North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Kim Yong Nam Meets with Iranian President & UN Secretary-General

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (R) shakes hands with Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in Tehran, Iran, Sept. 1, 2012. (Xinhua/Iran’s Presidential Office)

Iran’s state media reported on 1 September (Saturday) that the DPRK and Iran inked an agreement “on expansion of mutual cooperation in scientific, academic and technological know-how between the two countries.”  The agreement was signed by DPRK Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun (Pak U’i-ch’un) and Iran’s Science and Higher Education Minister Kamran Daneshjoo.  Kim Yong Nam (Kim Yo’ng-nam), President of the DPRK Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium and official head of state, and Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attended the agreement’s signing ceremony.  According to IRNA the agreement includes “conducting research studies, exchange of university students and researchers, setting up joint laboratories, sabbatical studies, exchange of technological know-how, Information Technology, energy, environment, sustainable development, agriculture and food stuff.”  Prior to the signing ceremony, Kim Yong Nam joined President Ahmadinejad, in reviewing an honor guard.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) and Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, review the honour guard during a welcoming ceremony in Tehran, Iran, Sept. 1, 2012. (Xinhua/Iran’s Presidential Office)

On Thursday (30 August), Kim Yong Nam met with United Nations [UN] Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of the Non-aligned Movement [NAM] Summit.  According to a statement issued by Ban’s spokesman:

The Secretary-General had a meeting with H.E. Mr. Kim Yong Nam, President of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The Secretary-General expressed concern about the food and nutrition situation in the DPRK, particularly following the long dry spell in the spring and the recent flooding. He noted the United Nations had provided approximately $2 million in emergency humanitarian assistance through the Central Emergency Response Fund, and accepted the President’s sincere appreciation. The Secretary-General thanked the DPRK Government for hosting the UN’s humanitarian mission led by Under-Secretary-General Valerie Amos last year. He expressed concern about the humanitarian situation in the DPRK and emphasized the importance of maintaining continued contacts between the UN and the DPRK. With regard to inter-Korean relations, the Secretary-General said he hoped for an improvement in cross-border relations. The Secretary-General said an improvement in inter-Korean relations could also help the North improve ties with the United States.

Also on 30 August, Kim Yong Nam addressed the NAM Summit.  Rodong Sinmun provided a gist of Kim’s remarks:

Having held the dear respected Marshal Kim Jong Un in high esteem as the supreme leader of our Party, state and army, the Korean people are now striving to build a prosperous and powerful socialist nation.

Kim Jong Un rejects all sorts of domination and subjugation with the independent politics and opens up a new chapter in the development of relations with countries that are friendly with the DPRK, not bound by the past.

The Non-Aligned Movement emerged as a powerful political force that pushes ahead with the building of a new independent and peaceful world.

President Kim Il Sung attached great importance to the Non-Aligned Movement and made a great contribution to its strengthening and development.

Time went by and generations changed. However, the historic cause of the Movement remains unaccomplished; we continue to strive to make the ideal and aim of the Movement come true.

Today’s situation calls on the Non-Aligned Movement to strengthen its position and role as a political force that represents the interests of developing countries.

The delegation of the DPRK believes that this summit needs to focus on the following issues with a view to actively coping with the current complicated international situation.

First, the member states of the Non-Aligned Movement should give priority to the struggle for safeguarding sovereignty that serves as the main idea of the Movement.

The main task in the struggle for defending sovereignty at present is to prevent and foil the high-handedness and arbitrariness, interference in other’s internal affairs and use of arms by the U.S. and the Western countries.

The acts of infringement upon sovereignty, internal interference and regime change in the Non-Aligned countries under the pretext of “anti-terrorism”, “humanitarian intervention” and “ensuring peace” can by no means be justified and the sanctions and pressures upon countries like Iran and Syria should be stopped.

The Non-Aligned Movement should take active and decisive measures, taking the protection of sovereignty as its pressing task, pursuant to the guiding principle of the “Havana Declaration” and “Sharm El-Sheikh Declaration”, both of which had been adopted in the previous summits.

Second, the member states of the Non-Aligned Movement should value and prioritize the unity which serves as a main principle of the Movement and work hard to put it into practice.

The history of the Non-Aligned Movement shows that unity leads to victory whereas division causes failure.

There may be differences of views and frictions between the member states but they should focus on taking collective actions by putting disagreement behind and seeking agreement, thus strengthening mutual support and solidarity by encouraging unity and preventing separation.

The member states should strive harder to defend the interests of the Movement in the international fora and to establish a just international political and economic order through the reform of UN including the UNSC.

Today the Korean Peninsula is becoming the biggest hotspot of the world where the vicious cycle of confrontation and escalation of tension is repeated and a war may break out any moment due to the U.S. persistent hostile policy towards the DPRK.

Even at this moment, the U.S. is staging aggressive joint military exercises Ulji Freedom Guardian targeting the DPRK and is driving the situation on the peninsula to the brink of war, fanning up the hysteria of war against the north.

The situation of the peninsula tells us that we were absolutely right to have chosen the path of Songun politics and built up the self-defensive war deterrent.

It is the incumbent south Korean authorities, obsessed with confrontation against fellow countrymen, that serve as the shock force for the U.S. hostile policy toward the DPRK, aimed at aggravating the tension on the peninsula.

The south Korean authorities rubbed salt into the wounds of our people who suffered the greatest national loss and committed hideous crime of insulting our supreme leadership, driving the inter-Korean relations to the corner. They would never be able to avoid a tragic end.

The government of the DPRK will join hands with anyone who sincerely wishes the reunification of the country and peace and prosperity of the nation, and make responsible and persevering efforts to realize the historic cause of the country’s reunification.

Our people, who have an ultimate target of building a socialist prosperous and powerful nation, value peace; however, we value the dignity of nation and sovereignty of the country more than peace.

He expressed thanks to member states of the Movement for extending invariable support for our people’s righteous efforts aimed at safeguarding peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and achieving the independent reunification of the country. He expressed conviction that this support and solidarity will be continued in future, too.

The government of the DPRK will make all possible efforts to strengthen and develop the Non-Aligned Movement, pursuant to the ideals of its foreign policy — independence, friendship and peace, he concluded.

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