Spokesman for Panmunjom mission of KPA on issue of remains of dead U.S. soldiers

    Pyongyang, October 13 (KCNA) --A spokesman for the Panmunjom mission of the Korean People's Army on Saturday gave the following answer to the question raised by KCNA as regards the joint exhumation of remains of dead U.S. soldiers in the DPRK: Two rounds of exhumation were carried out from July 20 to September 24, 2002 according to the agreement reached at the DPRK-U.S. working talks on remains of the dead held in Bangkok, Thailand in June and the third round of exhumation is now under way.
    Even under the circumstances where the DPRK-U.S. relations remain strained, we unilaterally exhumed remains of 208 dead bodies and handed them over to the U.S. side with generosity and sincerity from a humanitarian point of view from 1990 to 1994 and have unearthed remains of 170 bodies together with the U.S. side since 1996, handing remains of a total of 378 bodies to it up to this date.
    Nearly half a century has passed since the cease-fire of the Korean War and remains of the war dead were eroded and most of the witnesses who could confirm their burial places died. Under these conditions it is necessary to investigate and confirm the burial places quickly.
    At the recent talks on remains of U.S. war dead in Thailand we, therefore, presented reasonable and realistic proposals including the question of establishing and operating a national organization for investigation to the U.S. side.
    The U.S. administration's hostile policy toward the DPRK has touched off bitterer anti-U.S. sentiment among the Korean people, which seriously impedes the exhumation of remains of the war dead, including the investigation and confirmation of the burial places.
    There are no American "war survivors," the issue raised by the U.S. side since all the U.S. Pows were already repatriated in accordance with the agreement between the two sides right after the Korean War. And the issue of Americans who defected to our side from U.S. forces units stationed in South Korea after the war may be smoothly settled depending on the termination of the hostile relationship between the DPRK and the U.S. as it is not contrary to the international law on political exiles and the right to protect them.
    If the U.S. side is really interested in the exhumation of remains of the war dead, it should sincerely do what it has to do.

Venezuelan order awarded to Kim Jong Il

    Pyongyang, October 13 (KCNA) -- "General Juan Jacinto Lara Order," the supreme order of the Lara state government of Venezuela, was awarded to Kim Jong Il. Written on the certificate of the order are letters "The Lara state government respectfully presents this order to his excellency Kim Jong Il, General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, on the occasion of the 57th anniversary of the WPK."
    A ceremony of conveying the order, certificate and resolution of the state government took place at its building on Oct. 4.
    Present at the ceremony were the state governor, the secretary general and other leading officials of the state government, members of the state council, officials of organizations for friendship with the Korean people, members of Juche idea study groups and people from all walks of life.
    A DPRK delegation for giving lectures on Koryo medicine was invited to the ceremony.
    The state governor in an address said that the state government's decision to award its supreme order to Kim Jong Il is an expression of boundless respect and reverence of senior officials of the government and inhabitants for him.
    Kim Jong Il, an outstanding politician of the present era, has wisely led the WPK to bring up the Korean people to be a people with strong independence and turn the Democratic People's Republic of Korea into a model independent country, he stressed.

U.S. anti-DPRK smear campaign over religious situation under fire

    Pyongyang, October 13 (KCNA) -- Spokesmen for the central committees of the Korean Christian Federation and the Korean Catholics Association separately released statements on Friday denouncing the U.S. for pulling up the DPRK over its religious situation. The spokesman for the central committee of the Korean Christian Federation in a statement said that the U.S. state department again unreasonably misrepresented the religious situation in the DPRK in its self-justified and hostile way of thinking in a bid to bring a sort of charge against it. This is a virulent anti-Christian political plot to abuse the issue of religion in carrying out its strategy to isolate and stifle the DPRK, the statement added. The statement denounced in the name of all the Christians in the north the U.S. for its unilateral and self-justified practices of misrepresenting the religious situation in the DPRK as it pleased after faking up fictitious cases, far from making apology for the horrible disasters and sufferings brought to the Korean Christians in the past.
    It expressed the expectation that the Christian organizations in South Korea and different countries and all other Christians who value justice, peace, reconciliation and unity, would heighten vigilance against the smear campaign of the U.S. authorities and energetically turn out to check and frustrate it.
    The spokesman for the central committee of the Korean Catholics Association in a statement charged that the U.S., in fact, has the poorest religious records as it blasphemes against religious doctrine and ethics and suppresses religion.
    If the U.S. persistently goes against the trend of the times, challenging justice and conscience, it will never escape severe judgment of history, warned the statement.

Release of unreasonably arrested student demanded

    Pyongyang, October 13 (KCNA) -- The Council for National Reconciliation and Independent Reunification reportedly issued a statement on Oct. 7 in protest against the U.S. troops and South Korean judicial authorities for unreasonably arresting Song Tae Won, a student of Chosun University, after misrepresenting GI's violence against a former South Korean assemblyman. Referring to the fact that the judicial authorities arrested the student on charges of assaulting a policeman and a GI after linking him to this case, the statement strongly denounced the authorities for this sycophantic immoral action.
    It said:
    At the day the incident occurred, a private second class U.S. soldier repeatedly apologized to So Kyong Won in the presence of the chief of the Chongryang-ri police station and the chief promised to severely punish him. But even after the criminal was handed to the U.S. Forces the U.S. increased its pressure upon the authorities. yielding to this, they began to twist the case under the pretext of "kidnapping a GI, detaining and assaulting him and threatening him with a gun."
    And they went the length of arresting Song Tae Won who protested against the crime and issuing warrants for the arrest of several persons.
    The arrest of song was based on a serious distortion of the truth about the case which only reveals flunkeyism towards the U.S. on the part of the authorities.
    The statement expressed anger at the brazen-faced and cunning U.S. Forces' side putting pressure upon the South Korean authorities and twisting the truth about the case, far from apologizing for their crimes committed almost everyday.
    It demanded the U.S. troops and the authorities stop falsifying the truth about the case and immediately release the unreasonably arrested student.

S. Korean authorities' unjust step

    Pyongyang, October 13 (KCNA) -- The South Korean Ministry of Unification on October 10 did not allow 33 persons to participate in the meeting of youth and students from the north, the south and abroad for reunification, according to a news report. Among them are students and youth affiliated to the South Korean Federation of University Student Councils and the South Korean Council of Youth Organizations, Journalists and Delegates and members of public organizations.
    The authorities took such step on charges that they are members of "enemy-benefiting organizations" or some others had violated the security law.

DPRK girl Ham Pong Sil wins women's Marathon at Asiad

    Pyongyang, October 13 (KCNA) -- DPRK Girl Ham Pong Sil won the women's Marathon at the 14th Asian Games, clocking two hours 33 minutes and 34 seconds.