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February 17, 2014 - No. 14

Korean Peninsula

DPRK Denounces Phony
Human Rights Report

The Reunification Arch, Pyongyang, DPRK. The twin women symbolize the unity of the Korean nation.

Korean Peninsula
DPRK Denounces Phony Human Rights Report
Senior-Level Dialogue Held on Inter-Korean Affairs
DPRK Advances Crucial Proposals to South Side
No to the Foal Eagle/Key Resolve U.S./South Korean War Games!
DPRK Steps Up Struggle for Peace and Reunification in 2014

Korean Peninsula

DPRK Denounces Phony Human Rights Report

Today in Geneva, the representative of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) issued a statement denouncing the phony human rights report issued the same day by a three-member Commission of Inquiry associated with the UN Human Rights Council. The report is based on material concocted by hostile forces backed by the United States, the European Union and Japan, the DPRK points out. The DPRK "categorically and totally rejects the report" which it decries as an "instrument of a political plot aimed at sabotaging the socialist system and defaming the country."

The DPRK points out that the creation of the Commission and the report itself are part of the attempts at subversion and regime change against the country, using the guise of concern about human rights.

The DPRK will "continue to strongly respond to the end to any attempt of regime-change and pressure under the pretext of 'human rights protection,'" said the statement.

The Commission was set up by the UN Human Rights Council a year ago at the request of the European Union, the United States and Japan following a resolution adopted by consensus at the 47-member state forum. The panel is comprised of a member each from Australia, Indonesia and Serbia. It was barred entry to the DPRK and collected its "evidence" from those that have left or speak ill of the DPRK.

TML points out that those powers which instigated the Commission lack the credibility to make such accusations against the DPRK. The U.S. and EU actively commit war crimes and rights violations via military aggression, invasions and occupations in the present day, while the ruling elite in Japan is champing at the bit to revise Japan's constitution so as to be able to actively participate in such imperialist adventures. The imperialists are past-masters of the Nazi technique of the big lie in the modern era, fabricating evidence to justify aggression and war, and repeating it via their imperialist monopoly media mouthpieces to try to sow doubt and provide pretexts to go to war.

Late last year, a major attempt at sabotage and counter-revolution was exposed in the DPRK. Speaking to TML, H.P. Chung from the Canadian Chapter of the 6.15 Committee explained the case of Jang Song Thaek, a former high ranking member of the Workers' Party of Korea and the Korean People's Army, who was executed for high treason. Chung explained that Jang Song Thaek had been working with forces in south Korea to plot a coup. He pointed out that these forces in south Korea themselves have shady dealings with defectors from the DPRK now living in China, precisely the people interviewed by the Commission for its report. At that time, the governments of south Korea, the U.S. and Japan made provocative remarks that the execution of Jang Song Thaek shows that the DPRK government is very unstable because there are dissidents in the country and that the future of the DPRK is unpredictable. Chung noted that, "These governments use every opportunity to give their anti-communist, anti-DPRK views which are aimed at destabilizing the DPRK. The U.S., south Korea, Japan and other countries are hoping and actively organizing for the DPRK to collapse so that they can destroy the system in the DPRK and change it to be more like south Korea and reunify the country on that basis. This would be a re-unified Korea not of the Korean people's making. This is not what the peace-loving Korean people want. [...]

"I think that rather than making irresponsible and hostile comments about the DPRK, the United States and the south Korea governments must show some maturity and pursue a peaceful policy towards the DPRK. The U.S. must sign a peace treaty with the DPRK which is the demand of the Korean people. South Korea must move towards reconciliation and understanding towards their north Korean compatriots in the spirit of the June 15, 2000 North-South Joint Declaration and the October 4, 2007 Agreement. This would be positive steps to normalize diplomatic and trade relations with not only between the U.S. and the DPRK but also pave the way for normalized relations with Canada and other countries which would be very positive," Chung concluded.

The so-called human rights report issued today is another attempt to foment passions in favour of regime change in the DPRK. For instance, it accuses the government of the DPRK of using food as "a means of control over the population" and "deliberate starvation" to punish political and ordinary prisoners. It says nothing about the criminal blockade of the DPRK by the U.S. for the last six decades which has had a serious impact on the former's ability to conduct normal relations with other countries, including meeting the needs of its people for food and other necessities through trade. In fact, it is the U.S. which has the history of withholding goods and services from the DPRK, in violation of signed agreements, as a means of coercion and control and to interfere in the internal affairs and political system of the DPRK, in violation of international law. As well, the DPRK is forced to dedicate a substantial portion of its economy to self-defence precisely to defend itself from the ceaseless attempts of the U.S. to eliminate it so as to take over the entire peninsula and gain a greater foothold in Asia.

TML calls on everyone to be wary of the accusations of human rights violations made by the imperialists and their lackeys and to inform themselves through TML, news from the DPRK and other progressive and peace- and justice-loving sources about the real situation in the DPRK. The movement for the peaceful and independent reunification of Korea deserves support. Human rights can only be defended on a principled basis in respect of international laws and norms, not on an arbitrary basis that seeks to further narrow, self-serving and ulterior motives.

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Senior-Level Dialogue Held on Inter-Korean Affairs

On February 12, south Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a dialogue between high-ranking officials in the Peace House on the south Korean side of the border village of Panmunjom. A second round of meetings took place February 14. The two rounds of high-level talks were the first such talks held since May 2007. The talks were resumed at the initiative of the DPRK.

The meetings were held to discuss overall inter-Korean affairs, with no specific agenda being selected in advance. However, it was expected that the meeting would concretize the resumption of visits of families split up by the division of Korea.

Both sides confirmed their will to open a new phase of national unity, peace, prosperity and independent reunification by improving inter-Korean relations. They sincerely discussed various issues arising between the north and south and issued a joint press release on February 14 that is posted below.

Head of the DPRK's high-level delegation Won Tong Yon (left) shakes hands with his South Korean counterpart
Kim Kyou-hyun at the border village of Panmunjom, South Korea, on Feb. 14, 2014. (Xinhua)

Joint Press Release

The north and the south held a high-level contact in Panmunjom on February 12 and 14, 2014 and reached the following consensus:

The north and the south agreed to hold the reunion of separated families and their relatives as scheduled. [From February 20-25 at the DPRK's scenic resort of Mount Kumgang.]

The north and the south agreed to refrain from slandering each other in order to promote mutual understanding and trust.

The north and the south agreed to continue discussing the issues of mutual concern and make positive efforts to develop the inter-Korean relations.

The north and the south agreed to hold a high-level contact at a date convenient to both sides.

Families separated by the division of Korea due to the Korean War are reunited at the
Mount Kumgang resort in the DPRK, November 1, 2010. (KCNA)

(Xinhua, KCNA)

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DPRK Advances Crucial Proposals to
South Korean Side

On January 16, the National Defense Commission (NDC) of the DPRK made several proposals to south Korean authorities. On January 24, His Excellency Mr. Sin Son Ho, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the DPRK to the United Nations, as well as Ambassador to Canada, gave a press briefing in New York City to inform and elaborate on the the proposals for peace and reconciliation made by the NDC.

Ambassador Sin cited the 2014 New Year's Address by Kim Jong Un, leader of the DPRK and also the First Chairman of the National Defence Committee of the DPRK, for the pressing need to improve relations between the DPRK and south Korea (Republic of Korea). He highlighted the practical proposals made by the NDC to improve north-south relations on a new basis, starting at the end of January, right before the Lunar New Year.

First, the 10th anniversary of the "June 4 Agreement" between north and south was recalled with its proposal that both sides agree to stop "all forms of slander and psychological warfare in the spirit of the historic June 15 Joint Declaration." The NDC proposal noted that if the south respected this agreement that it would have no objection to improving north-south relations and fostering a climate of reconciliation on the Korean peninsula which is the aspiration of the Korean people.

The second point of the NDC proposal as communicated by Ambassador Sin was for a halt to all hostile military acts against one another in order to guarantee peace and security on the Korean peninsula. It was pointed out that even a minor clash at this point could trigger an all-out war on the Korean peninsula and provide an excuse for big powers to "fish in troubled waters" and cause "unimaginable destruction to Koreans." Thus the NDC called for the immediate end of all military and hostile acts that, in collusion with outsiders, targeted Korean compatriots.

In particular, Ambassador Sin communicated the NDC's message that the south Korean authorities cancel the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle joint military exercises that commence at the end of February, noting that if such joint military activities are expressions of "coordination" and "cooperation" with the U.S. then these military exercises should take place far away from Korean territory. The NDC points out that the DPRK will never cooperate with outside forces who act against the interests of the Korean people's desire for peace and security, and called upon the south Korean authorities to stop military provocations against the DPRK. The NDC stated that the DPRK will lead by example, pledging that it would not carry out acts of aggression against the south.

Thirdly, the NDC proposed that it would be in the interest of the Korean people to ensure the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. However, as long as the nuclear threat against the DPRK exists from the U.S. that is intended to blackmail all Koreans, the DPRK will develop its nuclear defence capability in order to stay the hand of the U.S. imperialists and create a stable and secure environment for the DPRK to carry out economic construction and nation-building. The one is the pre-condition for the other.

"Our nuclear force serves as a means for deterring the U.S. from posing a nuclear threat. It will never be a means for blackmailing fellow countrymen and doing harm to them. We courteously propose to the south side not to resort to reckless acts of bringing the dangerous means of nuclear strikes of the U.S. to south Korea and to areas around it," Ambassador Sin conveyed.

The NDC points out that the DPRK will never conciliate with the notion that it is acceptable for nuclear weapons brought in by outsiders to be placed in and around Korean territory, threatening the safety and security of all Koreans, while it is not acceptable for the DPRK to have nuclear weapons as a means of protecting itself and the Korean peninsula.

As well, it was pointed out that inter-Korean relations play a significant role in the Asia-Pacific region and that peaceful relations ensure not only peace, security and stability on the Korean peninsula but the entire region. This will pave a prosperous future for the Korean people, the Ambassador added.

Ambassador Sin noted that it is not the intent of the DPRK to put pressure on the south Korean authorities but rather for the latter to "take our proposals seriously and have a sincere attitude toward improving north-south relations. It is our position that the international community should no longer permit the United States and south Korea to carry on their dangerous joint military exercises on the Korean peninsula. We remind once again that even minor and accidental conflict can immediately lead to an all-out war. This is a stark reality on the Korean peninsula."

Making particular reference to the upcoming U.S.-south Korea Key Resolve and Foal Eagle war games, the NDC points out that all the disinformation being carried out by the U.S. and south Korea is to justify war and aggression on the Korean peninsula by blaming the DPRK for the stalemate in Korean relations. The opposite is the case.

"The annual Key Resolve and Foal Eagle joint military exercises are undeniably war games of invasion into and nuclear war drills against the DPRK in their nature and size when you look at the massive arms buildup of all kinds of weapons of mass destruction including nuclear weapons and the most sophisticated war machines of the army, navy and air forces being deployed by the United States into south Korea," notes the NDC. It adds that the U.S. and south Korea will have to bear the verdict of the Korean people, and the international community which are striving for peace, adding that the DPRK will consistently defend peace and security on the Korean peninsula.

Ambassador Sin concluded his press briefing by saying that the DPRK has advanced various practical proposals in order to replace the Korean Armistice Agreement with a permanent peace treaty. "The current proposals made by the National Defence Commission are a part of the sincere efforts of the DPRK to prevent another war and defend the security and peace of the entire Korean nation.

"If the south Korean authorities sincerely value peace and security on the Korean peninsula, they should take our principled proposals seriously and respond positively with practical actions," said Ambassador Sin. He called on those present at the press briefing to "fulfill your noble duties as journalists representing the voice of mankind opposing war and aggression and loving peace and justice for the improvement of inter-Korean relations and peace and security on the Korean peninsula."

(With files from KCNA, U.S.-Korea Mutual Defence Treaty, DPRK Permanent Mission to UN)

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No to the Foal Eagle/Key Resolve
U.S.-South Korean War Games!

On January 12, the south Korean government announced that it has agreed to pay about U.S. $866 million this year to keep the U.S. military in south Korea. This is 5.6 per cent more than last year. As well, it was agreed that over the next four years, this amount would be increased annually by 4 per cent until 2018. The main reason for keeping U.S. troops on Korean soil, according to the south Korean Foreign Ministry is to "help guard against threats from the north."

This bogus argument has been advanced in one form or another since October 1, 1953 when the U.S.-South Korean Mutual Defence Treaty was signed, contrary to the Armistice Agreement (AA) signed between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the U.S. on June 27, 1953, that ended the fighting in the Korean War. The final paragraph of the Armistice Agreement stated that "three (3) months after the Armistice Agreement is signed and becomes effective, a political conference of a higher level of both sides be held by representatives appointed respectively to settle through negotiation the question of the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Korea, the peaceful settlement of the Korean question, etc."

By signing the U.S.-South Korea Mutual Defence Treaty about three months after the signing of the AA, the U.S. not only rebuffed the AA, but signalled that it would maintain a military presence on the Korean peninsula indefinitely, and that Korea would remain divided against the wishes of the Korean people. Under this Treaty, joint U.S.-south Korean war exercises have been carried out annually, subsidized by the Korean people against their wishes. As well, the U.S. has imported nuclear warheads, built more than 40 military and naval bases and placed its troops on Korean soil -- currently numbering 28,000 -- as well as a large assortment of ships, aircraft, submarines, artillery units, tanks and other military hardware, all of which contravenes the AA, and at enormous cost to the people living in south Korea.

The Foal Eagle/Key Resolve war games -- just one of three or four annual joint U.S.-south Korea war exercises that increasingly involve the modern day Japanese militarists -- is one of the largest war games in the world. It involves some 200,000 Korean troops and over 10,000 U.S. troops and is based on computer-simulated exercises for the invasion of the DPRK. The war games typically run from the end of February until early April, creating an extremely tense situation on the Korean peninsula. This year, a special exercise on guerrilla war is planned. In recent years, these exercises have become increasingly provocative and dangerous and it is a concern for the Korean people and all of humanity that a nuclear war that could engulf the whole world could be ignited by these exercises.

The government of the DPRK has consistently called for an end to these war games and the conclusion of a peace treaty. It is doing everything it can to bring a state of equilibrium to the Korean peninsula which is what all the Korean people want. The U.S. with its south Korean ally and Japan, is creating disequilibrium in pursuit of its "Pivot to Asia" policy -- a geopolitical strategy that uses south Korea and other countries, including Japan and the Philippines -- to assert its hegemony in East Asia and contain and threaten China.

All peace- and justice-loving people in Canada and around the world must support the efforts of the DPRK and the anti-war movement in the south of Korea for security, peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and stand with the Korean people in their struggle to rid their divided country of the scourge of U.S. imperialism and the constant threat of nuclear war that is hanging over their heads.

(With files from www.channelnewsasia.com, DPRK UN Mission, KCNA)

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DPRK Steps Up Struggle for
Peace and Reunification in 2014

The work for peace on the Korean Peninsula and the region, and the independent reunification of the Korean nation are amongst the main priorities for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in 2014. This was emphasized in the New Year's address to the Korean people by Kim Jong Un, the leader of the DPRK. Amongst other things, Kim Jong Un underscored the need to strengthen and consolidate the defence capacity of the country in order to defend the sovereignty and independence of the DPRK and protect the honour of the Korean nation. This in turn will provide the stability needed on the Korean peninsula to ensure the security of the Korean people and create the conditions for their prosperity and a bright future.

One of the main themes of the New Year speech was the call for the Korean people of both the north and south of the Korean peninsula as well as those living overseas to step up their efforts to realize the desire of all the Korean people -- the peaceful, independent reunification of their divided country, under the banner "By Our Nation Itself." Other priorities put forward for 2014 were integrally linked with achieving peace and stability. They include plans to raise the standard of living of the people by raising economic production in all fields; developing science and technology through new innovations; further modernizing the education system in line with the present needs of the country in keeping with world developments; and building a vibrant, modern socialist culture.

Kim Jong Un noted that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the historic signing of a reunification document by the founder and leader of the DPRK Kim Il Sung, just the day before his death on June 8, 1994. He called on the entire Korean people to uphold the three principles for Korean reunification put forward by Kim Il Sung -- the reunification of Korea must be done peacefully, independently without outside interference, and through the "great national unity" of the Korean people. Kim Jong Un called on the Korean people to implement the decisions of the historic June 15, 2000 North-South Joint Declaration as well as the October 4, 2007 Agreement which are both practical programs that would invigorate the road to Korean reunification. He called especially on Korean compatriots in the south to stand with their brothers and sisters in the north to thwart any attempts to sabotage the movement for reunification.

Kim Jong Un called on the Korean people to defend national security and peace on the Korean peninsula and to oppose the warmongers amongst the ruling circles in south Korea and the United States. He pointed out that the situation is very critical and that one false step could ignite a nuclear holocaust that would engulf the region as well as the United States.

"Nothing is more precious for our people than peace, but it is not something that can be achieved if we simply crave and beg for it. We cannot just sit back with folded arms and see the dark clouds of a nuclear war against us hovering over the Korean peninsula. We will defend our country's sovereignty, peace and dignity by relying on our powerful self-defensive strength," he stated.

In regard to international affairs, Kim Jong Un reiterated the DPRK's foreign policy, which is based on "independence, peace and friendship." He said that the government of the DPRK and its people will strive to expand and develop friendly, peaceful and cooperative relations with all those countries that respect the sovereignty and independence of the DPRK, and which will cooperate with the DPRK to "safeguard global peace and security and promote the common prosperity of mankind."

A few days after the New Year's Address, the U.S. military announced that the annual Foal Eagle/Key Resolve military war games would take place in and around south Korea from the end of February to the beginning of April. All peace- and justice-loving people in Canada and around the world must condemn these and all the other U.S.-south Korea war games that have been going on in various forms since the signing of the U.S.-south Korea Mutual Defence Treaty of October 1, 1953, which each year bring the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war. They must raise their voices against acts of aggression by the U.S. on the Korean peninsula and demand that the U.S. sign a peace treaty with the DPRK as called for in the 1953 Armistice Agreement. As well, the Canadian people must demand that the Canadian government normalize relations with the DPRK and contribute to peace on the Korean peninsula. This would make amends for the almost 70 years of provocations of various Canadian governments against the Korean people including participation in the illegal Korean War as a pawn of U.S. imperialism, a holocaust in which some four million Koreans, mostly civilians, were killed. Never again!

Research to improve agricultural science, January 13, 2014

Students make use of the computer lab and library at the Pyongyang Medical School, December 19, 2013.

Youth enjoy the newly opened Masikryong Ski Resort, February 17, 2014.

A new process of vinyl production is introduced at the Namhung Youth Chemical Complex, January 14, 2014.

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