Tokyo, January 7 (KNS) - Mt. Paektu is on a lava plateau in the northern border region of the Korean peninsula.
It is 385 km from Pyongyang, the capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. It is the highest mountain in Korea and is 2,750 m above the sea level.
Mt. Paektu is known as the ancestral mountain and it is symbolic of the patriotism of the Korean people and it embodies the spirit of the nation. This is the historic cradle of the victorious 20-year-long anti-Japanese war organized and led by President Kim Il Sung. There are battle sites, guerrilla bases and secret camps used during this period and a log cabin where General Secretary Kim Jong Il was born.
Mt. Paektu is a volcanic caldera with a crater lake, which appears to have occurred one million years ago. Paektu may be translated literally as "White Head".
This name originates from the fact that the top of the mountain and its surroundings are covered with white pumice stones which originated from various volcanic eruptions.
The mountain belongs to the coldest zone on the Korean peninsula and the weather is prone to sudden changes.
The scenery of the four seasons can be seen in one place on the top of the mountain.
Various species of animals and plants are to be found here.
The plants include Rhododendron ( which bloom even in snow ), Ganoderma and another 200 species. Animals include Paektusan tiger, Martes zibellina Linnaeus, Hydropotes inermis Swinhoe and another 55 species and subspecies of 18 families in 6 orders.
Thus Mt. Paektu becomes not only the national but also international conservation zones. Mt. Paektu is one of the five noted mountains and eight beauty spots in Korea.
The landscape and weather conditions of the Mt. Paektu area benefit the people's health.
Low air-pressue on the high land improves the respiratory function.
Ultraviolet rays become strong as one goes up the mountain and the air is clear and fresh and the ion density is high.
Floral basket to G.S. Kim Jong Il from Guinean party leader
Pyongyang, January 7 (KCNA) - General Secretary Kim Jong Il received a floral basket from General Secretary Abou Bacar Sompare of the Party for Unity and Progress of Guinea on the New Year.
On December 31, 1997, Moussa Solano, First Administrative Secretary of the party, and Dorank Assifat Diasseny, Director General of the African Regional Committee for the Study of the juche Idea, authorised by the General Secretary of the party, paid a congratulatory visit to the Korean Embassy and asked the Ambassador to convey the floral basket to General Kim Jong Il.
S. Koreans vow to follow Juche idea
Pyongyang, January 7 (KCNA) -- Members of the scientific society for independence active in Taejon held a meeting on December 22, 1997, and called for enhancing the role of the followers of the Juche idea, Seoul-based radio Voice of National Salvation quoted the South Chungchong Provincial Committee of the National Democratic Front of South Korea as saying.
The chairman of the society recalled that 1997 witnessed the growth of the ranks of the followers of the Juche idea and the broad dissemination of the Juche idea.
He went on to say it was because the Juche idea is most congruent with the aspirations and demand of the people.
The members of the society vowed to more firmly follow the Juche idea and make active efforts for the study and dissemination of the idea this year.
Discussed and adopted at the meeting were practical measures to propagate the Juche idea among broader segments of people this year, said the radio.
G.S. Kim Jong Il acclaimed as honorary citizen of Lima San Luis, Peru
Pyongyang, January 7 (KCNA) -- A ceremony for acclaiming General Secretary Kim Jong Il as an honorary citizen of Lima San Luis, Peru, and awarding him a certificate was held at the city hall on Dec. 31 to mark the 6th anniversary of his election as Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army (KPA).
Mayor Oscar Suclla Flores in his speech said that he deemed it boundless honor to have the KPA Supreme Commander as an honorary citizen of his city.
The mayor conveyed a certificate of honorary citizenship to the charge d'affaires ad interim of the DPRK Embassy in Peru.
The certificate said:
"The San Luis city office confers honorary citizenship upon his excellency Kim Jong Il to mark the 6th anniversary of his election as Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army, highly praising him for conducting great work as the leader of the party and army."
Vow to carry through tasks set forth in Joint Editorial
Pyongyang, January 7 (KCNA) -- South Phyongan and south Hwanghae Provincial meetings took place in Phyongsong and Haeju on Jan. 6 to carry through the tasks set forth in the Joint New Year Editorial of the newspapers of the Workers' Party of Korea and the Korean People's Army under the leadership of the WPK.
It was stressed at the meetings that the joint editorial is a revolutionary banner calling upon the whole party, all the army and all the people to make a general march to demonstrate the might of the Korean-style socialism all over the world.
The meetings emphasized that all the party members and other working people should perform feats in the general march in the new year under the guidance of General Kim Jong Il by successfully carrying out the revolutionary tasks facing their provinces in the revolutionary spirit of soldiers.
It was noted that to this end, new innovations should be made in the production and construction under the slogan "Let us adorn the 50th anniversary of the DPRK with a grand festival of victors in socialism !"
Meetings called upon all the officials, party members and other working people to follow the spirit of defending the great general at the risk of their lives and have a transparent outlook on life to defend socialism to the end.
Servicemen of the ministry of public security met in Pyongyang on Jan. 6, and vowed to solidify the political and ideological bulwark of socialism as firm as a rock by further strengthening the singlehearted unity of the revolutionary ranks as the fortress of loyalty, the shield of loyalty for firmly defending General Kim Jong Il, Supreme Commander, in the spirit of defending the leader at the risk of their lives.
U.S.-Japan tieup for another Korean war disclosed
Pyongyang, January 7 (KCNA) -- Materials on the U.S.-Japan tieup and moves to unleash another Korean war with Japan as the largest supply base, an advance base, have been brought to light, according to a report.
The content of a top-secret document betraying the deception and falseness of the "advance consultation system" was opened to the public on December 31 last year.
The "advance consultation system", produced by the "U.S.-Japan Security Treaty", means that in case the U.S. troops in Japan move to a third country, the United States would discuss it with the Japanese government in advance.
The U.S. government, however, threw away even the institutional mechanism and revealed its wild ambition to use Japan as an advance base in a war against Korea in the document no. 6008-1 of the National Security Council approved by the then U.S. President Eisenhower.
The document says that in case of "emergency" after the alleged "attack" on the U.S. troops in South Korea, the U.S. troops in Japan shall make use of facilities and districts of Japan to enter into combat operations immediately and the case needs no "advance consultation" with the Japanese government.
It was disclosed by secret materials of the U.S. forces that the U.S. and the Japanese governments agreed in secret to that effect.
This shows once again the U.S. persistent design to stifle the DPRK and the ulterior intention of the Japanese reactionaries to stage a comeback to the Korean Peninsula with the backing of the United States.
National unity for reunification called for
Pyongyang, January 7 (KCNA) -- As announced in the Joint New Year Editorial, there is no slightest change in our principled stand toward promoting co-existence, co-prosperity and common interests, transcending differences of the north and the south in ideology and system and achieving national reunification with the unity of the whole nation, as taught by President Kim Il Sung in his lifetime.
Rodong Sinmun today stresses this in a signed article.
The entire fellow countrymen should unite as one under the banner of great national unity to form a strong driving force for the reunification of the country. Herein lies the key to achieving the reunification in an independent way, smashing every anti-reunification move of the separatists within and without, the article says, and goes on:
Fellow countrymen from all walks of life in the north, the south and abroad are different in living environment and conditions, ideology, political view and religious belief, the standards of learning and property. However, they, as members of the nation, are the same in mind and will to love the country and the nation, value the dignity of the nation and give priority to the common interests of the nation.
There is neither reason nor condition for proletarians and men of property, atheists and believers, communists and nationalists not to get united, if they subordinate everything to the sacred cause common to the nation, that is reunification and independence of the country and prosperity and development of the reunified country.
The great unity of the nation is achieved and cemented not in words but in the course of joint action of the entire Koreans at home and abroad for pooling efforts and wisdom for national reunification.
It is possible to build up a strong driving force of reunification and successfully achieve the reunification of the country if workers, farmers, students, intellectuals, believers, national capitalists of conscience and all other Koreans at home and abroad who want reunification, promote co-existence, co-prosperity and common interests, organizationally unite, support and cooperate with each other and take concerted action, transcending differences in ideology, ideal and system.
Deceptive Seoul-Pusan rapid transit railway project in S. Korea
Pyongyang, January 7 (KCNA) -- The Seoul-Pusan rapid transit railway project has drawn public criticism in South Korea.
The project is a political burlesque and a large-scale scandal of the ruling quarters for gaining popularity with taxes wrested from the people. It was one of the "commitments" made by the former "President" Roh Tae Woo in the "Presidential election" in 1987. The Roh saw to it that the project began without the general design in June 1992 when the tenure of his office was drawing to a close.
The design of the project was repeatedly changed by the rulers in their political interests.
Kim Young Sam used the project for his political purpose. As a result, the design was drastically revised twice and the date of opening to traffic was postponed six years and 11 months more than the first plan (late in 1998).
As of late august last year, five years and two months after the start, no more than 13.7 percent of the project was done. It is foreseen that if current speed continues, the project would take 50 years. The changes of the design on 38 occasions including changes of railroad and construction are likely to cost two trillion won. The number of fraudulent operations is nearly 3,000 and over 70 percent of the project has to be done again.
Films created last year
Pyongyang, January 7 (KCNA) -- Korea created many films of a high ideological and artistic value last year.
Typical of them are feature film "A Summer at Hwasong Uisuk School" (parts 1-2), "The Forest Sways" (parts 1-2) and parts 4 to 9 of "KAPF Writers", parts 37 to 42 of the multi-part feature film "The Nation and Destiny."
"A summer at Hwasong Uisuk School" deals with the historical materials showing how President Kim Il Sung who, penetrating into real situations of the communist movement and the nationalist movement of Korea, formed the down-with-imperialism union, the first communist revolutionary organisation in Korea, when he studied at the Hwasong Uisuk School in the summer of Juche 15 (1926).
"The Forest Sways" tells about stories of the historic period before and after the winter of Juche 27 (1938) when the Korean revolution was in the most rigorous trials. It portrays men of the Korean people's revolutionary army who heroically defended the red flag of the revolution in the spirit of devotedly safeguarding the leader and with ardent patriotism under the command of President Kim Il Sung.
"KAPF Writers" portrays the miserable life of the main character Ri Chan and other colonial men of literature and art who entered "KAPF" with the ambition for the proletarian literature.
It also deals with the happy life of men of literature and art after the country was liberated. Through this, it impressively shows that only when there is the wise guidance of the leader can literature truly contribute to the cause of the working people for independence and can the destiny and future of the men of literature and art be ensured.
In the movie Ri Chan wrote the words of the immortal revolutionary hymn "Song of General Kim Il Sung" representing on a high ideological and artistic level the faith and will of the Korean people to follow the President, the hero of the nation who liberated the country, with ardent feelings of respect.
Also included in the films created last year were feature films "chief secretary of the Taehongdan County Party Committee" (three parts), "Tranquil Forefront", "19 Fighters of Mt. Paekyang" and "Request".
Besides, last year saw creation of films including "Devote Your Sincerity", "Son of the Seventh Regiment" (two parts) and "My Look To Be Seen in Distant Future". "Devote Your Sincerity" and "Son of the Seventh Regiment" show endeavours of main characters to train soldiers into loyal ones equipped with the traditional trait of army-people unity and the spirit of resolutely defending the leader.
"My Look To Be Seen in Distant Future" stresses that one should live a meaningful life so that he can recollect his past without remorse.
The documentary film "World-Famous Peak" impressively shows through beautiful landscapes that Jong Il Peak of Mt. Paektu is the time-honored place of the Juche revolution.
The scientific film "Grand Paektu Range" proves on the basis of scientific materials that Korea has a mountain range from ancestral Mt. Paektu to Mt. Jiri on the south coast.
Besides, many documentary and scientific films were released last year.
Day of Buddha marked
Pyongyang, January 7 (KCNA) -- Buddhists held masses on Jan. 6 to mark the day of Buddha's attainment of great wisdom at temples across the country.
The speakers at the masses expressed their firm will to redouble efforts for the sacred cause of national reunification and the prosperity and development of the country in conformity with the requirement of the present situation and the aspirations of the fellow countrymen for reunification. They referred to the practical matters to further strengthen unity and solidarity with the Buddhists in South Korea and abroad.
They expressed the belief that the country will be certainly reunified as it is led by General Kim Jong Il, the great sun of the nation. They evinced their vows to vigorously advance to speed up the day of reunification.
Present at the masses were clergymen of the central committee and provincial, city and county committees of the Korean Buddhist Federation, chief priests, monks and believers of temples.