” said a senior official at a branch of the China Construction Bank.

A source close to the Bank of China, which trades heavily in foreign currency, said the bank received instructions from a government agency that manages foreign currency trade.

A Chinese trading company in Dandong, a city in Liaoning province bordering North Korea, has been unable to transfer money to North Korea, a source close to the company said.

North Korean workers in China are also believed to be having difficulties sending money home.

However, the effectiveness of these financial sanctions remains to be seen since the amount of money North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank has handled is unknown.

Much of the trade between China and North Korea is settled in cash or barter, a diplomatic source in Beijing explained.

An official at a Chinese trading company also said money can be brought into North Korea by human couriers.

The Financial Times offers additional information:

Nevertheless, the blockade is far from watertight. A smaller bank based in northeastern China across the border from North Korea said it was still handling large-scale cross-border transfers, an indication that Beijing is not willing to entirely cut off North Korea.

Here is additional coverage in the Hankyoreh.

ORIGINAL POST (2013-5-7): According to the New York Times, the Bank of China has cut ties with the DPRK’s Foreign Trade Bank:

The state-controlled Bank of China said on Tuesday that it had ended all dealings with a key North Korean bank in what appeared to be the strongest public Chinese response yet to North Korea’s willingness to brush aside warnings from Beijing and push ahead with its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Ruan Zongze, a former Chinese diplomat in Washington who is now a vice president of the China Institute of International Studies in Beijing, said the Chinese government was responding to a recent United Nations resolution imposing further sanctions on North Korea after its nuclear and ballistic missile tests and was not responding to American pressure. He noted that the Chinese government had recently encouraged state-controlled enterprises to follow the resolution in their dealings with North Korea.

In a single-sentence statement on Tuesday afternoon, the Bank of China said it has “already issued a bank account closing notice to North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank, and has ceased accepting funds transfer business related to this bank account.”

A spokeswoman for the bank declined to say whether money in the account would be frozen or returned to North Korea. The spokeswoman, who insisted that her name not be used in keeping with bank policy, said the account had been closed by the end of April.

The Bank of China was the overseas banking arm of China’s central bank until the 1980s and is still majority-owned by the Chinese government, playing an important role in diplomatic and financial policy.

Mr. Cai said that the move by the Bank of China appeared to be “predominantly symbolic,” but later added, “It could have practical consequences, because North Korea is already under such heavy international sanctions, and China is such an important economic channel for it.

“If China narrows the door to North Korea, then its economic operations or financial flows could be affected,” he said. “But primarily this appears to be a way of China showing its views about their behavior, so that North Korea is more likely to rethink its actions.”

Here is additional coverage in the Washington Post.

Here is additional coverage in the Los Angeles Times.

Here is additional coverage in the Wall Street Journal.

Here is additional coverage in the Hankyoreh.

Read the full stories here:
China Cuts Ties With Key North Korean Bank
New York Times
Keith Bradsher and Nick Cumming-Bruce

4 major Chinese banks halt money transfers to North Korea
Asahi Shimbun


Premier Pak Pong-ju attends the first extended cabinet meeting

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)

On April 22, for the first time since Premier Pak Pong Ju took office as the new Premier of the DPRK Cabinet, North Korea held an extended cabinet plenary meeting. Cabinet members discussed a variety of topics including the economy, enhancing nuclear capability for military purposes, advancing the party line, the results of the National Light Industry Convention, the first quarter assessment of the People’s Economic Development Plan, and adjustments to be made to the People’s Economic Development Plan during the second quarter.

The meeting has spurred interest in what economic breakthroughs will be made under Premier Pak’s direction. While this was only the first extended meeting held since Premier Pak became premier, there appeared to be no fundamental changes in the party line. The results from the last Politburo extended meeting regarding the National Light Industry Convention and the advancement of the party line in the areas of economics and the nuclear program were mirrored in the cabinet meeting. At the meeting, cabinet members emphasized groundbreaking measures that would contribute to improving the lives of the North Korean people.

At the Light Industry Convention, Kim Jong Un ordered for the normalization of operations of factories that produce consumer goods. As Pak was the official in charge, it is likely that he demanded for specific plans to stabilize production.

At the extended cabinet meeting, measures in response to the international sanctions against the country were also discussed. The KCNA reported the results of the meeting: “Foreign economic business must be strengthened to destroy the blockade of the US imperialists and their followers and put forth tasks and measures to explore favorable conditions to become an economic powerhouse.”

In order to avoid the sanctions of the international community, North Korea must continue foreign trade with China and other countries, as covertly as possible.

With respect to the contents of the meeting, Minju Choson, the state-run North Korean government newspaper, reported that “specific plans were discussed to expand the fuel production and restart Yongbyon GMR (graphite moderated reactor), and educational programs for nuclear experts.” In addition, plans for the development of practical and communications satellite were established and reaffirmed in order to continue the launch of long-range ballistic missiles.

North Korea’s long-range missiles, restart of the Yongbyon nuclear facility, and uranium exploration are under the control of the Second Economic Commission, military defense (military economy affairs), not the Cabinet. The Second Economic Committeeis the central coordinating body of the DPRK’s military-defense industry. Yet, the cabinet declared its decision to continue nuclear and missile launches at the cabinet meeting. This would suggest that the cabinet is supportive of Kim Jong Un’s “byungjin line,” or policy of pushing forwarding economic construction and the building of a nuclear force.

Expectations that cabinet reform would be mentioned did not come to fruition. There is a probability that Premier Pak is preparing to implement in earnest the ‘6-28 Economic Management Improvement Policy’ which has been in the works internally since last year.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, since delivering the New Year’s Address last January, has promoted Premier Pak as the leader most qualified to execute plans to make North Korea an economic power. However, it is unclear whether Premier Pak will be able to meet such a challenge given the limited reforms in progress and the deterioration of the external situation. On the other hand, Premier Pak chose a cooperative farm for his first site visit which suggests that the North Korean cabinet may concentrate on agricultural sector this year.


EU trade with DPRK falls

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

According to Yonhap:

Trade volume between North Korea and the European Union (EU) more than halved last year from a year earlier after the North sharply cut exports of mineral resources, a news report said Friday.

The trade volume between the two sides came to 69 million euros (US$90.2 million) in 2012, only 43.4 percent of the 159 million euros recorded the previous year, the Washington-based Voice of America (VOA) reported, citing EU data.

The dive came as the North’s total exports to the EU shrank to 24 million euros last year from 117 million euros the previous year, according to the VOA report.

The communist country exported only 3 million euros worth of mineral resources, the main export item, to EU countries in 2012, compared with 71 million in 2011, it said.

North Korea’s imports from EU countries, meanwhile, rose 7.1 percent on-year to 45 million euros last year, led by brisk imports of machinery and electronics goods, according to the report.

Read the full story here:
N. Korea’s trade with EU halves in 2012


Text of North Korea cabinet premier’s address at May Day meeting

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

According to the BBC Monitoring Service:

Text of report by “Comrade Pak Pong Ju, member of the Political Bureau of the Workers Party of Korea Central Committee and premier of the DPRK Cabinet” at a central report meeting held at Hwanghae Iron and Steel Complex on 1 May to mark the 123rd May Day, carried by North Korean radio Korean Central Broadcasting Station on 1 May

Today, we are meaningfully commemorating the 123rd anniversary of May Day, an international holiday of the working people throughout the world, at an exciting time when the entire party, the entire army, and all the people have turned out like mountains in the struggle to implement the line of simultaneously pushing forward economic construction and the building of nuclear armed force presented by respected and beloved Marshal Kim Jong-un at the historic March 2013 plenary meeting of the Central Committee [CC] of the Workers Party of Korea [WPK].

May Day is a meaningful holiday for vigorously demonstrating all over the world the revolutionary mettle and militant might of workers, farmers, intellectuals and other working people of military-first Korea who are struggling devotedly for the fatherland’s wealth and prosperity in single-hearted unity around the party, and also for strengthening international solidarity with the working people the world over who are struggling for democratic freedom and rights and independent life by breaking the iron chains of capital. [applause]

On the occasion of May Day, our working people, who are enjoying the most dignified and worthwhile life on account of upholding an extraordinary heaven-sent brilliant commander, are extending militant greetings and firm solidarity to the working people all over the world who are fighting to build a just and peaceful new world under the banner of independence against imperialism.

Our working class and all other working people are now looking back, with deep emotion, on the proud course of victory and glory in which they have advanced with the matchless great men of Mt Paektu held in high esteem at the head of the revolution, and they are overflowing with a blazing resolve to complete the cause of the chuch’e revolution to the end under the wise leadership of respected and beloved Marshal Kim Jong-un, inscribing deep on their heart! s the luck of being blessed with the leader and the general, generation after generation. [applause]


The Korean revolution was unprecedentedly arduous and rough, but our working people were able to excellently carry out their noble historic mission and duty in the struggle to achieve the cause of the chuch’e revolution and the cause of socialism, thanks to upholding the great leader and the great leader.

The great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung put forward a broad range of workers, farmers, intellectuals, and other working people as masters of their destiny early on under the banner of chuch’e idea from the first days of setting out on the road of the revolution, and ushered in a new historic era, the chuch’e era, of achieving independence of the popular masses by activating their inexhaustible strength. [applause]

The great leader, who always paid deep attention to the position and role occupied and played by the working class and other working masses in implementing the popular ma! sses’ cause of independence, further heightened the revolutionary zeal of the masses by having them meaningfully commemorate May Day even amid the arduous struggle of the great anti-Japanese war, and vigorously encouraged our working people to the struggle to build a new fatherland by personally attending a Pyongyang mass rally held to commemorate May Day in the first year after national liberation.

During that difficult period after the war, the great leader visited the working class of Kangso’n and kindled the flames of the Ch’o’llima [mythological winged horse] movement, and warmly led our working people by hand to perform feats in socialist construction with his unsurpassed and tested leadership during every period and at every stage of the revolution and construction.

Forever will shine for ages, along with eternal prosperity of military-first Korea, the immortal revolutionary achievements of the great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung who stayed a! mong the working people all his life and raised workers, farmers, and intellectuals into the most revolutionary working people upholding the party and the leader with faith and obligation and into the reliable persons in charge of building a wealthy and powerful fatherland, and built a socialist powerful state of independence, self-support, and self-defence on the land of the fatherland by arousing the boundless spiritual strength and united strength of the working popular masses. [applause]

The great leader Comrade Kim Jong-il cherished the completion of the cause of the chuch’e revolution pioneered by the fatherly leader as his lifelong mission and stood at the head of the revolution to firmly rally the working class and a broad range of the working masses around the party with his politics of love and trust and benevolent politics, and wisely led the popular masses’ cause of independence and the cause of socialism along a single path of victory with the might of single-hearted unity. [applause]

With enormous love and trust toward the workers, farmers, and intellectuals who loyally upheld the party and the leader while always sharing their destiny with the party both in days of glory and hardship, the great general had May Day commemorated as an international holiday of the working people all over the world from a chuch’e-oriented viewpoint, thereby reinforcing the single-hearted unity of our revolutionary ranks in every way and enabling a broad range of the working people to excellently discharge their responsibility and duty based on the awareness that they are the masters of the country and revolution.

The great general energetically led our working people to strongly arm themselves with the chuch’e idea and military-first idea; create the Kanggye spirit by following and learning from the revolutionary soldier spirit and fighting traits of the people’s army; kindle the torches of the grand march of great upswing one after another; and embroider chronicles of the vic! tory of socialism and a heroic epic of powerful state construction.

Thanks to the energetic leadership of the great general, who unfolded a new history of the great revolutionary upswing in the whole country and had millions of soldiers and people boldly charge ahead toward the world while breaking through the ultra-cutting edge with their spiritual strength in the course of carrying on an ultra-intense forced march day and night until the last moments of his great revolutionary life, the flames of Hamnam [South Hamgyo’ng Province], the flames of the industrial revolution in the new century, blazed up fiercely; marvellous events took place in multiple stages on all fronts of improving the people’s living standards and building an economically powerful state; and our fatherland came to demonstrate its dignity and majestic might as the great Mt Paektu state, the socialist power with nuclear weapons and satellites. [applause]

The sacred history of the great general’s leadership over the military-first revolution, in wh! ich he led the revolution and construction to victory by relying on the boundless creative ability and united strength of the working class and other working popular masses, is continuing vigorously through respected and beloved Marshal Kim Jong-un. [applause]

Respected and beloved Marshal Kim Jong-un is wisely leading the van of the anti-US war of confrontation and the struggle to build a powerful state with his extraordinary sagacity, unsurpassed art of command, and matchless courage and gusts while ceaselessly carrying on the road of the military-first long march, with the supreme command established on the foremost front of defending the fatherland.

The respected and beloved marshal is energetically leading our working people to struggle vigorously for the final victory, while clearly illuminating the course of powerful state construction and trusting and putting forward the working class and other working people as his revolutionary comrades! and comrades-in-arms.

By wisely discerning the natural-law governed demands of the grave situation prevailing before our revolution and the developing revolution, respected and beloved Marshal Kim Jong-un presented a new strategic line on simultaneously pushing forward economic construction and the building of nuclear armed force at the historic March 2013 plenary meeting of the party CC. This is a great event in the history of the nation firmly guaranteeing the ultimate victory of the cause of the chuch’e revolution, which achieving the final victory in the anti-US all-out war of confrontation and the construction of a powerful state. [applause]

Our army and people came to be able to fight more powerfully with overflowing conviction of sure victory and optimism, thanks to the presentation of the new simultaneous line, which is a crystallization of the unshakable faith and will of our party to finally settle all accounts in the anti-US war of confrontation and build the world’s most powerful country and a paradise ! of the people on this land as soon as possible.

Our country is highly displaying the mettle of the great Mt Paektu state by firmly attaining the status of a space power and a nuclear power; an unprecedented great heyday of thriving prosperity is unfolding in all fields of the revolution and construction; and the party’s far-sighted plans to enable our people to enjoy wealth and honour under socialism to their hearts’ content are being realized one by one. This proud reality is a clear manifestation of respected and beloved Comrade Kim Jong-un’s extraordinary leadership ability. [applause]

Preciously etched in every chronicle of the Korean revolution embroidered with victory and glory are the creative passion and heroic feats of our working class and other working people, who have struggled devotedly for the fatherland and revolution with hammers, sickles, and writing brushes, remaining true to the leadership of the party and the leader.

The invincible majestic might of a socialist power possessed of nuclear weapons and satellites that no one dares to provoke; our-style CNC [computer numerical control] technology that broke through the world’s ultra-cutting edge; the majestic and splendid great monumental creations striking the world’s people with admiration and chuch’e-based production systems demonstrating the might of self-supporting economy; the modern production bases and marvellous socialist fairylands that sprang up everywhere; and other proud achievements demonstrating the high ideal and civilization of our people vividly show the indomitable spiritual strength and creative ability of our working people who are endlessly loyal to the party and the leader. [applause]

There are many countries in the world and each country has many working people, but there are no working people like our working people of military-first Korea who devote themselves to the cause of patriotism with their creative labours, while displaying their independent dignity as human! beings and enjoying a worthwhile and proud life in the arms of the extraordinary heaven-sent great men.

Truly, it is the supreme fortune and enormous honour and happiness of our working people to fight resolutely for a bright future of the new century, flying high the sun’s flag of great Comrade Kim Il Sung and Comrade Kim Jong-il highly praised by the entire world as the sun of mankind and holding respected and beloved Marshal Kim Jong-un, the military-first brilliant commander of Paektu, in high esteem at the head of the revolution. [applause]

On this meaningful occasion of commemorating the 123rd anniversary of May Day, the international holiday of the working people all over the world, by reflecting the blazing loyalty of the working people throughout the country, I pay the loftiest respect to great Comrade Kim Il Sung and Comrade Kim Jong-il who made forever immortal achievements in implementing the popular masses’ cause of independence, an! d extend the greatest honour and the most fervent gratitude to respected and beloved Marshal Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader of our party and people who is leading the anti-US war of confrontation and powerful state construction to victory with his leadership over the military-first revolution and bringing every happiness to our working people. [applause]

Arising before us today is an honourable yet heavy task to thoroughly implement the new strategic line on simultaneously pushing forward economic construction and the building of nuclear armed force, holding high the spirit of the historic March 2013 plenary meeting of the WPK CC, and thus defend the dignity and sovereignty of the nation, and build the world’s most powerful country and a paradise of the people on this land under respected and beloved Marshal Kim Jong-un’s leadership.

Respected and beloved Comrade Kim Jong-un has said that we will win without fail, as long as great Comrade Kim Il Sung and Comrade Kim Jong-il, who live forever in the hearts of all of! ficers and men of the people’s army and the people across the country, bless our bright future and we have the unrivalled powerful revolutionary army of Mt Paektu, the invincible great army-people unity, and the loyal people who uphold the party’s cause with conscience and obligation.

Cherishing an absolutely immutable faith that great Comrade Kim Il Sung and Comrade Kim Jong-il are with us forever, we should hold the fatherly leader and the great general in high esteem for all ages and add lustre to the glorious revolutionary lives and immortal achievements of the leader and the general through all generations. [applause]

We should spruce up the Ku’msusan Palace of the Sun all the better as a great monument to the immortality of the leaders, a symbol of the dignity of the Korean nation, and an eternal sacred place of the sun, and death-defying preserve it at the risk of our lives.

Holding fast to great Comrade Kim Jong-il’s behest as a programmatic guiding principle, all working people should implement it to the end unconditionally without an inch of deviation or the slightest concession and do all work of the revolution and construction in accordance with the general’s ideas and intentions and in the general’s style.

Respected and beloved Marshal Kim Jong-un, who is an extraordinary statesman and a distinguished military-first brilliant commander, is the destiny and future of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong-il Korea and the banner of all victories and glories. [applause]

Following the tradition of death-defying defence of the leader, we should uphold respected and beloved Marshal Kim Jong-un with pure loyalty, lofty moral obligation, and single-minded devotion, turn ourselves into fortresses and shields in innumerable layers to death-defying defend him, and firmly continue the Paektu road of march by uniting, uniting, and again uniting around the marshal.

All working people should hold high the spirit of the March 2013 plenary meeting of the party CC and thoroughly implement the line of simultaneously pushing forward economic construction and the building of nuclear armed force, thereby holding fast to and glorifying our idea, cause, and socialist system to the end.

We should vigorously turn out in the anti-US all-out war of confrontation and the great war of justice for the fatherland’s reunification to cope with the grave situation in which the aggression manoeuvres of the US imperialists and the puppet warmongers have reached the extreme, and maintain full combat and mobilization readiness to wipe out the aggressors without a trace and achieve the final victory.

All working people should actively assist the people’s army, which is a reliable scout party and a firm supporting point of the military-first revolution, ceaselessly bolster self-defensive national defence capabilities with the nuclear armed force as the backbone, and consolidate the great army-people unity like s! teel.

All working people should strongly arm themselves with the spirit of defending the fatherland displayed in the 1950s, and while always maintaining a strained and mobilized posture, should turn out like mountains in the sacred retaliatory war of justice once the respected and beloved comrade supreme commander gives the order, and by giving full vent to their long pent-up grudge and rage, they should mercilessly smash the US imperialists – the sworn enemies – and the puppet groups of traitors in an instant and accomplish by all means the historic cause of the fatherland’s reunification, the greatest long-cherished desire of our nation. [applause]

This year is a meaningful year marking the 65th founding anniversary of the Republic and the 60th anniversary of war victory.

With the faith of sure victory and exceptional resolve, we should fiercely stoke up the flames of miracle and innovation in all sectors of the people’s economy through a bold attack and an all-people life-and-death battle.

The working class of the leading sectors of the people’s economy and the basic industrial sectors should open up a breakthrough for victory in today’s march of great upswing with the same fighting spirit and the same vigour as displayed in implementing the party’s simultaneous line in the 1960s, as befitting the scout and forerunner of building an economically powerful state.

The working people of agricultural and light industrial sectors should fill up the country’s rice bin by doing the farming well in accordance with the demands of the chuch’e-oriented farming method, and improve the people’s living standards within the shortest span of time by increasing the production of quality people’s consumer goods based on a strong sense of responsibility that they are in charge of the main front of building an economically powerful state.

Holding high the torch of the industrial revolution in the new century by thoroughly embodying Kim Jong-il pat! riotism, the working people of all sectors and units of the people’s economy should boldly wage the battle of breaking through the ultra-cutting edge and more fiercely raise a hot wind for changing the country’s economy to a knowledge economy.

Scientists and technicians should ceaselessly develop our self-supporting nuclear power industry and space science and technology and thus continue to vigorously demonstrate the national power of the great Mt Paektu state with the same spirit they displayed in dealing a hard blow to the US imperialists and their following forces by developing space and succeeding in the third underground nuclear test.

The fatherland’s reunification is the most pressing task of the nation that cannot be put off any longer and the lifelong desire and behest of the great generalissimos.

Grave obstacles are standing in the way of the fatherland’s reunification and an ultra-tense situation in which a war may break out at any moment is prevailing in this land due to the vicious anti-Re! public hostile policy and frenzied nuclear war manoeuvres of the US imperialists, the sworn enemies of our people, and their following forces.

More firmly taking hold of the nuclear treasured sword of independence as the enemies’ manoeuvres grow more vicious, we will mercilessly punish the United States and all sorts of other hostile forces and realize the historic cause of the fatherland’s reunification without fail through final victory in the anti-US all-out war of confrontation. [applause]

Our working people will further boost their solidarity with the entire world’s working people who love justice and peace, and discharge their historic mission in defending peace and stability of the region and accelerating mankind’s cause of independence under the idea of independence, peace, and friendship.

Only victory and glory will be in store on the road ahead of our people, who are advancing dynamically along the road of independence, th! e military-first road, and the road of socialism under respected and beloved Marshal Kim Jong-un’s wise leadership with blessings of the great generalissimos. [applause]

Let us all single-heartedly unite around respected and beloved Marshal Kim Jong-un and firmly take hold of the party’s new simultaneous line to fight vigorously for the construction of a socialist powerful state and the fatherland’s reunification, and for the ultimate victory of the cause of the chuch’e revolution with overflowing conviction of sure victory and optimism. [applause]

Long live great Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism! [applause and participants shouting hurrahs three times]

Long live the glorious WPK, the organizer and guide of all victories of our people! [applause and participants shouting hurrahs three times]

Long live May Day, the international holiday of the working people all over the world! [applause and participants shouting hurrahs three times]

Source: Korean Central Broadcasting Station, Pyongyang, in Korean 0800 gmt 01 May 13