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Summary of domestic news in North Korea this week

SEOUL, July 30 (Yonhap) — The following is a summary of domestic news in North Korea this week.

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N.K. leader expresses support for China’s flood recovery efforts in message to Xi: state media

SEOUL, July 24 (Yonhap) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent a message of sympathy to Chinese President Xi Jinping over damage from recent flooding in the neighboring country, state media reported Saturday.

In the verbal message, Kim expressed profound sympathy to Xi and deep condolences to the victims of the recent flood that “claimed heavy casualties and material losses in several areas including Henan Province of China,” the official Korean Central News Agency said.

He also expressed full support for Xi and the Chinese people in their struggle to cope with the aftermath of the flood and for “stabilizing the life of the victims as soon as possible.”

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N. Korea to hold national conference of war veterans to celebrate end of Korean War

SEOUL, July 26 (Yonhap) — North Korea plans to hold a national conference of war veterans to celebrate the 68th anniversary of the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, state media said Monday, despite the global coronavirus pandemic.

“The 7th National Conference of War Veterans is to be held in Pyongyang with splendor on the occasion of the 68th anniversary of the victory in the great Fatherland Liberation War,” the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

The Korean War ended in an armistice signed on July 27, 1953, which leaves South and North Korea technically in a state of war. The North called the war the Fatherland Liberation War and designated the armistice signing date as Victory Day.

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N.K. propaganda website slams Japan for taking issue with S. Korean banners at Olympics

SEOUL, July 26 (Yonhap) — A North Korean propaganda outlet slammed Japan on Monday for labeling cheer banners that South Korea’s Olympic delegation hung at the athletes’ village as anti-Japanese and forcing them to be taken down.

Uriminzokkiri, a North Korean propaganda website, said in a commentary that Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s “gang” has accused South Korea of hanging anti-Japanese banners and went so far as to have “far-right gangsters” display the Japanese imperialist flag in front of the South Korean quarters.

Earlier, the South Korean team had hung the cheer banners on balconies of their rooms. The banners read, “I still have support from 50 million Korean people,” a message coined after the famous words left by Admiral Yi Sun-sin, a historical figure admired for defeating Japan in a naval battle in 1597 with an undermanned fleet.

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N.K. leader pays respects to fallen soldiers to mark anniversary of Korean War armistice

SEOUL, July 27 (Yonhap) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited a cemetery to pay respects to the soldiers killed during the 1950-53 Korean War to commemorate the armistice that ended the fighting in the war, a state broadcaster reported Tuesday.

The Korean War ended in the armistice signed July 27, 1953, leaving South and North Korea technically in a state of war. The North called the war the Fatherland Liberation War and designated the armistice signing date as Victory Day.

Kim visited the Fatherland Liberation War Martyr’s Cemetery in Pyongyang at midnight Monday to mark the 68th anniversary of the Korean War armistice, according to the North’s state Korean Central Broadcasting Station.

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N.K. leader makes no mention of nuclear deterrence at national conference of war veterans

SEOUL, July 28 (Yonhap) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said the country’s armed forces are fully ready to deal with any outside threats as he addressed a conference of war veterans but unlike last year, made no mention of “nuclear deterrence,” according to state media Wednesday.

The annual conference, held Tuesday to mark the anniversary of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War, coincided with the surprise announcement that the North restored cross-border hotlines with South Korea that it had cut off more than a year ago.

During the address, Kim said the North is facing challenges from the prolonged coronavirus lockdown but did not talk about strengthening the country’s nuclear arsenal or relations with South Korea and the United States.

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N.K. leader says ‘kindred ties’ with China will last for generations

SEOUL, July 29 (Yonhap) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un stressed that “kindred ties” with China will carry on generation after generation as he visited a monument symbolizing friendly relations between the two countries, state media said Thursday.

On Wednesday, Kim visited the Friendship Tower in Pyongyang, which was erected to commemorate China’s participation in the 1950-53 Korean War, and sent a wreath to mark the 68th anniversary of the armistice that ended the war, the Korean Central News Agency said.

“The noble soul and exploits of the Chinese people who aided the sacred historic struggle of the Korean people at the cost of their blood when the DPRK was undergoing the harshest and most difficult trials will remain immortal,” Kim was quoted as saying.

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Xi vows to strengthen China-N. Korea ties in letter to Kim

SEOUL, July 30 (Yonhap) — Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged efforts to “defend, consolidate and develop” relations with North Korea, Pyongyang’s state media reported Friday, after the North’s Kim Jong-un said he will push to elevate the two countries’ ties to a “new strategic point.”

Xi made the remarks in a reply to Kim’s earlier letter to mark the 100th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China, touting the “message of fervent congratulations at an early hour” as a sign of “friendship” between the two countries, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

“Under the new situation, the Chinese side, together with the DPRK side, will … make positive contributions to … achieving regional peace, stability, development and prosperity by successfully implementing the important common understanding reached by the two sides to successfully defend, consolidate and develop the China-DPRK relations,” Xi said in the message on July 23.

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N.K. leader accuses ‘hostile forces’ of intensifying ‘war drills for aggression’

SEOUL, July 30 (Yonhap) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un accused “hostile forces” of intensifying “frantic and persistent war drills for aggression” as he presided over the first-ever workshop of military commanders and political officers this week, state media reported Friday.

The remark came as South Korea and the United States are mulling over whether and how to conduct their annual military exercise expected for mid-August amid concern that it could negatively affect a conciliatory mood created in the wake of the North’s restoration of inter-Korean communication lines this week.

The North has long bristled at such combined drills, branding them as a rehearsal for invasion.
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