[imText1] Rodong Shinmun of the 12th reported that the 4th conference of the 11th North Korean Supreme People’s Assembly was held in the Pyongyang Mansudae Assembly Hall on 11 March.
It was informed that 595 of 687 registered representatives including Kim Young Nam, the Permanent Chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly, and Choi Tae Bok, the Chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly, participated in the conference, yet Kim Jong Il was absent from it.
Discussed conference agendas were about ▲ The fixed tasks of the previous year and the feasible achievements of this year ▲ The executed budget for the previous year and the arranged budget for this year ▲ Pursuing a great country construction by promoting technological development.
There was no ‘significant declaration’ related to reformation and liberalization that was receiving much attention, nor mentions related to economic sanction and nuclear weapon issue. Given that only technological development and advance to the foreign market were stated. This means that North Korea seams to emphasize an acute food problem and economic recoup in this year.
This year’s budget was arranged 2,935 million dollars which was expecting to be more revenue of 7.1 %, more expenditure of 3% than the previous year and national defense expense was fixed more 15.9% than the previous year.
A Medium-and Long-Term Plan for Technological Development
Technological development plan is thought-provoking in the respect of what strategy North Korea will take in the technology field in the future. This shows that the North Korean Organization and Guidance Department has an intension to encourage technology for its economic recovery, to reinforce productivity and to modernize the production facilities.
Choi Tae Bok, the Chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly and Secretary of the Science Education Department at the Central Party, announced a five-year plan (2008-2012) and a medium and long-term plan(up to 2022) for technological development.
Particularly considering that he presented a resolute to concentrate on developing superior species through Information Technology and Bio-technology, raw material industries through Nano-technology and Space Science, Martials Science and Basic Science. It seems that North Korea may spur technological interchanges with China.
This is an evidence that ofter Kim Jong Il’s visit to over the districts of Guangzhou and Shenzen and Jang Sung Taek’s visit to China, North Korea is highly interested in technological development of China. Recently, a frenzy of Chinese language prevailing in Kim Chaek Technical College is not irrelevant to the interest.
Low Chance to be Economically Recovered
The Prime Minister Park Bong Joo revealed that, “North Korea will realize cooperation or joint ventures with the companies from other countries and unroll foreign economic cooperation businesses actively”. This presents the intention of North Korea to seek a breakthrough for economic recovery outside.
The specific budgets for this year was more increased than the last year as follows: 15.9% in national defense, 12.2% in agriculture, 9.6% in steel, fuel, and electricity, and 3.1% in technological development. However, it is doubtful that North Korea could push the economic strategy as the Prime Minister Park stated.
Because although the defense budget is arranged 15.9%, the real appropriation for defense is more than that percentage. Plus, the North Korea situations is that the Prime Minister who cannot sigh economic joint contracts because of no money of even several thousands dollars.
The expectation that a Special Act related to reformation and liberalization would be announced was off the mark. Yet it is impossible to say firmly that North Korea does not have any will of reformation and liberalization at consideration of the fact that this time plan was decided by the Supreme People’s Assembly like the ‘Shinuiju Sepecial Region Act’.