Sunday, March 30, 2003
DPRK MILITARY SPENDING GROWS
BBC, ("N KOREA BOOSTS DEFENCE BUDGET," Pyongyang, 3/27/03) and Agence Presse-France ("NORTH KOREA BOOSTS MILITARY SPENDING AS NUCLEAR CRISIS PERSISTS," Seoul, 3/27/03) reported the DPRK has set aside a greater chunk of its limited resources to beef up its military while a nuclear crisis escalates, and announced a rare sale of government bonds to fill empty state coffers. The DPRK parliament, at its annual session Wednesday, allocated 15.4 percent of this year's budgeted
expenditure to defense, up from 14.9 percent last year. Finance Minister Mun Il-Bong said the increase was needed to develop the DPRK's defence industry and train troops "as an invincible army and thus consolidate the country's defences as an impregnable fortress."