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EDITIONS
 Wednesday, 1 January, 2003, 16:38 GMT
N Korea press urges unity against US
A South Korean woman weeps for relatives on the other side of the border on New Year's Day
Tearful start for families split by the Korean war
North Korea's state-controlled press has called in a New Year message for Koreans in both the North and South to unite against the USA.

A joint editorial published in the leading daily, the Communist Party Rodong Sinmun, and two other papers, Josoninmingun and Chongnyonjonwi, accuses Washington of posing "a grave threat to peace" on the Korean Peninsula by threatening to carry out a "pre-emptive nuclear attack".

It can be said that there exists on the Korean Peninsula at present only confrontation between the Koreans in the North and the South and the United States

However, it also speaks of the need to avoid war.

The editorial also acknowledges that all is not well with the country's economy and improvements need to be made.

Rapprochement

It describes the "atmosphere of reconciliation, unity and reunification" between the North and South as "dramatic" and "unprecedented in the history of national division".

"There is no reason for fellow countrymen to strain the situation and disturb peace against the fellow countrymen as the North and the South are heading for reconciliation, unity and reunification.

It is an urgent national task to avert the danger of war and preserve peace on the Korean Peninsula

"It can be said that there exists on the Korean Peninsula at present only confrontation between the Koreans in the North and the South and the United States."

"It is an urgent national task to avert the danger of war and preserve peace on the Korean Peninsula," the editorial goes on.

"The United States is now becoming all the more frantic in its moves to stifle the DPRK, openly clamouring about a pre-emptive nuclear attack on it.

"This is spoiling the atmosphere of reconciliation between the North and the South and posing a grave threat to peace.

All the Koreans in the North and the South and abroad should approach the reckless and vicious war moves of the US imperialists with high vigilance and deal a telling blow at them by the concerted efforts of the whole nation."

Provocation

Addressing "the US bellicose elements", the editorial proclaims: "Their strategy to dominate Korea is a pipe-dream."

It is our will to radically change the appearance of the country and enable the people to live as happily as others

It calls on them to "stop the provocative and military pressure and withdraw their aggression forces from South Korea without delay".

The editorial sings the praises of 2002 as being "a proud year during which the authority and might of the DPRK were fully displayed".

However, it recognises that major improvements need to be made "to significantly increase agricultural production" as well as in the fields of science and technology, so as "to radically change the appearance of the country and enable the people to live as happily as others in a few years".

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:

30 Dec 02 | Asia-Pacific
29 Dec 02 | Asia-Pacific
26 Dec 02 | Media reports
28 Dec 02 | Media reports
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