Floral basket and congratulatory letter presented to Kim Jong Il

Pyongyang, December 31 (KCNA) -- The foreign military attaches' corps in Korea presented a floral basket and a congratulatory letter to Kim Jong Il, Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army (KPA), on the occasion of the New Year, Juche 88 (1999). The floral basket and congratulatory letter were conveyed Wednesday to Kim Il Chol, Minister of the People's Armed Forces, by Vietnamese military attache Vu Dinh Thang, who is the dean of the military attaches' corps. Congratulatory letters, bouquets of flowers and gifts to Kim Jong Il were also conveyed to an official concerned by military attaches of Vietnamese, Iranian, Russian and Egyptian embassies in Pyongyang.

Kim Jong Il sends wreath to bier of Jon Mun Sop

Pyongyang, December 31 (KCNA) - General Secretary Kim Jong Il sent a wreath on Dec. 30 to the bier of Jon Mun Sop, member of the central committee of the WPK and honorary vice-President of the presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK, expressing deep condolences over his death.

Jon Mun Sop passes away

Pyongyang, December 31 (KCNA) -- Jon Mun Sop, member of the central committee of the Workers' Party of Korea and honorary vice-president of the presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of DPRK, died of illness at the age of 79 on Dec. 29. The anti-Japanese revolutionary veteran Jon Mun Sop had worked at important posts for many years. He made contributions to strengthening the revolutionary armed forces, working as regimental commander and division commander of the Korean People's Army during the Fatherland Liberation War and as corps commander and commander of combined army corps after the war. He made efforts to defend the party and the leader and strengthen and develop the socialist fatherland as vice-Minister of Public Security and director of the general bureau of guards, guard commander and chairman of the state control commission. He was awarded the titles of twice republic hero and Kim Il Sung order. An obituary on his death was issued in the name of the WPK central committee and the presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly on Dec. 29. According to the obituary, Jon Mun Sop, regarding it as his first mission to safeguard the headquarters of the revolution, firmly defended the party and the leader and devotedly worked in defence of the gains of the revolution and the security of the people. His exploits for the party and revolution, the fatherland and people will remain forever. A funeral ceremony for him will be held as a state funeral on Dec. 31. A state funeral committee with Kim Yong Nam as its chairman was formed.

Signal successes in forced march

Pyongyang, December 31 (KCNA) -- This year proud successes have been reported from the DPRK in face of difficulties brought on by the combined effects of the never-ceasing campaign of the imperialists to stifle the DPRK and years of natural disasters. The most remarkable success gained in the forced march this year is artitifical satellite "Kwangmyongsong 1" which was launched into orbit on august 31. The scientists and technicians of Korea launched into orbit the first artificial satellite, a product of their own wisdom and technology, fully demonstrating the national power of Korea with a powerful scientific and technical force and the solid foundations of the independent national economy. Bulky April 25 Hotel and September 9 Street sprang up in Pyongyang to commemorate 50 years of the DPRK (September 9). The hotel with modern equipment and accommodation for 20,000 is on the east outskirts of the capital city. The street linking Pyongyang Airport to the Kumsusan Memorial Palace, the sacred temple of Juche, gave a major face-lifting to the northwest area of the capital city with bridges of special characteristics, flats for thousands of households, ornamental forests, scores of metres wide, on either side of the highway in good harmony with landscape. Thousands of minor power stations were built across the country this year. The locally-built minor power stations in Jagang Province meet the needs for the lighting of the flats for more than 100,000 households and the production of local-industry factories. Flats for 10,000 households in Chongjin, an industrial city, benefit from electric heating. A growing number of cities, counties and units are offsetting the demands for electricity with electric energy turned out at minor power stations. The Huichon General Machine Tool Plant produced hundreds of machine tools in a matter of a few months. In the railway transport diesel engine locomotives were converted into electric locomotives called "forced march." 60 kilometre-odd-long railroad between Haeju and Ongjin, between singangryong and Pupho in the central area of the country was switched over to a broad-gauge one. The Pyongyang Integrated Circuits Factory, salt refineries and other industrial establishments were commissioned or completed throughout the country. As a result, a more solid economic foundation of the nation was laid.

Over 150 cases of air espionage

Pyongyang, December 31 (KCNA) -- The U.S. imperialist warmongers carried on air espionage on the northern half of Korea on over 150 occasions in December with strategic and tactical reconnaissance planes of various missions including "U-2" and "RC-135", military sources said. The planes photographed frontline, coastal and inland areas of the northern half of Korea. The air espionage carried on frantically by the U.S. imperialist warmongers, who worked out the "operation plan 5027" aimed at provoking a war against the DPRK, is a vicious challenge to the Koreans and peace-loving people all over the world.

Poem "unforgettable 1998"

Pyongyang, December 31 (KCNA) -- The poetry department of the Korean writers union created a poem "unforgettable 1998" in collective name. The poem deals with leader Kim Jong Il's loving care for people and his giving on-the-spot guidance all the year round to provide them with a better living condition. It writes that nature has four seasons but his journey knows no season. He felt the temperature of the floor of a farmhouse and went to Huichon crossing high and rough ridges at night, saying that he saw people in Huichon in his dream. It also says that Kim Jong Il went to a coastal artillery position and listened to twin soldiers playing flutes. Also depicted in it is a story that he took a measure to make stone photos of martyrs so that they can live eternal lives. Noting that Marshal Kim Jong Il has lived among the people as their real fathers would, all the year round, it stresses that the country and the Workers' Party of Korea have become stronger this year thanks to his tireless efforts. An artificial satellite was launched into orbit this year as directed by him, the poem says. All the world looks up to the DPRK because the bright star of Mt. Paektu spread its rays both in the sky and on the land. 1998 was a year which demonstrated the might of our revolutionary armed forces to the world and which is filled with great events rocking the earth. In 365 days of the year, the Supreme Commander tirelessly struggled to defend and glorify socialism. Indeed, he is the iron-willed defender and fatherly leader, it stresses. It wishes the marshal good health and a long life for a new turn in building a powerful nation, for continued victory in the new year and for exalting the coming century as one of Korea.