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North Korea

Yearbook 2001

North Korea. The year was marked by N's attempt to break international isolation, by problems with the approach to South Korea and by deteriorating relations with the United States.

2001 North Korea

According to Countryaah, Kim Jong Il traveled to China in January, where, among other things, he visited the Shanghai and Shenzhen free trade zones. Kim was said to have been impressed by the free trade reforms. During the summer, Kim made a 25-day trip in Russia. The aircrew leader boarded a special train. The trip culminated in a five-day state visit to Moscow, where Kim met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The countries agreed that the N missile program did not threaten any state as long as it did not attack the N. and that the ABM agreement of 1972 would continue in the future. The latter was interpreted as criticism of the US planned robotic defense shield.

Diplomatic relations were established with the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Spain, Brazil, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg and New Zealand. The new US government adopted a stricter attitude toward the N. than the Clinton administration. N. was not credibly declared, which also led to deteriorating relations with South Korea, closely allied with the United States.

Pyongyang understood that a second meeting with South Korea's President Kim Dae Jung was not relevant. Despite this, a third round of family reunions was held on February 26-28. 100 South Koreans flew to Pyongyang, 100 North Koreans to Seoul. But in March, the dispute with the US led to N. breaking contact with South Korea at ministerial level. In an effort to bring the neighboring countries closer together, on May 2-3, an EU delegation, led by the then EU President Göran Persson, visited Pyongyang. Issues on human rights, N's robotics program and economic cooperation were raised.

In September, N. invited the South Korean government to formal talks after a six-month interruption. New family reunions were decided, but a month later, N. withdrew on the grounds that after the terrorist attacks against the United States, South Korea increased its readiness and that this was directed against the N. The North Koreans condemned the terrorist attacks but opposed the war in Afghanistan. In October, attempts were also made to build a highway from South Korea to the North Korean tourist resort of Mount Kumgang. In November, the United States requested weapons inspectors to enter N. to see if weapons of mass destruction were manufactured. Pyongyang strongly rejected this request.

Floods hit Kangwon province on the east coast in October. More than 80 people were killed and over 10,000 lost their homes. The UN provided food assistance. N. was dependent on outside food assistance even before the floods. During the spring, the country was hit by severe drought. The UN appealed for more than $ 250 million in aid to N. for 2002.

In late December, the government announced that an unusual amnesty would be given to a number of prisoners at year-end. The amnesty was given to note that in 2002 it will be 90 years since former President Kim Il-Sung was born. Kim Il-Sung is the country's lifelong formal president. It was not known how many interns were affected by the amnesty or what type of prisoners were involved.

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