(From BBC Monitoring International Reports)
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has visited a farm under Korean People's Army Unit No 534 to issue guidelines on crop farming and the development of agricultural techniques. He said it was important to select seeds properly, to solve the acute labour force shortage and to fully introduce irrigation systems. The visit was reported by the radio and by the North Korean news agency KCNA - which are the first observed North Korean media reports on a public appearance by Kim since 9 September, when he attended a military parade. Neither report indicated the date of Kim's farm visit. The following is the text of the report by North Korean radio on 20 October
The great leader [Korean: yongdoja] Comrade Kim Jong-il gave guidance to the work of the agricultural sector on the spot. Comrade Kim Jong-il, the great leader of our party and our people, who is general secretary of the Korean Workers' Party [KWP], chairman of the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] National Defence Commission, and supreme commander of the Korean People's Army [KPA], visited a farm under KPA Unit No 534 and gave guidance to the work of the agricultural sector on the spot.
He was accompanied by Comrades Ri Myong-su, Hyon Chol-hae, and Pak Jae-gyong, who are KPA generals. He was also accompanied by Comrades Kim Kuk-thae, Ri …