Lavrov Spells Out Russia’s Position on China, Korea, the US and Japan.

On January 18, Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov gave his annual news conference. The online event lasted just short of 3 hours. After an initial statement spelling out Russia’s position on a number of different issues, Lavrov took questions from journalists around the world. Minister Lavrov was never short of an answer and provided a clear explanation of the Russian view of things.

Mr. Lavrov began by talking about Russia’s homegrown Sputnik V vaccine for the Corona virus. He expressed Russia’s desire to cooperate with other countries in dealing with the pandemic. Germany is now testing Sputnik V, while countries like Belarus, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Algeria have already approved the vaccine which is said to be 91+% effective.

When questioned about the relations between Russia and China, Lavrov said that there is good cooperation between Russia and China, and that in 2021 there will be special emphasis on scientific research between them. He noted that not only have China and Russia stood together on many issues in the United Nations, but also that this is the 20th anniversary of their treaty of friendship. He went on to say that China and Russia have conducted military exercises and continue to do so, not only on land but also in the air.

Good and kind relations with Japan are at the forefront of Russian thinking he said, and that the joint military exercises with China are not targeting any specific country, but are rather designed to protect domestic borders. Mr. Lavrov expressed concern with Japan’s willingness to accept ABM missile systems from the United States. He also noted the US intention to place short and medium range missile systems in the area in addition to the ABM systems.

As for the Korean peninsula, Mr. Lavrov said that while there had been problems between the DPRK and the ROK, and between the DPRK and the US, there had been no actions that lead to military response. He added that Russia is interested for robust peace on the Korean peninsula and that Russia has a plan to offer to deal with the situation when the time is right.

Asked about the case of Russian politician Alexi Navalny, Lavrov said that it was a justice question and not a foreign ministry matter. When pressed further he said that there was not evidence of Mr. Navalny being poisoned with Novichok. He said Russia had not received any tissue samples or clothing samples containing the substance, and that Germany said that its armed forces had made the necessary tests but could not release the results for security reasons.

As for relations with the United States he said that Russia is not expecting any radical changes from the new administration and he wondered if a new START treat would be negotiated before it expires in February. He also said Russia is ready to discuss issues with the US such as:

  • Information security
  • Cyber crime
  • United Nations matters

In closing Mr. Lavrov thanked those organizations connected with helping the Russian diaspora or overseas Russians during the Corona virus pandemic and noted some members had received recognition from the Russian government for their contributions.


Big Brother’s Little Sister–What Should We Make of Her?

There has been much media speculation of late about the rise to prominence of Kim Yo-jong, the sister of Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un. It seems most DPRK-related news seems to deal with the latest sighting and the latest statements by her and about her.

The “facts” which are reported and re-reported boil down to:

1) She was born in Pyongyang in 1987 (or not) which makes her 33 years old (or not).

2) She attended international school in Switzerland at the same time as her brother Kim Jong-un. At school she studied ballet and was ove-protected by a group of minders.

3) Her first public outing was at Kim Jong-Il’s funeral in 2011

4) She was made Deputy-Director of the Propaganda Department of the Korean Worker’s Party in 2014, and Head of Department in 2017.

5) In 2017 she was made an alternative member of the Politbureau.

6) In 2018 she represented her country at the opening ceremony of the Peyongchang Olympics in South Korea.

7) She was elected to the Supreme People’s Assembly in 2019.

8) She is married to Choe Ryone-hae.

9) She is the daughter of Kim Jong-Il and the granddaughter of Kim Il-sung.

10) She has no know hobbies or interests but she does ride horses in propaganda photos.

Of late Ms. Kim has been making bellicose threats against South Korea, which foretold the demolition of the North-South Inter-Korean Liaison Office in Kaesong on June 16, 2020. She has also stated that she has instructed North Korean armed forces to move on two other joint projects.

So what to make of Kim Jong-yo? Clearly she is moving up the party ranks and being groomed by her brother for real leadership roles. The question is whether she would be able to assume the Kim family mantle and become the supreme leader should Jong-un depart the scene.

There are two schools of thought on this:

1) She could and would become leader because she is a Kim, daughter and granddaughter of the founder of the DPRK and his successor. And she is showing herself to be tough and ruthless, qualities that would recommend her to the leadership role.

2) Because the DPRK is a male-dominated society, the military and the people would not accept a female leader.

For the above reasons, should she become the leader of the country, she would have to demonstrate even more ruthless behavior to prove that she was not weak or soft. 

What are your thoughts on this question? Please let us know.

Photo: Republic of Korea via flickr

DPRK–No News Is Good News.

                          by David Parmer / Tokyo

Well, it’s not like there isn’t any news from the DPRK in 2019, because there is, in fact, some news. There is just not the same kind of “end of the world nuclear holocaust” news that there was just a short time ago. 

But “normal” is relative, and like the weather in East Asia itself, subject to change without notice. Nevertheless, at mid-year we can look back to February 2019 and a failed US-DPRK summit meeting in Hanoi with two of the world’s biggest summiteers; Donald Trump, President of the United States, and Kim Jong-un, Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Reports indicated that the deal breaker for this meeting was the lifting of US sanctions against the DPRK and the United States’ refusal to do so. Post summit there were no recriminations or finger pointing; everyone just packed up and went home after offering their side of the story.

Things with the DPRK were pretty quiet until May 9, when they fired off two short-range ballistic missiles. Launched from around Wonson, they flew into the Japan Sea, and not over “hostile” territory like South Korea or Japan. It may be that testing was on the schedule for this year regardless, or it might have been a thinly-veiled threat to remind the US and the world that the DPRK has a nuclear arsenal and the vehicles to deliver nuclear payloads.

Things remained quiet until June 12 when Donald Trump announced that on June 11 that he got a “beautiful letter” from Kim Jong-un. Trump expressed his ongoing confidence in the negotiations with the DPRK.

Sources also say that in his letter Kim proposed a third summit with the US. About the same time media reports suggested that Kim’s late brother, Kim Jong-nam was a CIA source. Trump explained that such a thing would not happen during his watch.

And finally to round-out the slow-news cycle, President Xi Jinping will make a trip to the DPRK on June 20 and 21 for discussions with Chairman Kim. This is the first visit of a Chinese leader to the country in 14 years. Clearly both men will have a lot on their minds including how to deal with the United States and its mercurial leader, Donald Trump.

So, looking back, we can see that there has not been much news of a sensational nature from North Korea in the first half of 2019. Maybe the old adage is right: no news is good news.



Photo: Rodong Sinmun


Kim Jong Un Addresses DPRK on New Year’s Day 2016

Kim Jong Un’s New Year Address

 Kim Jong Un, first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, first chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK and supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army, made his address on the New Year, Juche 105 (2016).

The full text of the address reads:

Dear comrades,

Filled with the dignity and self-respect of being victors, who have set up a shining milestone in the history of the glorious Workers’ Party of Korea and our country, we are greeting the New Year 2016.

In reflection of the fervent loyalty of all the people and service personnel, I extend the noblest respect and New Year greetings to the great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, the symbol of socialist Korea and the sun of Juche.

My New Year greetings also go to all the service personnel and people, who are working devotedly for the prosperity of their socialist country with a firm determination to follow the road of Juche to the end together with the Party, and I wish that all the families will be filled with harmonious feelings and the happy laughter of our dear children resound more loudly.

Seeing in the New Year, I extend greetings to our compatriots in the south and abroad who are struggling to achieve national reunification, the cherished desire of the nation, and to the progressive peoples and our friends in the world who aspire after independence, justice and peace.

The year 2015 was a year of gigantic struggle, which is adorned with meaningful events and eye-opening successes, a year of victory and glory, in which socialist Korea fully demonstrated its prestige and might.

Last year we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea as a proud and significant revolutionary event of the great Paektusan nation.

Having turned out as one in hearty response to the Party’s call, the service personnel and people waged a heroic struggle in the revolutionary spirit of Paektu and through bold army-people cooperation, thus bringing about proud labour results dedicated to the motherly Party.

The Paektusan Hero Youth Power Station, Chongchongang Power Station in Tiers, Sci-Tech Complex, Mirae Scientists Street, Jangchon Vegetable Cooperative Farm and many other structures of lasting significance and beautiful socialist villages that embody the Party’s ideas and policies sprang up, showing the mettle of the country which is advancing by leaps and bounds reducing ten years to one.

Our working class, scientists and technicians, true to the instructions of the great leaders, made a big stride in making the metallurgical industry Juche-based, built model, standard factories of the era of the knowledge-driven economy in various parts of the country and put production lines on a modern and IT footing, thus opening a new road of advance for developing the overall economy and improving the people’s standard of living. The flames of the campaign to implement the Party’s ideas and defend its policies have unfolded a proud reality of our indigenous plane flying in the sky and our indigenous subway train running under the ground, and rich fish and fruit harvests were gathered, their socialist flavour bringing pleasure to the people. Our sportspeople including the trustworthy women’s soccer players exalted the honour of their motherland and further encouraged the militant spirit of our service personnel and people by winning gold medals in international competitions.

Through the large-scale events held to celebrate the Party’s 70th anniversary drawing the attention of the world, we demonstrated far and wide the might of the single-hearted unity of all the service personnel and people around the Party and the bright future of Juche Korea.

The moving scenes unfolded on the October celebration square shook the world with power greater than that of explosion of an atomic bomb or that of the launching of an earth satellite, and clearly showed that nothing can check the dynamic advance of our Party, service personnel and people that are fighting with the single-hearted unity and arms as their ever-victorious weapons.

Last year our service personnel and people warded off the danger of war facing their country and nation and safeguarded the dignity of the Republic and world peace with honour.

That we neutralized the hair-trigger situation teetering on the brink of armed conflict owing to the grave political and military provocations by the hostile forces and defended the dignity and security of our motherland from possible calamities is a brilliant victory born of the Herculean might of the great army-people unity and of the powerful Paektusan revolutionary army.

What makes us look back upon last year with greater delight is that our young vanguard who are reliably carrying forward the lineage of the Juche revolution and faith demonstrated the might of the youth power without parallel in the world by means of their loyalty to the Party and heroic struggle.

Educated and trained in the embrace of the great leaders and the Party, our young people rushed ahead along the course of the Korean revolution set by the Party, creating the charging spirit and culture of young people of the Songun era and performing laudable deeds that touched people’s heartstrings. The millions of young people, fully equipped with the revolutionary ideology of the great leaders and firmly rallied behind the Party, have grown strong in ideas and faith, to become successors to the cause of the Juche revolution. This is the greatest dignity, pride and success for us.

All the victories and successes achieved last year are a fruition born of the heroic struggle of our people, who turned out in the general offensive for their country’s prosperity with the spirit and mettle of Paektu, and a crystallization of the invaluable blood and sweat the service personnel and people dedicated to the country and the revolution.

Spending last year seething with creation and filled with miraculous achievements together with the service personnel and people, who were burning their hearts with patriotism and loyalty, our Party witnessed with a warm feeling their beautiful spiritual world and strenuous struggle and gained greater strength and courage from their trust-filled look and sincere opinions.

As there are the Party’s sagacious leadership, the invincible army and the great people that absolutely support the Party and defend it unto death, we have no difficulties to be afraid of and can accomplish any great cause without fail-this is the proud conclusion of last year’s struggle.

I extend warm thanks to all the members of the Workers’ Party of Korea, service personnel and people who glorified last year with heroic struggle and feats in devoted support of the cause of the Party cherishing ardent loyalty to it and faith in sure victory.


This year is a significant year when the Seventh Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea is to be held.

The congress will proudly review the successes our Party has achieved in the revolution and construction under the wise guidance of the great leaders, and unfold an ambitious blueprint for hastening final victory for our revolution.

We should celebrate the Seventh Party Congress as a glorious meeting of victors as it will constitute a historic landmark in carrying out the cause of the Juche revolution.

“Let us usher in a golden age in building a thriving nation in this year when the Seventh Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea is to be held!”-this is the militant slogan our Party and people should uphold as they advance.

All Party members, service personnel and other people should turn out as one with ardent loyalty to the Party and extraordinary patriotic zeal, and demonstrate the spirit and mettle of Korea that is rushing forward towards final victory racing against time.

We should concentrate all our efforts on building an economic giant to bring about a fresh turn in developing the country’s economy and improving the people’s standard of living.

In order to achieve breakthroughs for a turning point in building an economic giant the electric-power, coal-mining and metallurgical industries and the rail transport sector should advance dynamically in the vanguard of the general offensive.

The problem of electricity should be resolved as an undertaking involving the whole Party and the whole state. The existing power stations should be kept in a good state of maintenance, bolstered up and run at full capacity to ensure maximum output of electric power. The construction of the Tanchon Power Station and other projects for boosting the country’s power-generating capacity should be promoted along with the efforts to ease the strain on electricity supply by making proactive use of natural energy. All sectors and all units should wage a vigorous campaign to economize on electricity and make effective use of it. The sector of coal-mining industry should raise the fierce flames of an upsurge in production to ensure enough supply of coal for the thermal power stations and several sectors of the national economy.

The state should take thoroughgoing measures to make certain that the sector of metallurgical industry receives adequate material supplies and the metallurgical factories, such as the Kim Chaek and Hwanghae iron and steel complexes, expand the successes achieved in making their production Juche-based and modern. By doing so it can increase the output of iron and steel. The rail transport sector should establish rigid discipline and increase effectiveness in organizing and controlling transport services to ensure regular operation of trains, and step up the modernization of railways.

Our Party maintains the improvement of the people’s living conditions as the most important of the numerous state affairs.

The crop farming, animal husbandry and fishing sectors should make innovations to effect a radical change in improving the people’s standard of living. The agricultural sector should actively adopt superior strains and scientific farming methods, speed up the comprehensive mechanization of the rural economy and take strict measures for each farming process, so as to carry out the cereals production plan without fail. The animal husbandry and fishing sectors, which are waging an all-out struggle in response to the Party’s call, should ramp up production as soon as possible and see to it that the fish farms, vegetable greenhouses and mushroom production bases built across the country pay off. Thus they can contribute to enriching the people’s diet.

The light industry sector should put its factories and enterprises on a highly modern footing, provide them with plenty of raw and other materials to keep their production going full steam and increase the number of world-famous products and commodities with a competitive edge.

Construction is a yardstick and visual evidence for the strength of a country and the quality of its civilization; it constitutes a worthwhile, important undertaking for embodying our Party’s people-oriented policies. The construction sector should launch a general offensive to implement the Party’s construction policy and grand plan. By doing so, it should build important production facilities, educational and cultural institutions and dwelling houses on the highest possible level and at the fastest possible speed, so that they serve as standards and models of the times. In this way it can make sure that the great heyday of construction continues without letup.

All the sectors of the national economy should set ambitious goals and maintain regular production by tapping every possible internal reserve and potentiality. They should also take it as an important policy-oriented requirement to improve product quality, ensure domestic production of equipment and rely on locally available raw and other materials, and make strenuous efforts to this end.

The whole Party, the entire army and all the people should buckle down to the campaign to restore the forests of the country.

The urban and rural areas, workplaces and villages should be kept spick and span, and positive measures should be taken to conserve the resources of the country and prevent air, river and sea pollution.

Our Party is steadfast in its determination and will to solidify the foundations of a thriving country by dint of science and technology and, with them as the engine, achieve national prosperity. The scientific research sector should give priority to resolving the scientific and technological problems that arise in consolidating the might of the Juche-based industry, the socialist independent economy, and improving the people’s standard of living, and strive to push back the frontiers of science and technology. Factories, enterprises and cooperative farms should build science and technology diffusion rooms in a splendid fashion and put their operation on a regular basis, so as to ensure that all the working people learn modern science and technology. It is also necessary to establish a social climate of resolving the problems arising in reality on the strength of science and technology.

The Cabinet and other state and economic organs should decisively improve their economic planning and guidance. Leading economic officials should fully equip themselves with Party policy, work out plans of the economic work in an innovative way and give a strong push to it on the principle of developing all the sectors at an exponential speed by relying on the inexhaustible creative strength of the working people and by dint of modern science and technology. They should accurately identify the main link in the whole chain of economic development and concentrate efforts on it while revitalizing the overall economy, especially when the conditions are not favourable and many difficulties arise. They should be proactive in organizing and launching the work of establishing on a full scale our style of economic management method which embodies the Juche idea, thus giving full play to its advantages and vitality.

The political and military might of our Republic should be strengthened in every way.

It is necessary to cement the politico-ideological position of socialism rock-solid.

We should regard ideology as the driving force of the revolution and focus on the five-point education so as to train all the service personnel and people to be strong in ideas, to etch in their hearts the revolutionary spirit of Paektu, the spirit of the blizzards of Paektu, and encourage them to give free rein to their indomitable mental strength in the struggle to carry out the instructions of the great leaders and safeguard the Party’s policies. Political work and frontline-style information and motivational work should be vigorously conducted to ensure that the whole country seethes with an atmosphere of heightened political enthusiasm in the lead-up to the Seventh Party Congress.

Single-hearted unity is the great foundation and ever-victorious weapon for the Juche revolution. All the officials, Party members and other working people should connect their burning hearts with the garden of the offices of the Party Central Committee and share the Party’s ideas, breathe the same breath as it and keep pace with it in order to travel one road forever following the Party. Party organizations and state organs should give absolute priority to the demands and interests of the people by thoroughly applying the politics of prioritizing, respecting and loving them, and take responsible care of their political integrity and material and cultural life to the end. Party organizations should take hold of public sentiments, rally the broad sections of the masses closely around the Party, and launch an intensive struggle among officials against all practices of abuse of power, bureaucratism and corruption that gnaw at and undermine our single-hearted unity.

The country’s defence capability should be built up.

In this year, which marks the 20th anniversary of the movement of winning the title of O Jung Hup-led 7th Regiment initiated by General Kim Jong Il, the People’s Army should further develop itself into a revolutionary army of the Party in which the Party’s unified command system is thoroughly established, into a steadfast army of the Party that keeps the revolutionary faith to the death, and effect a turnaround in implementing the Party’s four-point line of building up the army to be formidable. By keeping it as the seed to conduct training in a real-war atmosphere and put it on a scientific and modern footing, the army should raise the fierce flames of training so that all the service personnel are prepared to be elite soldiers of modern warfare and stout fighters who are equipped with the military strategies and tactics of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, the heroic fighting spirit and flawless abilities to fight an actual war. It should become a standard-bearer and shock force of the times to make breakthroughs as intended by the Party on the major fronts where a thriving country is being built, and look for more tasks that are for the good of the people.

Officers and men of the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces should smash in embryo the manoeuvrings of the class enemy and hostile elements to harm the leadership of the revolution, our socialist system and our people’s lives and property, and members of the Worker-Peasant Red Guards and the Young Red Guards should intensify combat and political training and fully prepare themselves to defend their villages.

The munitions industry sector should develop defence science and technology, put the defence industry on a highly Juche-oriented, modern and scientific footing, and give full play to the revolutionary spirit of Kunja-ri, so as to develop and produce a greater number of various means of military strike of our own style that are capable of overwhelming the enemy.

We should ensure that our people enjoy the highest quality of civilization on the highest level.

By raising the flames of radical improvement in education in the new century, we should renovate the conditions and environment for education and improve its quality decisively, thereby bringing up talented personnel who are knowledgeable, morally sound and physically strong. We should improve medical treatment and preventive work as required by the socialist public health system in order to protect the people’s life and promote their health.

We should make sports mass-based and part of daily concern to ensure that the whole country is astir with enthusiasm for sports, and radically develop the specialized sporting techniques to create new miracles of heroic Korea in international games. The sector of art and literature should brace itself to produce a larger number of contemporary masterpieces which make all the service personnel and people burn their hearts with enthusiasm for the revolution and for struggle.

We should launch a strong drive to establish discipline with regard to moral ethics so as to ensure that a sound and civilized way of life prevails throughout the country.

All the officials and working people should turn out as one in the struggle to usher in a golden age in building a thriving nation in this year when the Seventh Party Congress is to be held.

It is the tradition of struggle and temperament of our people to turn out with a single mind and will and continuously work miracles like moving mountains and filling up seas if it is the Party’s call.

The heroic working class of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, as befits the core unit of the Juche revolution and the eldest son of the country, should support the Party’s ideas and cause in the vanguard and advance holding up the torch of a new great revolutionary upsurge in building an economic giant. Agricultural workers, with the sense of responsibility that they are in the trench on the first line of the forward echelon of the campaign to defend socialism, should strive to bring about a turn in agricultural production. Intellectuals should promote the building of a thriving country by means of brilliant scientific and technological successes as required by the era of the knowledge-based economy, and become pacesetters and standard-bearers in opening the efflorescence of civilization of the age of the Workers’ Party.

Our Party pins a great hope on the role of young people in today’s general advance. Young people, cherishing the trust of the Party that has given prominence to them as masters of the youth power, should train themselves further to be dependable pillars of the country and become artists of miracles and heroes on all the sites where a thriving nation is being built.

Officials should immerse themselves in the reality to inspire the masses and conduct every undertaking in a revolutionary and scientific way. They should also become true servants of the people and competent leading personnel of the revolution who make selfless, devoted efforts for the good of the people with the ennobling view of life that they have nothing more to wish for even though their bodies may be scattered like the grains of sand on the road for the good of the people.

In all fields of social life we should sustain the original features and great appearances of our society which is advancing on the strength of helping and leading one another forward and through a concerted effort. Our target is a Juche-oriented socialist power, and the might of socialism is none other than the might of collectivism. All sectors and all units should attach primary importance to the interests of the state, the Party and the revolution, introduce the successes and experiences gained by the leading units and make leaps and bounds in the flames of collectivist competition.

The principle of giving priority to self-development should be maintained in building a thriving socialist country. Worship of big countries and dependence on foreign forces is the road to national ruin; self-development alone is the road to sustaining the dignity of our country and our nation and to paving a broad avenue for the revolution and construction. With affection, trust, dignity and pride in everything of our own, we should achieve the great cause of building a thriving nation and realize the people’s beautiful dreams and ideals without fail by our own efforts, technology and resources.

National reunification is the most pressing and vital task facing the nation.

Last year, greeting the 70th anniversary of national liberation, we appealed to all the compatriots to pool their efforts to open up a broad avenue to independent reunification, and strived for its realization. However, the anti-reunification forces that are not desirous of national reunification and improved inter-Korean relations ran amuck to realize their schemes for a war and even created a touch-and-go situation short of crossfire, causing grave apprehension at home and abroad. The south Korean authorities publicly sought to realize their goal of “regime change” in our country and unilateral “unification of systems” against the trend of inter-Korean dialogue and detente, and fanned distrust and confrontation between the north and the south.

This year we should hold up the slogan “Let us frustrate the challenges by the anti-reunification forces within and without and usher in a new era of independent reunification!” and press on with the national reunification movement more vigorously.

We should reject foreign intervention and resolve the issues of inter-Korean relations and national reunification independently in keeping with the aspirations and demands of the nation.

It is none other than the outside forces that divided our nation, and it is also none other than the United States and its followers that obstruct the reunification of our country. Notwithstanding this, the south Korean authorities are clinging to a smear campaign against the fellow countrymen in collusion with the outside forces while touring foreign countries to ask for the solution of the internal issue of our nation, the issue of its reunification. This is a betrayal of the country and nation that leaves the destiny of the nation at the mercy of the outside forces and sells out its interests.

The issues of inter-Korean relations and national reunification should, to all intents and purposes, be resolved by the efforts of our nation in conformity with its independent will and demands, true to the principle of By Our Nation Itself. No one will or can bring our nation reunification.

The whole nation should struggle resolutely against the sycophantic and treacherous manoeuvres of the anti-reunification forces to cooperate with the outside forces. The south Korean authorities should discontinue such a humiliating act as going on a tour of foreign countries touting for cooperation in resolving the internal issues of the nation.

It is fundamental to realizing the country’s reunification to prevent the danger of war and safeguard peace and security in the Korean peninsula.

Today the peninsula has become the hottest spot in the world and a hotbed of nuclear war owing to the U.S. aggressive strategy for the domination of Asia and its reckless moves for a war against the DPRK. The U.S. and south Korean war maniacs are conducting large-scale military exercises aimed at a nuclear war against the DPRK one after another every year; this is precipitating a critical situation in the Korean peninsula and throwing serious obstacles in the way of improving inter-Korean relations. Last year’s August emergency showed that even a trifling, incidental conflict between the north and the south may spark a war and escalate into an all-out war.

The U.S. and south Korean authorities must discontinue their extremely dangerous aggressive war exercises and suspend acts of military provocation that aggravates tension in the Korean peninsula.

It is our consistent stand to strive with patience for peace in the peninsula and security in the region. However, if aggressors dare to provoke us, though to a slight degree, we will never tolerate it but respond resolutely with a merciless sacred war of justice, a great war for national reunification.

We should value such agreements common to the nation as the three principles for national reunification and declarations between the north and the south, and in conformity with them, open up an avenue to improved bilateral relations.

These principles and declarations constitute the great reunification programme common to the nation, and all fellow countrymen wish that they are implemented as soon as possible and a radical phase opened up in reunifying the country.

If they are sincere about improving inter-Korean relations and reunifying the country peacefully, the south Korean authorities must not seek pointless confrontation of systems, but make it clear that they intend to respect and implement with sincerity the three principles for national reunification, June 15 Joint Declaration and October 4 Declaration, which crystallize the general will of the nation and whose validity has been proved in practice. They should cherish the spirit of the agreement signed last year at the inter-Korean high-level emergency contact, and desist from any act that will lead to a breach of the agreement and mar the atmosphere of dialogue. In the future, too, we will make strenuous efforts to develop inter-Korean talks and improve bilateral relations. We will also have an open-minded discussion on the reunification issue, one of the national issues, with anyone who is truly desirous of national reconciliation and unity, peace and reunification.

All the Korean people in the north, in the south and abroad will smash all challenges and obstructive moves by the anti-reunification forces in and out of the country and build a dignified and prosperous reunified Korea on this land without fail under the banner of By Our Nation Itself.

The United States has persisted in ignoring our just demand for replacing the Armistice Agreement with a peace pact to remove the danger of war, ease tension and create a peaceful environment in the Korean peninsula. Instead, it has clung to its anachronistic policy hostile towards the DPRK, escalating the tension and egging its vassal forces on to stage a “human rights” racket against the country. However, no plots and schemes of the enemy could break the indomitable will of our service personnel and people to firmly defend and add brilliance to our style of people-centred socialism, the base of their happy life.

The challenges by the hostile forces remain uninterrupted and the situation is as tense as ever, but we will invariably advance along the road of independence, Songun and socialism under the unfurled red flag of the revolution, and make all responsible efforts to safeguard peace and security in the Korean peninsula and the rest of the world.

Our Party and the government of our Republic will further strengthen solidarity with the peoples of the world who are opposed to aggression and war, domination and subordination, and develop relations of friendship and cooperation with all the countries that respect our national sovereignty and are friendly to us.

The cause of Juche-oriented socialism is ever-victorious, and only victory and glory is in store for us who are advancing under the leadership of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

Let us all strive for the final victory of the revolution full of confidence in victory and optimism.

Greeting the hope-filled New Year, I wish the people across the country good health and happiness.

Rodong Shinmun report with full text link.

News Roundup December 2015

At RG21 we cover a number of topics throughout the year that we feel are of interest to our Asian and world readers. As these stories are ongoing, we can not always cover developments as they happen in a weekly blog. So from time to time we will give a short roundup of current topics with links to news and official sources.

Taiwan Elections 2016: We have been following the Taiwan elections in 2015 rather closely. At this time it seems that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will win big and Tsai Ing-wen will become president. The question is how badly will the KMT be defeated, and what will the post election direction be for Taiwan, especially in its relations to the People’s Republic. Tsai has indicated that there will be not much change in the status quo vis-a-vis the PRC, but the spring of 2016 will begin to give us some indication of how this plays out.

North Korea: 2015 has been a rather “quiet” year for the DPRK and its supreme leader Kim Jung-un. Kim declined to attend celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of WWII and observers speculate that he did not feel free to travel abroad despite his continuing tightening of his hold on the levers of power. Kim’s all-girl pop group made it as far as Beijing, but then returned without performing. The year ended with one of his chief advisors perishing in a mysterious automobile crash in the closing days of the year.

South China Sea: This year saw a tense standoff between China and the U.S. over the South China Sea. The U.S. claims that it has the right to navigate the South China Sea freely while China maintains that its sovereignty is at stake. A U.S. Navy ship sailed through the area without incident, and China protested. This situation shows no signs of abating in 2016, and apparently China has no intention to stop its “island building” and the U.S. has no intention of adhering to China’s claims on its claimed territory in the area.

Hi-Tech: The big news in mid-December was the purchase of the South China Morning Post (SCMP) by Internet giant Alibaba. Jack Ma’s company (which has experienced some turbulence this year) paid in excess of $200 million for the Post. This move follows Amazon’s recent acquisition of the Washington Post. The question now is how will a China-based corporation influence news coverage by the SCMP. What changes, if any, will become apparent in 2016 under the new Hangzhou-based management?

Photo: Korea Net via flickr



Man of Mystery–DPRK’s Kim Jong-un


                              by David Parmer

Kim Jong-un was born on January 8,1983. Or maybe he wasn’t. Kim is married to Ri Sol-ju and they have a daughter, or maybe they don’t. Kim went to school in Switzerland, or was that his brother? Kim likes basketball, is “friends” with former Michael Jordan teammate Dennis Rodman, and is the supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and is Marshal of a huge military machine that has medium and long range missiles and a growing nuclear capability.

Kim had his uncle Jang Song-taek executed either by machine gun or by throwing him to a pack of hungry dogs, or maybe he didn’t. Jang’s widow and Kim’s aunt, Kim Kyong-hui first disappeared, then either died of an heart attack or killed herself. Or maybe she didn’t.  At the same time Kim cleaned house by removing the close circles of advisers of his late father Kim Jong-il. Kim had a female pop star executed for producing “pornographic” videos. The pop group had earlier been formed by Kim himself. Kim attended Kim Il-sung University and studied physics and went on to Kim Il-sung Military University for officer training. Kim has spent huge sums on luxury goods. Kim’s “pet project” was a recently-completed ski resort. Since 2011 Kim has ruthlessly been consolidating his hold on power in the DPRK. Kim looks like he could use a little more exercise.  Kim could one day find himself in the dock at the World Court in the Hague for human rights violations. Kim Jong-un is an enigma. Some of the above is true.

Photo: Rodong Shinmun