DPRK state media reported on 27 March (Wednesday) that DPRK Cabinet Premier Choe Yong Rim toured the Jangjae Islet and Mu Islet Hero Defense Detachments. Choe toured the bases on the islets and visited the living quarters and other facilities of Korean People’s Army service members deployed to the islet defense detachments. According to KCNA Choe “stressed that there is nothing to be afraid of even though tens of millions of enemies come in attack as long as there is the dear respected Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un in the van of the revolution” and “noted that no one can escape the strike by the powerful revolutionary Mt. Paektu (Paektusan) army to mercilessly sweep away the hotbed of evils if the enemies continue the reckless saber-rattling.” Choe said that “the army and people of the DPRK have now turned out as one in the all-out action with the U.S. imperialists because the sovereignty of the nation is more valuable than their own lives.” In his inspection of the living facilities on the islets, according to KCNA, Choe Yong Rim “learned about problems urgently essential for improving the material and cultured lives of the soldiers as well as those issues arising in turning the detachments into impregnable fortresses, and pressed for necessary measures.”
DPRK state media reported on 13 March (Wednesday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) supervised and observed live fire artillery exercises by Korean People’s Army [KPA] island defense units. The exercises occurred in the West (Yellow) Sea. KJU’s last reported public appearance was his attendance of a concert by the art propaganda squad of KPA Unit #531. Attending the live fire exercises with KJU were VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Gen. Hyon Yong Chol, Gen. Kim Kyok Sik, Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary Pak To Chun, Lt. Gen. Ri Yong Gil, Col. Gen. Son Chol Ju, Gen. Kim Yong Chol and other members of the KPA command.
After arriving at the observation site, KJU was briefed about the deployment of the artillery units and the planning for the live exercises. KCNA reported that “shells intensively hit the imaginary targets of the enemy while the roar of the artillery pieces rocked heaven and earth” and that “whenever artillerymen hit the targets, he [KJU] was greatly satisfied to watch them.” As he observed the exercises conducted by the Mu Islet Hero Defense Detachment and Jangjae Islet Defense Attachment, Kim Jong Un said “The Jangjae Islet Defence Detachment and the Mu Islet Hero Defence Detachment are the best and the hero artillery pieces of the Mu Islet Defence Detachment are matchless. The artillerymen could hit the targets as they have undergone highly intense trainings while thinking of the day to fight,” according to KCNA which described KJU’s remarks as “the highest appraisal from the Supreme Commander for their success in the drill.”
KCNA reported that KJU “recalled that he specified the order of precision strike and density of fire on targets while inspecting forefront posts in the southwestern sector and western sector of the front, adding that through the live shell firing drill the artillerymen of the Fourth Army Corps proved themselves that they are ready to throw the enemies on Taeyonphyong and Paekryong Islands into flames” and said “As I always stressed, a modern war is an artillery war and preparations for an artillery battle mean the preparations of the KPA and they are an important factor of deciding a victory in the great war for national reunification.” After the exercises Kim Jong Un poses for commemorative photographs with service members and officers of the Mu Islet and Jangjae Islet defense units, who “were highly praised for their successes in the live shell firing drill.”
DPRK state media reported on 11 March (Monday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) inspected a Korean People’s Army [KPA] long-range artillery unit, visited a fish farm and inspected an islet defense unit. KJU’s last reported public appearance was his visit to the Chongchun Sports Village in Mangyo’ngdae, Pyongyang. KJU’s first appearance was a field inspection of a long-range artillery unit subordinate to KPA Unit #641 described as having a “mission is to strike and wipe out the enemies on Paekryong Island.” Attending the inspection were VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Gen. Kim Yong Chol (Chief of the Reconnaissance General Bureau and spokesman of the KPA Supreme Command), Lt. Gen. Pak Jong Chon (Staff member of the KPA Supreme Command), Maj. Gen. An Ji Yong and Rim Kwang Il.
After his arrival at the unit Kim Jong Un presented an automatic rifle and a pair binoculars during a brief ceremony, then posed for commemorative photographs with the unit’s service members and officers. KJU was briefed by the unit commanders about the unit’s operations. According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “highly praised the sub-unit for having made perfect combat preparations as required by the operational technological plan of the Supreme Command, grasped all enemy targets and waited for the issue of an order to fire.” He inspected the unit’s artillery pieces and “assigned to it the duty to blow up the headquarters of the puppet sixth marine brigade and its affiliated marine battalions through merciless firepower strikes if the enemies on Paekryong Island make a provocation.” KJU watched the unit’s training activities and “he praised them for being fully prepared to fire shells right now.” According to KCNA Kim Jong Un said “A modern war is an artillery war and the combat preparations of artillerymen is the one of the KPA” and “each day at present is little short of a real war state in the true sense of the word and for the artillerymen to become master cracks is a combat task which brooks no delay.” KJU also “ underscored the need to steadily study and round off new artillery war methods of Korean style in line with the improved arms and equipment of the unit and the changing operational scenarios of the enemies, meticulously organize and command artillery operations and combats and thus give fullest play to the might of artillery pieces.”
Kim Jong Un said that “he attaches importance to this artillery unit, he underlined the need to deal blows of justice at the enemies through unimaginably deadly strikes and wipe out the group of aggressors to the last man, if they recklessly provoke.” He toured education facilities and the unit’s quarters and he “expressed great satisfaction again over the fact that the commanding officers and soldiers of the units stationed in the western sector of the front have turned all the operation theatres into impregnable fortresses to defend the party, the revolution, the country and its people at the cost of their lives.” He said “the areas in the western sector of the front are the biggest hotspot where a war can break out right now due to the reckless provocations of the enemies for aggression” and “to maintain the maximum alert as required by a touch-and-go situation and make powerful retaliatory strikes at the enemies if they intrude into seas of the country even 0.001mm on which the DPRK’s sovereignty is exercised.”
Kim Jong Un’s next visit was to the Ryongjong Fish Farm. The DPRK’s late supreme leader visited the fish farm prior to the artillery shelling of Yo’np’yo’ng Island by KPA forcs on 23 November 2010. KCNA reported that KJU “recollected the long and tiresome journeys made by Kim Jong Il, exerting devoted efforts to bring about a fresh turn in fish breeding as required by the new century, saying he could not forget November 21, 2010 when he visited there, accompanying the leader.” He toured a water temperature control facility and the fish farm’s indoor and outdoor breeding ponds. According to KCNA Kim Jong Un said, “What is important in fish breeding is to put fish farming on a scientific basis. This would make it possible to keep fish production going at a high rate.” He toured the water supply and the Ryongjon Fish Farm production facilities. KJU said, “people cannot substantially benefit from fish farms if the supply of food for fishes is not put on a par with fish production no matter how many modern ones are built.”
KCNA reported that “Seeing the letters displayed in the compound of the fish farm ‘Sturgeons go to sea while the DPRK advances into the world’, he told the officials to add the letters ‘Satellites enter space’. World-startling miracles are being worked in various parts of the country through a dynamic drive for breaking through the cutting edge under the wise leadership of our party, he added.”‘ KCNA also reported “Noting that the Ryongjong Fish Farm is crystal of Kim Jong Il’s love for people, he proposed erecting a monument to the undying leadership feats of Kim Jong Il and displaying his portrait in the compound of the farm to convey his loving care to posterity” and that KJU “told the officials and employees of the fish farm to play a pioneer’s role in translating the desire of Kim Jong Il to provide the people with more fish into reality.”
Kim Jong Un’s final stop was a field inspection to an island defense unit on Wolnae Island, described as “an outpost in the biggest hotspot in the western sector of the front very near from Paekryong Island.” KJU was greeted by the children and spouses of service members and officers on the island defense detachment. KCNA reported that KJU “walked along the lane leading to the detachment and learned in detail about the terrains of the islet, deployment of firepower equipment and the soldiers’ living for hour.” KCNA also reported that:
He was briefed on the enemy’s situation from the commander of the detachment at the observation post.
He acquainted himself with the troop deployment and targets of the 6th marine brigade of the south Korean puppet army on Paekryong Island and praised the detachment for being fully ready to go into action in order to cope with the enemy’s attempt at provocations.
He underscored the need to keep increasing the density of fire and steadily modify and supplement the proposal for assignment of fire power duties and use of artillery pieces in order to cope with the enemy’s changed troop deployment.
He specified before the commanding officers of the detachment and the leading members of the artillery unit of the 4th Army Corps of the KPA who accompanied him the order of strike and density of fire for wiping out enemy’s targets including radar posts, detectors for artillery pieces, Harpoon launching base, 130mm multiple rocket and 150mm self-propelled howitzer batteries under the 6th marine brigade of the south Korean puppet army.
He ratified new regulations for naval operation: To fire threatening warning shells when enemy’s warships sail close to waters on the extension of the Military Demarcation Line and fire powerful sighting shells to destroy them when they intrude into them.
He said his inspection of the islet defence detachments stationed in the biggest hotspot was to accurately learn about the combat preparations and finally confirm the order for precision strike at enemy’s targets.
The enemies are on a knife edge for fear of prompt shelling from the KPA, he said, adding that the enemies feel fretful after straining the situation by staging what they called annual drills in the most sensitive waters where the two opposing sides stand in sharp confrontation.
As the saying goes that a guy who is fond of playing with fire is bound to perish in flames, all the enemies quite often playing with fire in the sensitive hotspot should be thrown into a cauldron once I issue an order, he said, adding:
The density of our fire is very high at present and it can strike enemy’s targets on Paekryong Island three or four times and turn it into a sea in flames.
He told the commander of the detachment to photograph enemy’s positions engulfed in flames and blown up during a battle and send pictures to the Supreme Command.
Once an order is issued, you should break the waists of the crazy enemies, totally cut their windpipes and thus clearly show them what a real war is like, he noted.
As I told commanding officers while inspecting the Jangjae Islet Defence Detachment and the Mu Islet Hero Defence Detachment, if the Supreme Commander issues an order, the artillerymen of the Wolnae Islet Defence Detachment, too, should make the first gun report and signal flare for the great war for national reunification, he stressed.
Satisfied to see combat positions including the observation post built well in line with the instruction of the Supreme Command on making thorough preparations for all-out action, he said that this detachment is a perfect unit as it has turned into a strike base from a defence one.
He awarded higher military ranks to the commander and political commissar of the detachment on the spot by an order of the Supreme Commander as they have turned the detachment into an impregnable fortress, unsinkable warship.
He had a photo taken with Kim Kwang Chol, private third class soldier, on watch duty and commanding officers of the detachment after taking them to his arms.
He went round soldiers’ bed room and education room to take warm care of their living.
He gave a pair of binoculars and an automatic rifle to the detachment as gifts and had a picture taken with soldiers and their families.
He enjoyed a performance given by the art group of the detachment soldiers on the same day.
Praising them for giving a good performance and singing songs well, he said this was a model of the Military-First (So’ngun) culture. He also praised the detachment for conducting well the political and ideological education as intended by the party.
DPRK state media reported on 7 March (Thursday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) inspected Korean People’s Army [KPA] island defense units on Jangjae (Changjae) and Mu Islets in the West Sea. KJU’s last reported public appearance was his attendance at a DPRK-US basketball game and banquet in Pyongyang. Attending KJU’s inspection of the islands’ defense detachments were VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Jang Song Taek (Vice Chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission), Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Gen. Kim Yong Chol (Chief of the Reconnaissance General Bureau and spokesman of the KPA Supreme Command), Lt. Gen. Pak Jong Chon (Staff member of the KPA Supreme Command), Maj. Gen. An Ji Yong (regional KPA commander for islet defense) and Rim Kwang Il.
KJU’s first inspection to Jangjae Islet’s defense unit. He toured the unit’s barracks and a classroom before going to an observation area overlooking the South Korean [ROK] island of Taeyo’np’yo’ng Island (Daeyeonpyeong-do, the “big” island) to “ hear a detailed report on the modernization of the post and the enemy targets.” According to KCNA Kim Jong Un said “Jangjae Islet is one of the islets to which he attaches greatest importance as it is located in the southernmost part in the southwestern sector of the front, adding that once a battle breaks out, the soldiers of the detachment should play a big role” and he “stressed the need for the soldiers to keep themselves fully ready to go into action to annihilate the enemy any time an order is issued and instructed them to deal deadly blows at the enemies and blow up their positions if they fire even a single shell at the territorial waters or land of the DPRK.” Following his inspection and debriefing, he posed for a commemorative photo with KPA service members and officers serving on Jangjae Islet.
KJU’s next inspection occurred on Mu Island. KJU previously visited the island defense detachment on Mu Islet in August 2012. He went to an observation post “feasting his eyes on Taeyo’np’yo’ng Island with keen attention” and was briefed by the unit commander ”on terrain conditions, distribution of forces and combat preparations of the detachment.” According to KCNA he “reconfirmed in detail reinforced firepower strike means and targets of the enemy deployed on five islets in the West Sea including Yo’np’yo’ng Island defence unit and defined the order of precision strikes” and “ gave detailed instructions to more satisfactorily equip the detachment with weaponry, increase the density of firepower on targets and ensure intensive shelling in order to cope with the frantic arms build-up of the enemy entrenched under the very eyes of the soldiers.” Kim Jong Un was briefed about “about the issue of providing army surgeons at the wartime suited to the specific conditions of the detachment and the issue related to the proposal for operation and combat.” KJU was “greatly satisfied to learn about the preparations for combat readiness of the Jangjae Islet Defence Detachment and the Mu Islet Hero Defence Detachment.” He also posed for commemorative photographs with KPA service members and officers, and their family members, stationed on Mu Islet.
According to KCNA Kim Jong Un said ”that as he stressed during the previous inspection, this is not only the biggest hotspot in waters off the Korean Peninsula but a very sensitive area on which world attention is focused and where interests of many countries are intertwined” and “ordered the soldiers of the detachments to watch every move of the enemy with vigilance and promptly deal deadly counterblows at him if a single shell is fired on the waters and land where the DPRK’s sovereignty is exercised and thus make the first gunfire and shoot a signal flare for a great war for national reunification.” Kim Jong Un also remarked that “ all the service personnel of the ground, naval, air and anti-air and strategic rocket forces including the frontline units are fully ready to fight a Korean style all-out war” and said “if the enemy makes any slight reckless provocation against the DPRK again in the sensitive waters, he will issue an order to start the just great advance for national reunification in all frontline areas, never missing the golden opportunity.”
DPRK state media reported on 5 March (Tuesday) that a spokesman of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] Supreme Command said that it “will make the Korean Armistice Agreement totaly nullified, that the “Supreme Command of the KPA will completely declare invalid the AA, which has existed for form’s sake from March 11, the day when the war maneuvers will enter into a full-dress stage” and that “this land (the DPRK) is neither the Balkans nor Iraq nor Libya.” Based on images released in state media the spokesman for the KPA Supreme Command was Gen. Kim Yong Chol, chief of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, which is responsible for anti-ROK [South Korea] intelligence operations.
Parsing the KPA Supreme Command’s statement Glyn Ford told Russia’s RT: “There’s a difference between saying you no longer recognize an armistice and actually starting shooting again. They’re not quite the same thing.” Ford also said “I think he [Kim Jong-Un] is more likely to be turning away once we get through the next month or so towards looking at economic modernization rather than repeating the missile and the nuclear tests. I could be wrong, of course. It’s very difficult to read North Korea, but it seems to me that that’s where the thinking is.”
According to KCNA’s English-language version of the statement:
On Dec. 12 last year the DPRK legitimately and successfully launched a satellite for peaceful purposes, ensuring international transparency, going beyond practice, and choosing a comparatively mild situation for it.
Seizing the DPRK’s satellite launch as an occasion for stifling it from the outset, the U.S. and its allies deliberately negated the DPRK’s sovereignty over its satellite launch. They finally prodded the UN Security Council into adopting a “resolution on sanctions” before opting for high-handed hostile acts against the DPRK.
These hostile acts are still going on.
Under this situation the DPRK was compelled to take practical counteractions to defend the security and sovereignty of the country. On Feb. 12 it admirably and successfully conducted the third underground nuclear test for self-defence at the highest level as part of those counteractions.
However, the U.S. imperialists and their allied forces including south Korea are making more persistent and desperate efforts to slap new tougher “sanctions” against the DPRK, far from drawing a due lesson.
Not content with this, they kicked off again the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle joint military exercises to stifle the DPRK by force of arms by mobilizing huge armed forces of aggression. They will reportedly last for two months from March 1.
Unlike last year the current joint military exercises will be participated in by super-large nuclear-powered carrier task force carrying at least 100 nuclear warheads, B-52H strategic bombers and other means of the U.S. imperialist aggression forces for making ground, sea and air nuclear strikes and its allied forces including south Korea, U.K. and Australia.
From this point of view, the exercises cannot be construed otherwise than the most dangerous nuclear war maneuvers targeted against the DPRK and the most undisguised military provocation to be made by a group of all hues of hostile forces.
This serious situation clearly indicates that the actions of the U.S., south Korea and other hostile forces to infringe upon the sovereignty of the DPRK are now leading to a military offensive for aggression, going beyond the level of outrageous economic “sanctions.”
In view of the prevailing situation, the Supreme Command of the KPA which is responsible for the national defence and security of the country and the destiny of the nation sent a meaningful warning message to the U.S. imperialist aggressor forces through the KPA Panmunjom mission on February 23. It warned them that if they ignite a war of aggression in the end, from that moment their fate will be hung by a thread with every hour.
But, the joint military exercises have persisted and the U.S. and the south Korean puppet forces have become all the more undisguised in their base moves to kick up their “sanctions.”
Looking back on history, the Korean people have neither shot even a single arrow nor thrown a single stone at the land of the U.S.
The U.S. is, however, working with bloodshot eyes to swallow up the DPRK, not content with having incurred the pent-up grudge of the Korean people which can never be settled.
What matters is that the south Korean puppet forces steeped in worship and sycophancy toward the U.S. are dancing to its tune.
Of late Kim Kwan Jin, puppet minister of Defense, and Jong Sung Jo, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, inspected frontline army corps, fleet command and guided missile units where they blustered that a sort of military provocation is expected from the north and cried out for making “deadly strikes” and “preemptive strikes” at the “bases for provocations.”
As far as these guys are concerned, they are a group of traitors who pushed the inter-Korean relations to a collapse together with traitor Lee Myung Bak who knows nothing about politics and military affairs. They are military gangsters who go reckless, unaware of what their master U.S. has in mind, what is the intention of the neighbouring countries and what all fellow countrymen and nation desire.
The puppet authorities, too, are crying out for the dismantlement of nukes and halt to provocation as dictated by their master, without knowing what is precious wealth for the nation. They move like a robot and repeat anything like a parrot.
The sovereignty and dignity of the nation are violated and the supreme interests of the country are seriously threatened by the U.S., the sworn enemy of the Korean people, and maniacs of confrontation with fellow countrymen grouping worst traitors. The army and people of the DPRK can never remain a passive onlooker to this fact.
The spokesman for the KPA Supreme Command is authorized to declare the following important measures:
First, it will take the second and third strong practical counteractions in succession to cope with the high-handed war acts of the U.S. and all other hostile forces as it had already declared.
The army and people of the DPRK never make an empty talk.
It is the mettle of Military-First (So’ngun) Korea to do what it is determined to do.
It won victories in the two wars and has advanced along the road of victory despite manifold difficulties.
The army groups on the front, ground forces, the navy, air and anti-air units, strategic rocket units of the KPA, the Worker-Peasant Red Guards and the Young Red Guards have launched an all-out action according to the operational plan finally signed by the dear respected Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un.
Now that the U.S. imperialists seek to attack the DPRK even with nuclear weapons, it will counter them with diversified precision nuclear strike means of Korean style.
Those means are bound to be launched once their buttons are pressed, and the enemies’ strongholds be turned into a sea in flames.
This land is neither the Balkans nor Iraq and Libya.
The army and people of the DPRK have everything including lighter and smaller nukes unlike what they had in the past.
Second, the KPA Supreme Command will make the Korean Armistice Agreement totally nullified.
The war maneuvers being staged by the U.S. imperialists and the south Korean puppet forces are a vivid expression of their systematic violation of the AA.
Accordingly, the Supreme Command of the KPA will completely declare invalid the AA, which has existed for form’s sake from March 11, the day when the war maneuvers will enter into a full-dress stage.
The DPRK will make a strike of justice at any target anytime as it pleases without limit, not bound to the AA, and achieve the great cause of the country’s reunification, the cherished desire of the nation.
Third, the KPA Supreme Command will totally stop the activities of the Panmunjom mission of the KPA which was tentatively established and operated by it as a negotiating body for establishing a peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean Peninsula.
In this regard it will simultaneously make a decision to cut off the Panmunjom DPRK-U.S. military telephone.
Our choice has become clear now that the moves of all hostile forces to encroach upon the sovereignty and dignity of the DPRK are reaching a dangerous phase.
It is the unshakable stand of the army and people of the DPRK and the mode of counteraction of Mt. Paektu style to counter enemies coming in attack with a dagger with a sword, a rifle with an artillery piece and nukes with precision nuclear strike means of Korean style more powerful than them.
The U.S. imperialists and their allies should not forget even a moment that they are standing at the crossroads of their life and death.
A final victory is in store for the army and people of the DPRK who are all out to protect its sovereignty.
DPRK state media reported on 23 August (Thursday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) conducted a field inspection of the Persimmon (kanmanu) Company of Korean People’s Army [KPA] Unit #4302, an all-women artillery unit deployed on the East Sea (Sea of Japan). KJU’s last reported public appearance was his field inspection of “island defense attachments” of the KPA Western Zone Command and IV Army Corps in South Hwanghae Province. KJU’s visit to the Persimmon Company was his second reported field inspection this week. KCNA reports:
Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army Kim Jong Un, first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and first chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, inspected the Thrice Three-Revolution Red Flag Kamnamu Company (a company under persimmon trees) under KPA Unit 4302.
He was greeted by commanding officers of the unit and the company.
He presented a pair of binoculars and an automatic rifle to the company and had a photo taken with its soldiers, expressing his expectation and belief that they would defend the socialist country as firm as an iron wall.
Conducted by the commanding officers, Kim Jong Un looked round the monument to the field guidance of President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il.
Then he went round an education room, soldiers’ bed rooms and mess hall.
The mere name of the company touches everybody, Kim Jong Un said, adding the company has been recorded in the history of the Songun revolutionary leadership as the one which shows Kim Jong Il’s love for soldiers and is well-known at home and abroad for it.
Kim Jong Un said there are in the company at present not many soldiers who were received by Kim Jong Il, underscoring the need to invariably carry forward the spirit and tradition of the company and glorify the immortal exploits of Kim Jong Il recorded in the history of the company though an old generation is replaced by a new one.
Kim Jong Un was satisfied to learn that the company has preserved the desks in the education room as they were since the field guidance of Kim Il Sung several decades ago.
He dropped in at the bedroom visited by Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il and saw the places where they were seated and even touched a blanket to guess its quality.
At the wash-cum-bath room, Kim Jong Un was briefed on the steam bath using hemp.
At the mess hall, he saw a list of daily food supply norm, asking if the company supplies food to the soldiers according to it and if there is anything insufficient. He called for supplying food to them as prescribed.
Seeing crabs among varieties of food under preparation at the kitchen, Kim Jong Un asked where they were caught, how they were cooked and what soldiers liked best.
Kim Jong Un visited a salt farm operated by the company itself.
He looked round the fire position of the company to acquaint himself with the performance of its combat duty.
He watched the fire position, combat and technical equipment and defence fortification associated with the footprints of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, giving precious instructions.
He warmly encouraged the company’s service personnel, telling them that they should join hands with their supreme commander, reunify the country without fail and eternally glorify the exploits performed by the generalissimos. He added he believed in the service personnel on the eastern front and reposed deep trust in the women revolutionaries defending a post on the front.
He walked the road leading to the post and asked how many persimmons the company gathered last year. Saying persimmons still look unripe, he said he would come again in a season when persimmons get ripe.
He spared time to watch a performance given by the company’s art group.
Put on the stage were such colorful numbers as chorus “March of the Korean Youth”, narration and song “General and Our Kamnamu Company”, solo and pangchang “Boundless Is Our Yearning”, sextet “Our Leader Loved by People” and group poem recital and chorus “Let’s Protect General Kim Jong Un with Our Lives”.
He gave his big hands to congratulate them on their successful performance.
Kim Jong Un had a talk with the company’s soldiers.
He told them to set an example to be followed by the whole army by successfully making preparations for combat and conducting good art group activities. He called on them to keep themselves highly alerted in view of enemies’ reckless maneuvers for a war of aggression and watch with high vigilance the enemies’ moves. He ordered them to send the enemies to the bottom of the sea even if one of them intrudes into the territorial waters of the DPRK.
Reading the minds of the soldiers reluctant to part from him, he told them to stand by him one by one and had a photo taken with them.
At the end of the photo session, he promised them to visit the company again and have a photo taken with its commander and political commissar who were absent in the photo session.
As rumors circulated in various media this week about the identity of Kim Jong Un’s wife, Daily NK released the entire version of Mother of Great Military-First Korea on 12 July (Thursday). The film is about the activities of Kim Jong Un’s mother, Ko Yong Hui (Ko Yo’ng-hu’i), who is identified under the alias Ri U’n-sil. In the film Ko attends various military and economic inspections with Kim Jong Il. She is also seen riding a horse with KJI, preparing food and handing out gold watches. Toward the end of the film, a voice identified as Ko’s can be heard delivering a birthday speech on an audio track. While she speaks, still images of Ko caring for and tutoring Kim Jong Un are shown and then transition into film footage of Kim Jong Un from 2010 and 2011. Ko is depicted in the film as a member of the Kim Family to be revered, along with KJI’s mother Kim Jong Suk and his paternal grandmother Kang Pan Sok. The film also links Kim Jong Un’s outgoing personality (i.e., ”the good heart of the third son”) to Ko, not KJI. The film is also available via YouTube.
Daily NK summarizes the film:
This documentary, which was produced in 2011 by an arm of the Chosun Workers’ Party Central Committee, was screened for senior Party cadre review in May, at which time it was leaked to a group based in Japan.
The film contains footage and photos of Koh Young Hee in the period following the 100-day mourning period for the death of Kim Il Sung in 1994. Throughout the 1990s, Koh accompanied Kim Jong Il as the de facto ‘first lady’ during his guidance visits to military, industrial and cultural sites.
The narration (unfortunately, no subtitles are available) propagates the idea that Koh, who died in Paris in 2004, represented a powerful continuance of a tradition established by Kang Ban Seok (Kim Il Sung’s mother) and Kim Jong Suk (Kim Jong Il’s mother). Forging her image as a ‘Great Mother’ of the nation is intended to strengthen Kim Jong Eun’s legitimacy as a great leader of pure Mt. Baekdu blood.
On 6 July and 8 July, Kim Jong Un made two public appearances accompanied by a woman who is most likely his wife. The same woman joined him during a visit to Kyongsang Kindergarten, reported by DPRK state media on 15 July (Sunday). The identity of the woman who accompanied KJU, despite a hodgepodge of speculation and rumors, remains unknown.
Other than being seen in the shadows crossing the path of Jang Song Taek during part of Kim Jong Il’s funeral, KJU’s wife may have attended a visit by the DPRK’s central leadership to the Ku’msusan Memorial Palace of the Sun on Kim Jong Il’s birthday in February 2012. As DPRK elites lined up to pay their respects to a marble KJI icon, several rows behind Kim Jong Un, in a line-up consisting of KJI’s former aides in the National Defense Commission and Personal Secretariat was KJI’s 5th consort and secretary, Kim Ok. Standing to the right (Kim Ok’s left) was a woman who may, or may not, be KJU’s wife, standing at the end. The woman was literally out of place and this was the only queue with an uneven number of participants, observed on the Korean Central Television [KCTV] film. This politically choreographed asymmetry prevented this mystery woman from being completely filmed by KCTV cameras, seen in the images below:
The wife theory attracting the most attention is that KJU is married to Hyon Song-wol (a.k.a. Han Song-wo’l), a graduate of Pyongyang University of Music and a former member of the Poch’o'nbo Electronic Ensemble. Kim Jong Un and Hyon were alleged to have been in a relationship which was broken off because Kim Jong Il did not approve. According to Sankei Shimbun, Hyon left the Poch’o'nbo group in 2006 and married an officer of the Korean People’s Army [KPA], but after KJI’s death in Decmeber 2011 she resumed her relationship with Kim Jong Un.
The other theory on Kim Jong Un’s wife, which preexisted rumors of a marriage to Hyon, is that he was married in 2010 and his wife is a 27-year old graduate student at Kim Il Sung University, originally from Ch’o'ngjin, North Hamgyo’ng Province. DPRK leadership expert Cho’ng So’ng-chang (Jeong Seong-jang) told NoCut News: “By tacitly emphasizing that 1st Secretary Kim is a leader who is not single, but already married and with a wife, is aiming to make a frontal breakthrough in the age issue, his biggest weakness, and implant an image of a steady leader.” Interestingly, according to Cho’ng, the mother of this KJU wife is a section chief of gynecology unit at a Ch’o'ngin hospital. On 11 July KCNA published a piece that said the country “has taken steps conducive to the protection and improvement of women’s reproductive health.”
South Korean media reported on 14 June (Thursday) that Lt. Gen. Kim Rak Gyom was appointed commanding officer of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] Strategic Rocket Force Command [SRFC] in early 2012. Lt. Gen. Kim was later elected a member of the Korean Workers’ Party Central Military Commission [CMC] during the 4th Party Conference on 11 April 2012. The SRFC was first mentioned in DPRK state media report on 2 March 2012 when Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) inspected its headquarters near Kangdong County in northeast Pyongyang. KJU later included the SRFC when addressing other KPA service branches in his public speech prior to the military parade held on 15 April 2012 to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of his grandfather and DPRK found Kim Il Sung. The SRFC was created during 2011 when DPRK policymakers consolidated all short-, medium- and intermediate-range missile units into a unified command under the National Defense Commission [NDC].
Meanwhile, Daily NK, citing South Korean government sources, reports that Gen. Kim Kyok Sik has been passed over after a round party assessments of senior officials and may have a reduced rank. Gen. Kim, a former chief of the KPA General Staff and close military advisor to the late Kim Jong Il, served as commander of IV Army Corps from 2009 to 2011. During his command, the ROK naval corvette Ch’o'nan sank in March 2010 and the KPA fired artillery shells at ROK forces and civilians on Yo’n'pyo’ng Island in November 2010. In August 2011, he was replaced a deputy defense minister and returned to Pyongyang. He was rumored to be serving either as a deputy chief of the KPA General Staff, or a deputy defense minister. Daily NK reports:
A Ministry of Unification official told Daily NK about the demotion today, saying, “Based on various trend indicators including reports in the North Korean media and Chosun Central TV through which Kim Kyuk Shik’s position emerges, we confirmed his demotion to colonel-general.”
Kim first came to the attention of North Korea watchers in 1994 when he became 2nd Corps commander. In 2007 he was promoted to Chief of Staff, but two years later was moved out of Pyongyang to head the 4th Corps. It was only after he was sent to Hwanghae Province that North Korea really stepped up its provocations in the disputed West Sea, including the sinking of the Cheonan on March 26th, 2010 and the Yeonpyeong Island shelling on November 23rd the same year.
Kim most recently appeared at events to commemorate Kim Jong Il’s birthday on February 16th and at a Party reporting conference on April 25th, the founding day of the Chosun People’s Army.
According to military analyst Cheong Seong Chang of the Sejong Institute, “We know that in North Korea there are internal assessments of public figures. So, rather than Kim Kyuk Shik getting demoted because he made an error or because of a problem with his loyalty, there is a chance that he just got left behind in internal assessments.”
“We know that right now the North Korean Chief of Staff Lee Young Ho and NSA head Kim Won Hong have very good assessments,” Cheong went on, suggesting that Kim Kyuk Shik may simply have fallen behind the curve.
On the morning of 21 May (Monday) three Chinese commercial fishing trawlers and their 29 crew members, captured and detained by DPRK forces on 8 May, arrived in their home country through the port in Dalian. With the fishermen’s return, accounts about their detention have emerged in Chinese media. Global Times reports:
“Before they released us, they brought us ashore and gave each of us a pack of cigarettes. Then they pointed their guns at our heads, forcing us to write a confession saying that we entered North Korean waters illegally and they had treated us very well,” Yuan Xiwen, one of the fishermen, told the Global Times.
Zhu Chuang, one of the captains of the three boats, said the abductors only gave each boat half a bag of rice before ordering them to leave.
“They took everything onboard, including communication devices and our clothes, leaving some of us only with underwear. Fortunately, we could still use the Beidou for guidance,” Zhu told the Global Times, referring to China’s indigenous satellite navigation system, a rival to the GPS.
The three boats arrived in Dalian at around 6:35 am Monday after being released Sunday night. The fishermen were then sent to a local hospital for medical checks.
The fishermen told the Global Times that the three boats were seized one after another by a North Korean gunboat on May 8 while working in the Yellow Sea.
“The gunboat approached us, and six or seven armed North Koreans boarded our ship. They locked us up in a small cabinet we use for storing waste. One of the captors served as a translator, but I do not think he was of Chinese origin,” Zhu recalled.
The fishermen told Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV that the abductors had treated them “inhumanely,” and had beaten them with wooden sticks. One of the boat owners said no ransom had been paid.
“They did not allow us to talk, and would beat our spine and head if we made any sound. We had one, sometimes two meals a day, of only rice and porridge,” said Wang Zhiguo, one of the crew members.
“We could not properly sit down or stand in the tiny cabin,” Wang told the Global Times.
According to People’s Daily, three of the fishermen felt dizzy after their return, and another three had obvious bruises on their bodies.
The Chinese government announced that relevant authorities had begun an investigation into the seizure of the fishing trawlers and crew. South China Morning Post reports:
In announcing the investigation, ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the government was taking the incident seriously.
Some of the 28 fishermen aboard three boats taken on May 8 said armed North Koreans, dressed in army uniforms, had falsified the co-ordinates of their ship during the capture, to indicate that it took place in North Korean waters rather than Chinese waters.
The Chinese boat captains also said they were forced to admit that they entered North Korean waters unlawfully.
Wang Lijie, captain of one of the three vessels that were held for nearly two weeks before being released last weekend, told China Central Television (CCTV) yesterday that North Korean authorities forced him to sign a blank document.
He said it was not until soon before their release that he was told it was a letter confessing they had entered the waters illegally.
The letter was written in Korean, but Wang said he saw the North Koreans had changed the co- ordinates of the capture from 123-57E to 124-02E, less than a degree to the east and just inside North Korean waters.
Although China and North Korea have not established an official boundary in the East China Sea, maritime authorities of the two countries have mutually regarded longitude 124 degrees east as an “internal control line”, according to the captured fishermen.
The captains of the other two ships said they were also presented with similar documents. One of them, Zhu Chuang , said he resisted, believing that data stored in his ship’s satellite navigation system would prove they were in Chinese waters.
“They tried to force me to sign, but I never did,” he told CCTV.
Almost every Chinese fishing vessel at sea is equipped with navigation devices receiving satellite signals. The system, developed by the People’s Liberation Army, allows captains to know their whereabouts with a very low margin of error.
While the fishermen’s detention has not put a damper on official DPRK-China relations, the fishermen and Chinese netizens view the ordeal as something of an abscess in the “lips and teeth” relationship. Washington Post reports:
“This is the most horrible memory in my life,” Wang said. “They all wore deep-blue military uniforms, and they had a military flag on their boat. They were the North Korean navy.”
Wang said that he had encountered North Koreans in the past who were friendly but that this time, “they were even worse than bandits.” Noting that Pyongyang “is supposed to be a friend of China’s,” he added: “What happened to me this time changed my idea of North Korea completely.”
The fishermen’s accounts of mistreatment have also appeared widely in Chinese news media, which describe it as “torture.”
Shan Shixian, the owner of one of the boats, said in an interview that the kidnappers initially demanded a ransom of about $65,000 per boat but later just stripped the vessels and the men of everything they had. “They stole about one ton of fish on my boat, a dozen tons of diesel, my boat’s radar, the components, the battery and all the cargo,” Shan said. “Everything on the boat was looted.”
“I hate North Korea so much,” he said. “They not only robbed my fishermen, they tortured them. I’d kill them if I ever met any of them.” He added: “They are more like hooligans than the real hooligans. People are all scared.”
The sentiments of the captain and the boat owner were echoed even more vociferously on the Twitter-like microblogging site Weibo, which has emerged as China’s sounding board for public opinion. And public opinion has turned decidedly against North Korea, an ally considered so steadfast that Mao Zedong once said the relationship was “as close as lips and teeth.”
Some of the vitriol was aimed at the Chinese government.
“The anger burned in my heart when I saw this piece of news,” wrote one Internet user, posting under the name The Far Off Time. “North Korea always returns evil for good, and the Chinese government always swallows the humiliation and the anger.” The user added: “It’s all because the Chinese government is too weak. Who would dare do this to American fishermen?! Does the Foreign Affairs Ministry have any use?”
Another user, writing under the name Unplugged Cat, wrote: “We raised a dog to watch the door, but were bitten by the crazy dog!”
A user named Zhuang Yuance asked, “Why should we shelter this bad neighbor against the will of people in most countries in the world? Will the North Korean people really appreciate us one day?”
The kidnapping was one of the hottest trending topics on China’s microblogging sites. That the Chinese government’s normally vigilant censors had allowed the open debate suggested that even Beijing’s leaders were becoming exasperated with Pyongyang.
China’s official media, meanwhile, have tried to play down the controversy, noting that all the crew members were eventually released and that no ransom was paid. An article in the Communist Party-owned Global Times newspaper Wednesday carried the headline: “Hype unnecessary over N. Korean sea action.”