North Korea Mourns Kim, Celebrates Rise of Son
TO the din of whistles from ships and trains, North Koreans bowed their heads yesterday in tribute to Kim Il Sung.
Nationwide mass rallies, marking the public debut of his heir, Kim Jong Il, were clearly meant to shift the spotlight away from North Korea's ruler for nearly five decades and to his son.
The rallies, like the funeral ceremonies Tuesday, were watched closely for clues about secretive North Korea's official hierarchy.
Foreign Minister Kim Yong Nam, speaking for Kim Jong Il's, said the Pyongyang government would uphold its late leader's principles.
Meanwhile, South Korea, returning to the propaganda offensive against the Communist North, released Soviet documents that it said proved North Korea was responsible for starting the 1950-53 Korean War.
The Foreign Ministry said South Korea's President Kim Young Sam received the documents from his Russian counterpart Boris Yeltsin during a June visit to Moscow. Japan's leader shifts position on military
IN a major departure from his party's strict pacifist stance, Japan's Socialist Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama declared the nation's military a legitimate, constitutional institution yesterday.
Mr. Murayama told parliament. ``As long as we keep the defense-only posture, and as long as they are kept at a minimum, the Self-Defense Forces are constitutional.'' Murayama's statement, in reply to a challenge from his predecessor, triggered a wild burst of applause from the opposition and ruling benches in the plenary session.
Since the creation of Japan's postwar military in the aftermath of the Korean War, the Socialists have regarded the forces as violating Japan's pacifist Constitution.
Article Nine of the United States-drafted document bans possession of military forces and their use to settle international disputes. The government has said this article does not rob Japan of the right to self-defense.
Japan's forces are a full-fledged military, with some of the most advanced weapons in the world. If military pensions are included, Japan's defense spending ranks second in the world after the US.