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EDITIONS
 Saturday, 28 December, 2002, 19:25 GMT
Pyongyang media keep up rhetoric
A "hot wind of admiration" for Kim Jong-il
As international concern mounts over Pyongyang's latest moves on the reactivation of its nuclear programme, the state-controlled North Korean media has been maintaining a steady stream of anti-US comment.

The press and broadcast outlets have been repeating the official government line that the programme represents no threat.

The North Korean news agency KCNA said that over 10,000 people had attended a rally at an open air theatre in Pyongyang to express "support and solidarity to the South Korean people in their anti-US struggle".

It said participants denounced US moves to "stifle" the North "under the pretext of its 'nuclear issue'".

[US assertions] nothing but a worthless trick aimed at deceiving public opinion at home and abroad

Nodong Sinmun

A statement issued by the rally called on all Koreans "to turn out in the sacred anti-US resistance to drive the US imperialist aggressors out of South Korea and resolutely frustrate the 'nuclear racket' of the US aimed to bring clouds of war to hang over the Korean nation".

'Babbler' Rumsfeld

An editorial in the country's official party paper, Nodong Sinmun, broadcast on state radio, accused US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld of "once again rattling off preposterous slander against our Republic".

"He babbled that the United States is greatly concerned about the progress of North Korea's nuclear capabilities... he also babbled that their decision to formally deploy a missile defence system in 2004 will have a deterrent effect on North Korea.

N Korean ballistic missile launch
Pyongyang's missile launches have sparked concern

"Considering the fact that Rumsfeld is known to be the most hawkish even within the belligerent Bush group, it is, of course, hardly possible that sound remarks will come out of his mouth. He said this and that about our non-existent nuclear threat, talking about so-called concerns and deterrence. This is none other than a sophism to justify their aggressive nuclear domination strategy."

The paper said that US assertions about a threat from North Korea were "nothing but a worthless trick aimed at deceiving public opinion at home and abroad".

'Nuclear hat'

A Pyongyang radio commentary was couched in similar vein.

Entitled "Criminal nature of a nuclear war fanatic", the radio denounced what it called the US' "stereotypical methods of putting a nuclear hat on other countries and creating a commotion all the time".

The United States must... renounce its reckless nuclear policy

Pyongyang radio

It went on to accuse the US of threatening the survival of mankind and "putting pressure on us, a non-nuclear country".

"The logic and dogmatism of US-styled superpowerism - that only the United States has a moral standard with which it can judge right from wrong; only the United States can do everything; and other countries must unconditionally obey the United States' opinions - can never work in today's world."

"The United States must... renounce its reckless nuclear policy."

Follow the leader

Despite the media's focus on the nuclear issue, the North Korean news agency found time to issue a end-of-year round up on what it called the "hot wind of admiration, fascination, reverence, praise and worship for the greatness of leader Kim Jong-il" which it said had been "blowing all over the world this year".

Listing the numerous activities to commemorate Kim Jong-il's birthday, the agency said that "foreigners from tens of countries" had attended a "secret camp" on North Korea's highest mountain, Mt Paektu, to mark the festivities.

"The participants said that the 21st century would be Kim Jong-il's century," KCNA stated.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.


Nuclear tensions

Inside North Korea

Divided peninsula

TALKING POINT
See also:

28 Dec 02 | Asia-Pacific
27 Dec 02 | Asia-Pacific
24 Dec 02 | Asia-Pacific
15 Dec 02 | Asia-Pacific
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