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N. Korea: Let’s Get Economy Going

August 1, 2000

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ North Korea’s ruling Workers Party on Tuesday published 180 policy slogans that reflected the isolated communist state’s economic plight and its cautious attempts to open up to the outside world.

The slogans will be hung in factories, government offices, military barracks and schools, providing the impoverished North’s 22 million people with daily guidelines in ideology and other aspects of their lives.

``Let us always be cheerful although our path is thorny,″ said one of the slogans, which were published in the country’s newspapers.

Soldiers, factory workers and school children were expected to stage rallies throughout the country in coming weeks to support the slogans, Seoul officials said.

North Korea last came out with new slogans in 1998.

The slogans included staples urging loyalty to leader Kim Jong Il and denouncing U.S. ``imperialists.″ But this time, slogans appeared calling for the reconstruction of an economy devastated by years of disastrous weather and inefficient management.

The slogans urged a ``high-pitched drive″ to turn out ``more primary consumer goods badly needed for the people’s living,″ the North’s official foreign news outlet, KCNA, reported.

Reflecting a thaw in relations with the South, several slogans stressed the importance of implementing the agreements reached during the historic summit a month ago between North and South Korea.

Leaders of the two Koreas agreed to promote reconciliation after a half-century of animosity during the June summit.

``Let us advance national unification by implementing the summit agreements,″ a slogan said.

North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs, as well as its belligerent rhetoric, remain a source of concern in the region. Despite the mood of reconciliation, some of the new slogans remained militant.

``They say that there can be no mercy and tolerance for aggressors and provocateurs, highlighting the need to annihilate the enemies at a single blow if they encroach upon an inch of the land and a tree of the country,″ KCNA said.

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