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Jon Pyong Ho Funeral Held

10 Jul
Jon Pyong Ho's state awards, titles and commemorative watches displayed at the foot of his casket (Photo: KCTV).

Jon Pyong Ho’s state awards, titles and commemorative watches displayed at the foot of his casket (Photo: KCTV).

Members of Jon Pyong Ho's family attend his funeral at the Sojang Club in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCTV).

Members of Jon Pyong Ho’s family attend his funeral at the Sojang Club in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCTV).

Members of Jon Pyong Ho's national funeral committee on 10 July 2014 in the front row (L-R): Kim Ki Nam (at microphone), Ro Tu Chol; Kang Sok Ju; Pak To Chun; Choe Ryong Hae; Kim Yong Nam; VMar Hwang Pyong So; Gen. Hyon Yong Chol; Gen. Kim Wo'n-hong (Photo: KCTV).

Members of Jon Pyong Ho’s national funeral committee on 10 July 2014 in the front row (L-R): WPK Secretary of Propaganda and Agitation Kim Ki Nam (at microphone); DPRK Vice Premier and State Planning Commission Chairman Ro Tu Chol; WPK Secretary for International Affairs Kang Sok Ju; WPK Secretary for Machine-Building Industry Pak To Chun; WPK Secretary for Workers’ Organizations Choe Ryong Hae; SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam; KPA General Political Department Director VMar Hwang Pyong So; Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Gen. Hyon Yong Chol; and, Minister of State Security Gen. Kim Wo’n-hong (Photo: KCTV).

The state funeral and burial ceremony for the former Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Secretary of Munitions Industry and DPRK National Defense Commission [NDC] Member Gen. Jon Pyong Ho (1926-2014) was held in Pyongyang on 10 July (Thursday).  Attending the funeral were Kim Yong Nam (Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium President), VMar Hwang Pyong So (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department) and other members of Jon’s national funeral committee, along with various officials and functionaries of the WPK, KPA, DPRK Government, the DPRK’s military industrial complex, the Pyongyang City WPK Committee and members of Jon’s family.  The service began with a moment of silence for Jon, who casket was carried out of the Sojang Club as mourning music played.

Jon Pyong Ho's grandson bearing a photo of Jon whilst members of the national funeral committee escort Jon's casket from the Sojang Club in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCNA).

Jon Pyong Ho’s grandson bearing a photo of Jon whilst members of the national funeral committee escort Jon’s casket from the Sojang Club in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCNA).

Burial ceremony of Jon Pyong Ho at the Patriotic Martyrs' Cemetery in Ryongso'ng District in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCNA).

Burial ceremony of Jon Pyong Ho at the Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery in Ryongso’ng District in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCNA).

A floral wreath from Kim Jong Un is brought to the burial service by members of a KPA honor guard (Photo: KCNA).

A floral wreath from Kim Jong Un is brought to the burial service by members of a KPA honor guard (Photo: KCNA).

The funeral cortege departed for the Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery in Ryongso’ng District in Pyongyang.  According to KCNA, the cortege route was lined by DPRK citizen who “expressed deep condolences over the loss of Jon Pyong Ho who devoted himself to the victory of the revolutionary cause of Chuch’e, the revolutionary cause of So’ngun (Military-First) till the last moments of his life, possessed of intense loyalty to the party and the leader.”  At Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery a burial service was held.  Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Gen. Hyon Yong Chol delivered a eulogy.  In his eulogy, according to KCNA, Gen. Hyon remarked that  “the death of such a veteran revolutionary as Jon Pyong Ho is a big loss to the WPK and the Korean people because he passed away at a time when the dignity and might of the DPRK are being fully demonstrated and a bright prospect for the Korean revolution is unfolding thanks to the So’ngun leadership of Marshal Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n).  Though Jon Pyong Ho passed away, the feats he performed for the party and the revolution, the country and its people will last forever.”

Minister of the People's Armed Forces Gen. Hyon Yong Chol delivers a eulogy at a burial ceremony for Jon Pyong Ho on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCTV).

Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Gen. Hyon Yong Chol delivers a eulogy at a burial ceremony for Jon Pyong Ho on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCTV).

Members of Jon Pyong Ho's national funeral committee attending the burial ceremony, in the front row (L-R): WPK Secretary and SPA Chairman Choe T'ae Bok; WPK Secretary for International Affairs Kang Sok Ju; Minister of State Security Gen. Kim Wo'n-hong; Minister of People's Security Gen. Choe Pu Il; WPK Secretary for Cadres' Affairs Kim P'yo'ng-hae; and, WPK Secretary for Planning and Finance Kwak Pom Gi (Photo: KCTV).

Members of Jon Pyong Ho’s national funeral committee attending the burial ceremony, in the front row (L-R): WPK Secretary and SPA Chairman Choe T’ae Bok; WPK Secretary for International Affairs Kang Sok Ju; Minister of State Security Gen. Kim Wo’n-hong; Minister of People’s Security Gen. Choe Pu Il; WPK Secretary for Cadres’ Affairs Kim P’yo’ng-hae; and, WPK Secretary for Planning and Finance Kwak Pom Gi (Photo: KCTV).

Senior officials of the DPRK's military industrial complex attend a burial ceremony for Jon Pyong Ho at Patriotic Martyrs' Cemetery in Ryongso'ng District, Pyongyang, on 10 July 2014.  Among those in attendance is Hong Sung Mu (right) (Photo: KCTV).

Senior officials of the DPRK’s military industrial complex attend a burial ceremony for Jon Pyong Ho at Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery in Ryongso’ng District, Pyongyang, on 10 July 2014. Among those in attendance is Hong Sung Mu (right) (Photo: KCTV).

Following the eulogy Jon’s remains were interred and “bereaved families of the deceased and members of the state funeral committee spread earth on the grave.”  Floral wreaths from Kim Jong Un, the WPK Central Committee, the Party Central Military Commission [CMC], the DPRK National Defense Commission, the SPA Presidium, the DPRK Cabinet, the KPA General Political Department, the KPA General Staff, the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces and other party, government and security institutions were placed in front of Jon’s grave.  The burial service participant then engaged in another moment of silence.

Members of Jon Pyong Ho's family and members of his national funeral committee bow during a graveside service at Patriotic Martyrs' Cemetery in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Members of Jon Pyong Ho’s family and members of his national funeral committee bow during a graveside service at Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Floral wreaths surround Jon Pyong Ho's grave in the Patriotic Martyrs' Cemetery in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Floral wreaths surround Jon Pyong Ho’s grave in the Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un Pays Condolences at Jon Pyong Ho’s Wake

9 Jul
Kim Jong Un stands in front of Jon Pyong Ho's casket at the Sojang Club in Pyongyang on 9 July 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un stands in front of Jon Pyong Ho’s casket at the Sojang Club in Pyongyang on 9 July 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) extended his condolences at the wake of former Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Secretary for Munitions Industry and National Defense Commission Member Jon Pyong Ho at Sojang Club in Pyongyang on 9 July (Wednesday).  Accompanying him were Hwang Pyong So (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Pak To Chun (WPK Secretary for Machine-Building Industries; Jon’s successor), Col. Gen. Yun Tong Hyon (Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Jo Chun Ryong (Chairman of the Second Economy Commission), Ju Kyu Chang (Vice Chairman of the Second Economy Commission) and Choe Chun Sik (President of the Second Academy of Natural Sciences).

Kim Jong Un and senior officials of the Korean People's Army and the Workers' Party of Korea pay their respects in front of Jon Pyong Ho's casket in Pyongyang on 9 July 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un and senior officials of the Korean People’s Army and the Workers’ Party of Korea pay their respects in front of Jon Pyong Ho’s casket in Pyongyang on 9 July 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

A floral wreath from KJU was placed in front of Jon’s casket along with floral wreaths from the WPK Central Committee, the WPK Central Military Commission, the DPRK National Defense Commission, the Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium, the DPRK Cabinet, the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces and other government, party and security institutions.  Beside Jon’s casket stood a KPA honor guard.  According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “paid a silent tribute to the memory of the deceased and went round the bier with sorrow for the death of a veteran revolutionary who had devoted himself to the work for glorifying the immortal revolutionary exploits performed by President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) in developing the national defense industry till the last moments of his life.” KJU then met members of Jon Pyong Ho’s family “to express his sympathy with them.”

In attendance with Kim Jong Un were: Lt. Gen. Choe Chun Sik (1); Ju Kyu Chang (2); Jo Chun Ryong (3); Pak To Chun (4); VMar Hwang Pyong So (5); Gen. Ri Yong Gil (6); Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (7);  and, Col. Gen. Yun Tong Hyon (8) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

In attendance with Kim Jong Un were: Lt. Gen. Choe Chun Sik (1); Ju Kyu Chang (2); Jo Chun Ryong (3); Pak To Chun (4); VMar Hwang Pyong So (5); Gen. Ri Yong Gil (6); Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (7); and, Col. Gen. Yun Tong Hyon (8) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Jon Pyong Ho lies in repose at Sojang Club in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Jon Pyong Ho lies in repose at Sojang Club in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un Guides Island Landing Drill

4 Jul
Kim Jong Un watches an island landing drill.  Also seen in attendance are Chief of the KPA General Staff Ri Yong Gill (1) and KPA Navy Commander VAdm Kim Myong Sik (2) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un watches an island landing drill. Also seen in attendance are Chief of the KPA General Staff Ri Yong Gill (1) and KPA Navy Commander VAdm Kim Myong Sik (2) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

 

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 5 July (Saturday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) guided and observed an island landing drill.  Korean People’s Army [KPA] infantry, artillery, naval assets and air craft participated in the landing drill.  In attendance with KJU were VMar Hwang Pyong So (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff) and Gen. Pyon In Son (Director of the KPA General Staff Operations Bureau).  KJU’s last observed appearance was his attendance and supervision of a swimming assessment of KPA Navy command staff.

Kim Jong Un was briefed about the plans for the drill, ordered the drill to begin and the site “looked like an active volcano.”  According to KCNA as he watched the landing drill unfold, Kim Jong Un remarked that “it was possible to deal deadly blows at the enemies through initial strikes if the time for striking was properly fixed and fire was concentrated on them through prompt, accurate and united actions” and  the drill’s participants “were excellent and deserved to be called a-match-for-a-hundred fighters as they underwent intensive training day and night with the extraordinary awareness that a combat drill should be carried out as scheduled.”  KJU also “noted with great satisfaction that the drill was successful as it met the requirements of the Chuch’e-based war method.”

Kim Jong Un reviews plans for an island landing drill conducted by the three service branches of the KPA.  Also in attendance is Col. Gen. Pak Jong Chon, Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un reviews plans for an island landing drill conducted by the three service branches of the KPA. Also in attendance is Col. Gen. Pak Jong Chon, Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un confers with members of the KPA high command during an island landing drill.  Seen in attendance are VMar Hyong Pyong So (1), Director of the KPA General Political Department, Gen. Pyon In Son (2), Director of the KPA General Staff Operations Bureau, and Gen. Ri Yong Gil (3), Chief of the KPA General Staff (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un confers with members of the KPA high command during an island landing drill. Seen in attendance are VMar Hyong Pyong So (1), Director of the KPA General Political Department, Gen. Pyon In Son (2), Director of the KPA General Staff Operations Bureau, and Gen. Ri Yong Gil (3), Chief of the KPA General Staff (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un and senior KPA officials watch an island landing drill (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un and senior KPA officials watch an island landing drill (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un salutes KPA Navy service members from a warship following an island landing drill (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un salutes KPA Navy service members from a warship following an island landing drill (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

He also inspected naval vessels from a KPA Navy warship and “congratulated the participants in the drill on their success.”  He “set forth important tasks which would serve as guidelines for further developing the People’s Army into the ever-victorious revolutionary armed forces.”  According to KCNA he said that “history proves that it is impossible to protect the destiny of the country and its people unless the army is bolstered up,” and underscored “the need to put more spurs to increasing the military strength which means the sovereignty of the country and the nation and the national power.”  KJU called on “the KPA to intensify the training essential for augmenting the military strength” and  “instructed the commanding officers to thoroughly do away with formalistic, ready-made and stylish practices in training and steadily improve forms, contents and methods of training as required by the modern warfare.”  He also “instructed them to frequently organize a similar drill in the future, always bearing in mind training means a battle” and “called on the whole army to defend the sky, land and seas of the socialist homeland as firm as an iron wall, watching every movement of the enemies with vigilance.”

Kim Jong Un recalled that “the inviolable waters on the southwestern front of the country are exposed to frequent threat due to a handful of enemies and there was a dangerous incident in which the shells fired by them dropped in territorial waters of the DPRK some days ago” and said that he “took it very seriously and he was closely watching them.”  KJU also “strongly warned that should the enemies repeat the wrong choice on the wrong day in the hotspot waters, he would make them regret bitterly for their action.”

Kim Jong Un Supervises KPAN Swim Test and Inspects Hwa Islet

2 Jul
Kim Jong Un talks with KPA Navy commanding officers prior to an assessment of their swimming abilities (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un talks with KPA Navy commanding officers prior to an assessment of their swimming abilities (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 2 July (Wednesday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) supervised an assessment of the swimming ability of Korean People’s Army [KPA] Navy commanding officers. Attending this event with him were VMar Hwang Pyong So (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Gen. Pyon In Son (Director of the KPA General Staff Operations Bureau) and Col. Gen. Pak Jong Chon (Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff).

According to KCNA the swimming drill was “organized by the order of the supreme commander was conducted in such a way that the commanding officers of the East Sea Fleet and the West Sea Fleet of the KPA Navy simultaneously started in column formations up to the turn-round point at the distance of 5 km and swam back from it.”  Ahead of the drill KJU met the commanding KPAN commanders and  “told them that the assessment of their swimming ability was of weighty importance in rounding off the combat readiness of the navy and remarkably bolstering up the combat capabilities by making the training more intense just as the anti-Japanese guerillas did in Mt. Paektu.”  He said that “the commanding officers should become good fighters if the army is to fight well. . . modern warfare requires the commanding officers to be prepared not only politically and ideologically and in military technique but physically.  The commanding officers are not qualified if they lack physical ability, no matter what good ideological and moral qualities they have and no matter how high military and technological qualifications they are possessed of as they should stand in the van of the combat ranks.  When the commanding officers are fully prepared, they can always lead intensive training of service personnel, shouting ‘Forward, following me!’ not ‘Charge ahead!'”

Kim Jong Un speaks to KPA Navy commanding officers at an assessment of their swimming abilities (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un speaks to KPA Navy commanding officers at an assessment of their swimming abilities (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Commanding officers of units subordinate to the KPA Navy's East Sea and West Sea Fleets participate in an assessment of their swimming abilities (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Commanding officers of units subordinate to the KPA Navy’s East Sea and West Sea Fleets participate in an assessment of their swimming abilities (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un also said “seamen should acquire high ability of swimming” and that “only when the commanding officers of the navy are good at swimming, can they lead the seamen and successfully carry out the naval operation for implementing the strategic plan of the supreme command even in vast expanse of sea.”  According to KCNA, the KPAN commanding officers “renewed their resolution to fully display the might of Kim Jong Un’s Navy in the assessment event, regarding the drill for assessing the swimming ability to be staged before the supreme commander as a battle field without gunfire.”

The swimming drill began and “participants fully demonstrated the swimming ability they have cultivated in their day-to-day training, displaying great persevering strength, will and team spirit.”  Based on KCNA’s report commanding officers of the West Sea Fleet outperformed their counterparts from the East Sea Fleet.  Kim Jong Un provided his assessment and review of the drill.  According to KCNA he “expressed great satisfaction over the successful drill and set forth tasks to be fulfilled to round off the combat readiness and bolster up the combat capabilities of the naval units including the work for making swimming drill a rule and part of life of the seamen so that they may satisfactorily perform their combat missions under any circumstances.”

Kim Jong Un at a field inspection of the Hwa Islet Defense Detachment.  Also in attendance are KPA General Political Department Director Hwang Pyong So (1) and a Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff Col. Gen. Pak Jong Chon (2) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un at a field inspection of the Hwa Islet Defense Detachment. Also in attendance are KPA General Political Department Director Hwang Pyong So (1) and a Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff Col. Gen. Pak Jong Chon (2) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

 

Hwa Islet Defense Detachment (Photo: Google image).

Hwa Islet Defense Detachment (Photo: Google image).

 

Prior to the swimming drill, KJU’s last observed appearance was his field inspection of the defense detachment on Hwa Islet.  Attending the field inspection were VMar Hwang Pyong So and Col. Gen. Pak Jong Chon.  His first stop was to a monument commemorating an October 1999 field inspection by his father, late supreme leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il).  According to KCNA, KJU recalled that “President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) gave dozens of precious instructions as regards the islet defense detachment and Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) always paid deep attention to it” and he “underscored the need to glorify their exploits performed in commanding the army with the shining achievements in rounding off the combat preparations and bolstering up combat capabilities.”

He looked at the trees and forest around the barracks and remarked that the “islet is full of trees. It’s better to call the islet Song Islet instead of Hwa Islet as pine trees have formed thick verdure.”  KJU  “highly praised the detachment for having turned the islet into a thick woodland and greenery and orchard as intended by the party.”  Kim Jong Un then received a briefing on the defense detachment’s mission and operations planning.”  According to KCNA he underscored the “need to wipe out the enemies coming in attack from the sea to the last man” and “indicated new and unique war methods to be applied by the Hwa Islet Defence Detachment for rounding off its combat readiness such as the deployment of strike means and the effective use of the firing positions as required by the modern warfare.”  He also said that the Hwa Islet Defense Detachment “is an advance base in the defense theater” of KPA Large Combined Unit (taeyonhap pudae) #324 “and outpost in the East Sea guarding the gateway to the Party Central Committee.”  He noted that it was “an important task of the defense detachment to turn the islet into an impregnable fortress, unsinkable warship and the present-day Wolmi island.”

Hwa Islet (Photo: Google image).

Hwa Islet (Photo: Google image).

Kim Jong Un observes an artillery exercise of the Hwa Islet Defense Detachment (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un observes an artillery exercise of the Hwa Islet Defense Detachment (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Artillery exercises conducted by the 5th company of the Hwa Islet Defense Detachment (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Artillery exercises conducted by the 5th company of the Hwa Islet Defense Detachment (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un issued instructions that the defense detachment’s command staff “intensify the politico-ideological education among the service personnel to train them as phoenixes, underlining the need to make military training, in particular, part of their life and habit and thus build a-match-for-a hundred combat capabilities so that they may send all the enemies intruding into the territorial waters of the DPRK to the bottom of the sea once a battle starts.”  KJU ordered and supervised an artillery drill and watched the drill “with deep attention the artillery men in firepower service through a pair of binoculars.”  After the artillery drill he remarked that service members “are very good at firing. All of them are crack shots and the commander of the defense detachment has successfully commanded the firing.  The artillery men could hit all targets as they have undergone intensive training, bearing deep in mind the call of the party for waging a dynamic movement for becoming crack shots.”  KJU called the detachment’s 5th company who conducted the drill “Crack Shots Company” and he “extended the thanks of the KPA supreme commander to it.”

Hwa Islet in relation to South Hamgyo'ng Province (Photo: Google image).

Hwa Islet in relation to South Hamgyo’ng Province (Photo: Google image).

Kim Jong Un poses for a commemorative photo with service members and officers of the Hwa Islet Defense Detachment (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un poses for a commemorative photo with service members and officers of the Hwa Islet Defense Detachment (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un attends a commemorative photo-op with Hwa Islet Defense Detachment's service members, officers and their families (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un attends a commemorative photo-op with Hwa Islet Defense Detachment’s service members, officers and their families (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

After the artillery drill, KJU toured the the 3rd company’s quarters, bathing facilities, mess and supply.  According to KCNA he said that “it is very gratifying to hear that the defense detachment serves every service person with more than 360g of soy-based food every day and each mess hall of the companies is providing the service personnel with fish and with sumptuous meals by raising lots of domestic animals such as pigs, ducks and geese.”  He also noted the “companies of the defense detachment are like homes dear to the soldiers and the detachment is like their native village as it provides them with sumptuous meals and warm beds.”  Kim Jong Un praised the Hwa Islet Defense Detachment “for most thoroughly carrying out the party’s military policy like the Ryo Islet Defense Detachment” and  “called on it to make a high-pitched drive for developing stockbreeding, fishery and soybean farming to turn itself into a more proud and richer detachment in the future.”

Kim Jong Un concluded his field inspection by presenting binoculars and an automatic rifle to the 3rd Company and attended a commemorative photo-op with officers, service members and their families.  He expressed “expectation and belief that the service personnel would remain true to the party’s Military-First (So’ngun) revolutionary leadership.

. . .And Exit of Kim Chang Son?

1 Jan
Kim Chang Son (R), with Kim Jong Un, at the 6th session of the 12th Supreme People's Assembly in September 2012 (Photo: KCNA).

Kim Chang Son (R), with Kim Jong Un, at the 6th session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly in September 2012 (Photo: KCNA).

Kim Chang Son (annotated) assists Kim Jong Un's examination of first aid equipment during KJU's field inspection of KPA Unit #842 in February 2012 (Photo: KCTV screengrab/NKLW file photo).

Kim Chang Son assists Kim Jong Un’s examination of first aid equipment during KJU’s field inspection of KPA Unit #842 in February 2012 (Photo: KCTV screengrab/NKLW file photo).

The removal from office and execution of Jang Song Taek (Chang So’n-t’aek) and with his close associates, may have resulted in the dismissal of the head of Kim Jong Un’s (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) executive office.  Kim Chang Son was the director of the NDC Secretariat where he served as KJU’s chief aide and a key gatekeeper.  He has not been observed in state media since late November 2013.  Kim had strong political ties to Jang.  He also had a personal friendship with Jang and his wife Kim Kyong Hui (Kim Kyo’ng-hu’i) since the 1970s.

Kim Chang Son, also a Korean People’s Army Lieutenant General and Senior Deputy [1st Vice] Director of the Korean Workers’ Party Organization Guidance Department, was regularly seen in DPRK state media attending to and assisting Kim Jong Un at his on-site visits and inspections, although his appearances were not publicized in state media.  Kim Chang Son had his most prominent rule (and would be familiar to country watchers) at major national events such as anniversary meetings and sessions of the Supreme People’s Assembly where he could be observed ushering KJU to the platform (rostrum) and ensuring the leader had the meeting’s agenda and script.  Kim could also be observed on the sidelines, but close to KJU, during visits to Ku’msusan Memorial Palace of the Sun.  However, Kim Chang Son has not been observed at any of the anniversary events attended by Kim Jong Un during December 2013.  It is not clear if Kim Chang Son has been formally dismissed as part of the ongoing purge of what Kim Jong Un described on 1 January 2014 as “factionalism filth” or if he has merely assumed a less public role because of his ties to Jang.

Kim Chang Son (orange arrow) and Jang Song Taek (red arrow) poses for a commemorative photo with late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il on 24 December 1991, hours after KJI was elected KPA Supreme Commander.

Kim Chang Son (orange arrow) and Jang Song Taek (red arrow) pose for a commemorative photo with late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il on 24 December 1991, hours after KJI was elected KPA Supreme Commander.

Kim Chang Son attends a visit by Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un to actors' apartments in central Pyongyang in October 2010 (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Chang Son attends a visit by Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un to actors’ apartments in central Pyongyang in October 2010 (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Kim’s early career was in the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces where he worked on the DPRK’s relations with foreign militaries, including a tour in the 1970s as a deputy defense attaché in Moscow.   In the early 1980s he became one of Kim Jong Il’s close aides.  He served as deputy director and director of the KWP Administration Department (the same position held by Jang at the time of his execution).  Kim Chang Son managed the consolidation of the Administration Department into the KWP Organization Guidance Department [OGD] in 1990 (the department was revived in 2007).  From 1990 to 2002 he served as one of his Kim Jong Il’s closest advisers and confidantes handling both political and personal matters for the late leader.  In 2002 he was the subject of an investigation by DPRK authorities and was removed from office, appointed as a secretary of the Anju City KWP Committee.  Kim’s demotion occurred one year before Jang Song Taek’s three-year disappearance from DPRK public life.  Kim Chang Son was eventually rehabilitated and returned to Kim Jong Il’s Personal Secretariat.  In 2009 he was selected to serve as a close aide to then-successor Kim Jong Un.  During Kim Jong Il’s funeral in December 2011 Kim Chang Son assumed the protocol duties previously performed by Jon Hui Jong (Chon Hu’i-cho’ng).

Kim Chang Son was the son-in-law of DPRK hero Ryu Kyong Su and Ryu’s widow Hwang Sun Hui (Hwang Sun-hu’i), who is a member of the KWP Central Committee and honorary curator of the Museum of the Korean Revolution.  Kim Kyong Hui has a close, almost familial relationship, with Hwang Sun Hui and her family, including Kim Chang Son’s wife.

Kim Jong Un Observes and Guides KPA Company Commanders Shooting Competition

30 Oct
Kim Jong Un (C) speaks during a practical shooting competition of particpants in the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors.  Also seen in attendance are VMar Choe Ryong Hae (L), Director of the KPA General Political Department, and Gen. Ri Yong Gil (R), Chief of the KPA General Staff (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (C) speaks during a practical shooting competition of particpants in the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors. Also seen in attendance are VMar Choe Ryong Hae (L), Director of the KPA General Political Department, and Gen. Ri Yong Gil (R), Chief of the KPA General Staff (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 29 October (Tuesday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) attended and guided a shooting contest of participants in the 4th Meeting of Korean People’s Army [KPA] Company Commanders and Political Instructors.  Also in attendance were VMar Choe Ryong Have (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces) along with other senior KPA officials and commanding officers.  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his attendance at a concert of the Merited State Choir and Moranbong Band.

Upon arrival, Kim Jong Un said that he “was very pleased to meet again the company commanders and political instructors whom he wished to see every day” and he noted “that the KPA is holding the shooting contest unprecedented in the history of army building with all company commanders and political instructors of the whole army attending.”  He also said that “servicepersons cannot satisfactorily fulfill their combat duties when they are not good at shooting even if they are prepared well politico-ideologically and physically” and “that only when company commanders and political instructors become good marksmen, can they train their soldiers to be crack shots never missing targets.”  According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un said “this shooting contest was organized to make the torch of the movement for becoming crack shots and master gunners rage more furiously in the whole army.”

View of the leadership platform at a shooting competition of participants in the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of the leadership platform at a shooting competition of participants in the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of attendees and participants in a shooting competition of KPA company commanders and political instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of attendees and participants in a shooting competition of KPA company commanders and political instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Overview of the venue of a practical shooting competition of participants in the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Overview of the venue of a practical shooting competition of participants in the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View from the leadership platform of a practical shooting competition of participants in the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View from the leadership platform of a practical shooting competition of participants in the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

KPA company commanders and political instructors, selected from the national meeting, took part in the contest with “the method of deciding on standing of services of the army, army corps level and that of individuals according to the points they gained by hitting targets in the given distance and within the given time.”  KPA Unit #233 and KPA Unit #604 placed first in the shooting competition, the KPA Navy, KPA Unit #287 and KPA Unit #318 placed second and KPA Unit #549 and KPA Unit #569 placed third.  In individual competitions political instructor Ri Yong Chol of KPA Unit #380, political instructor Kang Un Chol  and company commander Pak In Sok of KPA Unit #604 placed first in individual competitions, company commander Ri Sang Chol of KPA Unit #380 placed second, political instructor Jon Yong Gol of KPA Unit #313, company commander Ri Kwang Hyok of KPA Unit #233, company commander Sung Myong Sim of KPA Unit #549, company commander Kim Kwang Hyon of KPA Unit #593 and company commander Han Ok Ju of KPA Unit #287 placed third.  Prizes were awarded during a post-compeition ceremony.

According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un remarked that “this shooting contest offered the company commanders and political instructors an opportunity to keenly realize that only when they become crack shots themselves, can they train all soldiers to be crack shots and master gunners” and he indicated “tasks to be carried out to intensify shooting drills and ways to do so.”

Kim Jong Un speaks during the shooting competition (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un speaks during the shooting competition (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of leadership platform as Kim Jong Un speaks at practical shooting competition of KPA company commanders and political instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of leadership platform as Kim Jong Un speaks at practical shooting competition of KPA company commanders and political instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un speaks during the shooting competition (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un speaks during the shooting competition (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

KPA Holds Loyalty Rally After Company Commanders Meeting

28 Oct
VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Director of the KPA General Political Department , speaks at a rally of KPA officers and service members at Ku'msusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photos: KCNA).

VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Director of the KPA General Political Department , speaks at a rally of KPA officers and service members at Ku’msusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photos: KCNA).

The Korean People’s Army [KPA] staged a loyalty rally at Ku’msusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang on 28 October (Monday) to “pay high tribute to President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) and thoroughly implement the important tasks set forth by Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) in his historic speech made at the 4th meeting of company commanders and political instructors of the Korean People’s Army.”  Attending the rally were KPA officers and service members, along with VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Col. Gen. Kim Chang Sop (Director of the Ministry of State Security Political Bureau), senior KPA officials and KPA commanding officers.

Rally of KPA officers and service members to honor late leaders Kim Il-so'ng and Kim Cho'ng-il and pledge loyalty to Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photos: KCNA).

Rally of KPA officers and service members to honor late leaders Kim Il-so’ng and Kim Cho’ng-il and pledge loyalty to Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photos: KCNA).

VMar Choe Ryong Hae delivered a speech in which, according to KCNA, he “vowed to turn all companies of the KPA into elite combat units devotedly defending the supreme commander” and said that “all service personnel of the KPA are watching with vigilance the reckless moves of the enemies to stifle the DPRK militarily and all companies will go into action at a breath and blow up all the bases for aggression with merciless deadly strikes if the supreme commander issues an order.”  Choe’s remarks were followed by speeches from KPA company commanders and political instructors.  Ham Yong Bong, a company commander, “pledged to train soldiers in simulated conditions of a real war, prepare them to be a-match-for-a-hundred fighters and make his company a tiger company blowing up bases for aggression before any other companies once a fight breaks out.”  KPA Navy political instructor Pak Hyon Su said “that all the sailors would become human torpedoes and send aggressors to the bottom of sea if they intrude into the inviolable territorial waters of the DPRK even a bit.”  KPA Air and anti-Air Command company commander Ri Chol Ho “declared that airmen would keep themselves highly alerted and intensify flight training as required by the prevailing situation and wipe out enemies with Korean style powerful strike means once the supreme commander issues an order.”

4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors Held

27 Oct
Kim Jong Un speaks during the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors held in Pyongyang on 22 and 23 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un speaks during the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors held in Pyongyang on 22 and 23 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The 4th Meeting of Korean People’s Army [KPA] Company Commanders and Political Instructors convened during 22 and 23 October in Pyongyang.  Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) attended both days of the meeting and delivered three speeches.  Also in attendance were VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Gen. Kim Won Hong (Minister of State Security), Gen. Choe Pu Il (Minister of People’s Security), Col. Gen. Kim Chang Sop (Director of the Ministry of State Security Political Bureau), along with senior KPA officials, KPA commanding officers and KPA company commanders and political instructors.

In his opening speech to the meeting, Kim Jong Un said that “when all the participants strengthen companies, cell and basic combat unit of the People’s Army, to repay the party’s trust and expectation, the might of the powerful revolutionary army of Mt. Paektu will be highly displayed, and expressed the conviction that the on-going meeting will serve as a historical landmark in arousing the whole army to strengthening companies, before declaring the meeting open.”  VMar Choe Ryong Hae delivered the meeting’s official report.   According to KCNA, VMar Choe said in his report:

President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) defined company as the cell of revolutionary armed forces and basic combat unit at a time when he formed the first armed ranks of Chuch’e-type in the forest of Mt. Paektu and brought up the fourth company of the 7th regiment of the anti-Japanese guerrillas as an exemplary company, thus setting a brilliant example in strengthening companies.

Kim Il Sung convened the meeting of company commanders and political instructors for the first time in the army-building history on October 11, Juche 62 (1973), attended the meeting and unfolded important guidelines in strengthening companies, an epoch-making event which effected a drastic turn in strengthening KPA companies.

Leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) put forth the original idea that strengthening company is a key link and a starting point in strengthening the whole army, brightly indicated orientation and ways for companies to follow at each stage and in each period of developing revolution and worked heart and soul for strengthening companies politically and militarily.

The Chuch’e-oriented idea of the great Generalissimos on strengthening companies and feats they performed by doing so are being successfully carried forward onto a higher stage thanks to the wise guidance of Marshal Kim Jong Un.

Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un formulated Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism as the guiding idea of the WPK and energetically led the work to model the whole army on Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism in all aspects with companies as a base, thus opening up a heyday for strengthening the revolutionary armed forces.

Kim Jong Un brought up service personnel to be a-match-for-a hundred brave and stalwart fighters and provided energetic guidance to turn all companies into steel-strong militant ranks having strong discipline and assuming the perfect appearance as the regular armed forces by scrupulously managing the companies.

A fundamental turn took place in the ideological and moral traits of the company commanders and political instructors and in their work style and many successes were achieved in the efforts to consolidate the companies through the struggle to firmly preserve and glorify the idea of strengthening the companies set forth by the peerlessly great persons of Mt. Paektu and their feats.

VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Director of the KPA General Political Department and Vice Chairman of the Party Central Military Commission delivers a report on the first day of the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commander and Political Instructors in Pyongyang on 22 October 2013 (Photo: KCTV still).

VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Director of the KPA General Political Department and Vice Chairman of the Party Central Military Commission delivers a report on the first day of the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commander and Political Instructors in Pyongyang on 22 October 2013 (Photo: KCTV still).

Overview of the venue of the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Overview of the venue of the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Choe Ryong Hae also “called for making sustained great efforts to bolster up the companies in order to accelerate the process of modeling the whole army on Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism on a new higher stage and thus develop the KPA into an invincible revolutionary Mt. Paektu (Paektusan) army.”  KPA company commanders and political instructors delivers also made speeches during the meeting.  According to KCNA, the meeting speakers said “that all the companies of the KPA grew to be the ranks of human bullets and bombs devotedly defending the leader as they share the intention, love and destiny with the supreme commander under his energetic leadership and deep loving care” and “that they would turn all the companies into the ones of human bullets and bombs devotedly protecting the leader and defending the country full of faith and confidence that they are sure to emerge victorious as they are led by the supreme commander.”  Kim Jong Un listened to “all the speeches made by company commanders and political instructors at the meeting” and “invited the commander and former political instructor of the  Persimmon Tree (Kamnamu) company there to have a photo taken with them.”

Meeting speakers at the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors held in Pyongyang on 22 and 23 October 2013 (Photos: KCTV stills).

Meeting speakers at the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors held in Pyongyang on 22 and 23 October 2013 (Photos: KCTV stills).

Kim Jong Un also delivered an “historic speech” in which he appreciated “the successes made in the work of the companies” and lauded “those company commanders and political instructors who rendered devoted service for them.”  He also “set forth the tasks to be carried out to develop all companies into elite revolutionary ones devotedly defending the WPK Central Committee and the ways to do so” and “underscored need for them to firmly unite around the Party Central Committee to take the lead in overcoming difficulties and trials and fully prepare all the company soldiers politically and ideologically and in military technique.”  Kim Jong Un “called for establishing strong discipline in the companies, boosting their appearance as regular units, decisively raising the level of company commanding ability and improving the living conditions and environment of the soldiers” and noted “that the meeting helped him find out jewel-like patriots and unassuming commanders and political instructors who dedicated themselves to strengthening their companies.”  According to KCNA he said “in an excited tone that the Party Central Committee decided to highly praise them.”

VMar Choe Ryong Hae read a proclamation which awarded the title of Labor Hero, the Hammer and Sickle gold medal and Order of National Flag 1st Class to KPA company commander Kim Sang Il, KPA political instructor Pak Son Gi, company commander Kim Kwang Gum, Capt. Min Kwang Hae and company commander Sa Song Guk for performing “distinguished feats in bolstering up the KPA by strengthening companies into vanguard devotedly defending the leader, a-match-for-a hundred combat ranks and turning them into homes dear to soldiers, true to the last instructions of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il and the leadership of the party.”

Kim Jong Un delivered the meeting’s closing speech.  According to KCNA he said “the meeting would go down in the history of the Chuch’e-based army building as it provided a landmark for the development of the powerful revolutionary Mt. Paektu (Paektusan) army with the strengthening of companies as a starting point under the uplifted banner of modeling the whole army on Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism” and “declared the meeting closed, expressing belief that all participants in the meeting would augment the might of the People’s Army in every way, united close around the party, and thus perform their duty in carrying out the revolutionary cause of Military-First (So’ngun).

Kim Jong Un Visits Ku’msusan

10 Oct
Kim Jong Un and senior KPA officials visit Ku'msusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang on 10 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un and senior KPA officials visit Ku’msusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang on 10 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the Ku’msusan (Memorial) Palace of the Sun at midnight on 10 October (Thursday), the 68th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP].  Visiting Ku’msusan with him were VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), along with senior KPA officials, commanders of KPA service branches and corps units, and members of the KPA’s KWP Committee.  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was at a commemorative photo session with members of the Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) University faculty who were moving into a new apartment complex.

Kim Jong Un and the members of the KPA’s high command first visited a hall containing statues of his grandfather, late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung, and his father, late leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il).  Floral baskets from Kim Jong Un and the KPA were placed in front of the statues.  The group went to a chamber where Kim Il Sung’s remains permanently lie in state.  According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “together with other visitors paid homage to him in the humblest reverence.”  They then visited an exhibition of awards, titles, honorary degrees Kim Il Sung received as well as Kim Il Sung’s personal railway coach and car.  The group then visited the chamber where Kim Jong Il’s personal remains lie permanently in state and “paid homage to him in the humblest reverence.”  Kim Jong Un and the senior military leaders then visited an exhibition containing awards, state titles and honorary degrees that Kim Jong Il received and an exhibition of Kim Jong Il’s personal railway coach, an electric cart, his boat and his black Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan.

The Ku’msusan visit on the party’s anniversary was the first observed occasion in DPRK state media at which Gen. Ri Yong Gil was identified as Chief of the KPA General Staff.  Interestingly, on a party-centered occasion, the coterie that accompanied Kim Jong Un on his latest visit to Ku’msusan consisted only of senior KPA officials.  While some members of the KPA’s high command are members of the Party Central Committee or the Party Central Military Commission and with the exception of VMar Choe Ryong Hae (KWP Secretary of Military Affairs), no members of the KWP Secretariat or any KWP Central Committee Department Directors were reported to be in attendance.

View of the statue hall at Ku'msusan Palace of the Sun on 10 October 2013, the 68th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean Workers' Party (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of the statue hall at Ku’msusan Palace of the Sun on 10 October 2013, the 68th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean Workers’ Party (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

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