Kim Jong Un and His Wife Visit Rungna Island and Attend Its Opening

25 Jul

Kim Jong Un (L) sits on a bench during his inspection of the Rungna Island Pleasure Ground in the Taedong River in Pyongyang. Seen standing (C) is his wife Ri Sol Ju (Photo: KCNA-Yonhap)

DPRK state media reported on 24 July (Tuesday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the amusement park and dolphinarium on Rungna Island in Pyongyang.  KJU’s last reported public appearance was a tour of a kindergarten in central Pyongyang.  It was his first public appearance since his elevation to Marshal and the dismissal of VMar Ri Yong Ho.

Kim Jong Un (2nd R) talks with an employee at the mini golf course of Rungna Island Pleasure Ground (Photo: KCNA)

KJU conducted the inspection of Rungna’s recreation facilities “just before the start of operation” and was accompanied by Jang Song Taek (Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission and Director of the Party Administration Department), Choe Tae Bok (KWP Secretary and Political Bureau Member), Pak To Chun (KWP Secretary and Member of the National Defense Commission), Kim Yong Il (KWP Secretary and Director of the International Department), Kim Yang Gon (KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Department), Kim P’yo’ng-hae (KWP Secretary and Director of the Cadres’ Department), Mun Kyong Dok (Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang KWP Committee and Alternate Member of the Political Bureau), Ri Jae Il (Senior Deputy Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department), Kim Pyong Ho (Director of Korean Central News Agency) and Pak Chun Hong (KWP Deputy Director).  Also in attendance with KJU was his wife who was later identified in state media as Ri Sol Ju (Ri So’l-chu).

Kim Jong Un (seated, 2nd R) watches a dolphin show during his inspection of the Rungna Island Pleasure Ground. Also seated in attendance with him (L-R) are: KWP Secretary Choe Thae Bok, NDC Vice Chairman Jang Song Taek, KJU’s wife Ri Sol Ju and KWP Secretary and International Department Director Kim Yong Il (Photo: KCNA-Yonhap)

During the first part of his inspection, KJU visited a mini-golf course where “he stressed the need to plant a lot of trees there for shades for those enjoying golf in the summer.”  He then moved on to the Rungna Wading Pool and areas for basketball, volleyball and beach (“sandy”) volleyball which were “built on the roof of the bathing booth and shower room.”  According to KCNA, KJU “said with great satisfaction that the builders used spaces in a reasonable way and that the surroundings of the wading pool underwent a cataclysmic change.”  He also inspected the Rungna Dolphinarium and its exhibition on marine life.  Interestingly, when his mother Ko Yong Hui (Ko Yo’ng-hu’i) took KJU to Japan in the early 1990s, they visited several aquariums.  At Rungna Island, KJU, his wife and their entourage “enjoyed such feats of dolphins dancing in rotation, moving backward, jumping out and touching ball in the air.”  At the end of his inspection, according to KCNA, Kim Jong Un said it “is one of the projects leader Kim Jong Il was specially interested in.  Had Kim Jong Il seen the completed project, he would have been greatly pleased.”

KCNA reports:

His first leg was a mini golf course.

He said the mini golf course was built to match well with the landscape of Rungna Islet.

He stressed the need to plant a lot of trees there for shades for those enjoying golf in summer.

Then he went to the Rungna Wading Pool.

He expressed satisfaction over the whole atmosphere of the wading pool created in clean and refreshing condition with all kinds of facilities and surroundings being white, blue and green.

Going around basketball, volleyball and sandy volleyball courts built on the roof of the bathing booth and shower room, he said with great satisfaction that the builders used spaces in a reasonable way and that the surroundings of the wading pool underwent a cataclysmic change.

He underscored the need to equip the wading pool with a first-aid room, watching stand and other things necessary for rescue.

The Rungna Wading Pool, built in an exemplary way, goes well with the name of people’s pleasure ground, he said, calling for building such wading pools in local cities.

He repeatedly appreciated servicepersons for building a perfect wading pool.

Next he went to the Rungna Dolphinarium.

He dropped in at the soft-drink stand and souvenir stand to learn about the service program there.

Going around the room for scientific and technological knowledge, he called for providing the room with more things needed to give wide knowledge of the sea.

He then enjoyed such feats of dolphins as dancing in rotation, moving backward, jumping out and touching ball in the air.

He said that the Rungna People’s Pleasure Ground is one of the projects leader Kim Jong Il was specially interested in.

Had Kim Jong Il seen the completed project, he would have been greatly pleased, Kim Jong Un said.

Now edifices like the Rungna People’s Pleasure Ground are appearing one after another in Pyongyang, he said, underscoring the need to build more edifices suitable for the sentiment and aesthetic desire of our people with the pleasure ground as an example.

He was accompanied with Jang Song Thaek, Choe Thae Bok, Pak To Chun, Kim Yong Il, Kim Yang Gon, Kim Phyong Hae, Mun Kyong Dok, Ri Jae Il, Kim Pyong Ho and Pak Chun Hong.

Kim Jong Un (3rd L) inspects Rungns Island Pleasure Ground in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un (2nd L) looks at an exhibition on marine life at the Rungna Dolphinarium. Also in attendance is his uncle Jang Song Taek (L) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (3rd L) (Photo: KCNA)

Kim Jong Un (2nd R) is presented with a floral bouquet at the completion ceremony for Nu’ngna Island Pleasure Ground in Pyongyang on 25 July 2012 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

A graphic of the Kim Jong Il-Ko Yong Hui Family reflecting the identification of Ri Sol Ju (Ri So’l-chu) by DPRK state media as Kim Jong Un’s wife

DPRK state media reported on 25 July (Wednesday) that Kim Jong Un attended the Rungna Island Recreation Ground’s grand opening.  According to a radio news item aired on Korean Central Broadcasting on Wednesday evening local [KST] time, KJU was joined by his wife Ri Sol Ju (Ri So’l-chu).  A subsequent KCNA English report on the opening ceremony said “Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju were present at the ceremony.”  The KCBS and KCNA reports were the first explicit mentions by DPRK media of Kim Jong Un’s marital status and Ms. Ri’s first reported public appearance as his wife.  According to KCNA, the opening ceremony was attended by most of the KWP Political Bureau, including KJU’s aunt Kim Kyong Hui (Kim Kyo’ng-hu’i) and her husband Jang Song Taek.

Kim Jong Un (2nd R) passes a floral bouquet to a Guard Command adjutant during a completion ceremony for the Nu’ngna Island Pleasure Ground in Pyongyang on 25 July 2012. Also seen in attendance are VMar Kim Yong Chun (2nd L), Col. Gen. Ri Pyong Sam (3rd L, partially obscured) and Choe Tae Bok (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un (foreground, R) and Ri Sol Ju (foreground, L) applaud during a completion ceremony of Nu’ngna Island Pleasure Ground on 25 July 2012. Among those in attendance in the line behind Kim and Ri are: Gen. Kim Wo’n-hong (L), Jang Song Taek (2nd L), VMar Kim Yong Chun (3rd L), VMar Kim Jong Gak (4th L), VMar Choe Yong Hae (4th R), Kim Ki Nam (3rd R) and Kim Kyong Hui (R) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

The ceremonial “tape” was cut by Kim Yong Nam, President of the Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium and the DPRK’s official head of state, and Choe Yong Rim, DPRK Premier, both of whom are members of the KWP Political Bureau Presidium (standing committee).  After the tape was cut, according to KCNA, “Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol Ju toured the pleasure ground with senior party, state and army officials, diplomatic envoys, representatives of international organizations and charge d’affaires ad interims of foreign missions here and their wives.”
KCNA reports:

The Rungna People’s Pleasure Ground has been built in Pyongyang as another grand edifice.

It is one of the projects leader Kim Jong Il was specially interested in. It is a product of loving care for people of Marshal Kim Jong Un as well as a socialist wealth to hand down for all ages.

It consists of Dolphinarium, Wading Pool, Fun Fair and mini golf course on Rungna Islet in the picturesque Taedong River.

An opening ceremony took place with splendor on Wednesday.

Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju were present at the ceremony.

All the participants enthusiastically welcomed them, loudly shouting “Hurrah!”

A soldier builder and woman worker presented him bunches of flowers.

Present at the ceremony were Kim Yong Nam, Choe Yong Rim, Choe Ryong Hae, Kim Kyong Hui, Kim Jong Gak, Jang Song Thaek, Kim Yong Chun, Kim Ki Nam, Choe Thae Bok, Yang Hyong Sop, Kang Sok Ju, Kim Won Hong, Kim Yang Gon, Kim Yong Il, Kim Phyong Hae, Mun Kyong Dok, Kwak Pom Gi, Ro Tu Chol, Ri Pyong Sam and officials of party, armed forces and power bodies, working people’s organizations, ministries and national institutions, soldier builders, working people and school youth and children in the city.

Present there on invitation were diplomatic envoys, representatives of international organizations and charge d’affaires ad interims of foreign missions here and their wives.

Kim Yong Nam and Choe Yong Rim cut the tape, declaring the pleasure ground open.

Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol Ju toured the pleasure ground together with senior party, state and army officials, diplomatic envoys, representatives of international organizations and charge d’affaires ad interims of foreign missions here and their wives.

In the Rungna Dolphinarium, he toured the hall for viewing dolphins, the performance tub, the room for scientific and technological knowledge, etc. He underscored the need to serve the visitors’ convenience on the highest level for their enjoyment.

He and his wife, together with diplomatic envoys, representatives of international organizations and charge d’affaires ad interims of foreign missions here and their wives, saw dolphins playing stunts to the tune of joyful music. He, with a bright smile on his face, pictured the optimistic and emotional life the people, school youth and children will enjoy.

He and his wife shook hands with the diplomatic envoys, representatives of international organizations and charge d’ affaires ad interims of foreign missions here and their wives one by one as they extended warm congratulations and best wishes, and talked with them in an amicable and friendly atmosphere.

After going round the mini golf course, he went to the Rungna Wading Pool. He said with great satisfaction that the wading pool was built as a wonderful cultural rest place of the people as all its facilities including tub for wading, bathing booth and shower room have been built in a fresh and multi-functional way in good harmony with the surrounding environment.

Seeing university students riding a very high water slide and enjoying matches at beach volleyball, basketball and volleyball courts, he called for providing the people with many entertainment conditions on the highest level that can be proud of in the world.

He went to the Rungna Fun Fair and was very pleased to hear happy laughing of people riding amusement apparatuses.

It is the intention of the Workers’ Party of Korea to make the Korean people, the best one in the world, live in luxury and comfort under socialism to their heart’s content as they have remained loyal to the party, overcoming all difficulties, he said, underlining the need to manage and operate the pleasure ground in good way.

Photo: Rodong Sinmun

Photo: Rodong Sinmun

Photo: Rodong Sinmun

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4 Responses to “Kim Jong Un and His Wife Visit Rungna Island and Attend Its Opening”

  1. David 07/26/2012 at 14:01 #

    http://i.imgur.com/hKFdg.jpg who is this western just 5 m away from KJU. Surely, they would not let a tourist visit the park the same day as KJU, and especially not get 5 m away from him.

    • nkleadershipwatch 07/26/2012 at 15:10 #

      There is a lot of speculation about some of these people, but he is most likely one of the “diplomatic envoys, representatives of international organizations and charge d’affaires ad interims of foreign missions” reported to be in attendance.

      • David 07/27/2012 at 12:07 #

        Is there anyway it might be a friend of him, who he brought along to a more informal and relaxed event (visiting the amusement park)? With the friend, being a former classmate, foreign contractor or from one of the things you mentioned? It just seems odd with a relatively young (certainly, not too high ranked) westerner, given the chance to sit between two top military officials and just a few m. from KJU. Then again, maybe KJU just like other leaders in “isolated” countries, likes to surround himself with foreigners and befriend them. There are tons of cases, where foreigners, have been invited to these types of leaders and given a royal treatment, with the leader, seemingly very friendly.

        It is in stark contrast with KJI, who it was almost impossible even for foreign countries leaders to meet him and when they finally got the chance to go to DPRK, they were uncertain wether or not they would meet him or someone below him, and when they finally got the clear that they would be able to meet him(once on ground in DPRK), they never knew where and when until like 20 mins before, since it was all part of the security protocols. It is not hard to imagine, KJU being a bit more relaxed, considering his age and upbringing.

        However, it is still, incredible, to see a westerner all of sudden pop up just next to KJU. Whoever he is, i am sure foreign intelligence, would like a word with him.

        And is he not the first confirmed westerner, to be around/met KJU since he became leader?

  2. Nate Thayer 08/02/2012 at 03:16 #

    The westerner sitting on the amusement ride in the row in front of Kim Jong-un is Barnaby Jones, confirmed as the charge of the British embassy in Pyongyang. He was earlier cited on 20 December, 2011 as the embassy “first secretary”, when he gave a phone interview from Pyongyang to Seoul based media the day after the announced death of Kim Jong Il. Jones, then, said he had been received by Kim Jong-un, among other diplomats, while paying respects to Kim Jong Il.

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