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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).

Wreath Laying Ceremonies Held to Mark 64th Anniversary of Kim Jong Suk’s Death

22 Sep
A floral wreath from Kim Jong Un at the memorial bust of his grandmother Kim Jong Suk at Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery in Pyongyang on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

A floral wreath from Kim Jong Un at the memorial bust of his grandmother Kim Jong Suk at Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery in Pyongyang on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

A floral wreath laying ceremony were held at the memorial bust of Kim Jong Suk (Kim Cho’ng-suk) at the Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery in Pyongyang on 22 September (Sunday) to mark the 64th anniversary of her death.  Similar wreath-laying ceremonies were held the same day in front of Kim Jong Suk statues in Hoeryo’ng, North Hamgyo’ng Province (her birth place) at the Kim Jong Suk Naval Academy in South Hamgyo’ng Province and the Kim Jong Suk General Military Academy.  Kim Jong Suk (1917-1949) was the first wife of late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and mother of late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) and current Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary Kim Kyong Hui.  Kim Jong Suk died in Pyongyang on 22 September 1949 due to complications from an extra-uterine pregnancy.

Attending the wreath laying ceremony at the Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery were Kim Yong Nam (President of the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium), Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), along with other senior KWP, KPA and DPRK Government officials.  A floral wreath sent by Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) was delivered to the memorial bust, as well as wreath jointly sent by the KWP Central Committee, the SPA Presidium and the DPRK Cabinet.  Wreaths sent by the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces, the Ministry of People’s Security and from “working people’s organizations, ministries, national institutions, KPA units, scientific, educational and media institutions, joint national organizations of the Korean Children’s Union, party and power bodies, factories and farms in Pyongyang” were also delivered.  According to KCNA, “participants paid silent tribute to her, recollecting her revolutionary life.”

Floral wreaths delivered to the memorial bust of Kim Jong Suk to mark the 64th anniversary of her death in Pyongyang on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Floral wreaths delivered to the memorial bust of Kim Jong Suk to mark the 64th anniversary of her death in Pyongyang on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Members of the DPRK central leadership visit Kim Jong Suk's memorial bust at Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery in Pyongyang to mark her death anniversary on 22 September 2013.  Among those in attendance are: Gen. Kim Won Hong (L), Gen. O Kuk Ryol (2nd L), VMar Ri Yong Mu (3rd L), VMar Kim Yong Chun (4th L), Gen. Jang Jong Nam (5th L), Gen. Ri Yong Gil (6th L), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (7th L), Kim Yong Nam (8th L), Pak Pong Ju (9th L), Kim Ki Nam (10th L),  Choe Tae Bok (11th L), Pak To Chun (12th L) and Yang Hyong Sop (13th L) (Photo: KCNA screengrab).

Members of the DPRK central leadership visit Kim Jong Suk’s memorial bust at Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery in Pyongyang to mark her death anniversary on 22 September 2013. Among those in attendance are: Gen. Kim Won Hong (L), Gen. O Kuk Ryol (2nd L), VMar Ri Yong Mu (3rd L), VMar Kim Yong Chun (4th L), Gen. Jang Jong Nam (5th L), Gen. Ri Yong Gil (6th L), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (7th L), Kim Yong Nam (8th L), Pak Pong Ju (9th L), Kim Ki Nam (10th L), Choe Tae Bok (11th L), Pak To Chun (12th L) and Yang Hyong Sop (13th L) (Photo: KCNA screengrab).

Members of the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League and Young Red Guards salute Kim Jong Suk's memorial bust in Pyongyang on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA screengrab).

Members of the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League and Young Red Guards salute Kim Jong Suk’s memorial bust in Pyongyang on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA screengrab).

DPRK citizens pay their respects to the memorial bust of Kim Jong Suk, wife of late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung, on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA screengrab).

DPRK citizens pay their respects to the memorial bust of Kim Jong Suk, wife of late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung, on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA screengrab).

Kim Jong Suk's obituary (Photo: KCTV/NKLW archive photo).

Kim Jong Suk’s obituary (Photo: KCTV/NKLW archive photo).

WPRK Parade and Demonstration Held to Mark DPRK’s 65th Anniversary

10 Sep
2013-09-10-02-04

Kim Jong Un waves to a crowd from the parade review platform in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013, during a parade and demonstration marking the 65th anniversary of the country’s foundation. Also seen on the platform with him are Jang Song Taek (L), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (2nd L), Kim Ki Nam (3rd R), Kim Yong Nam (2nd R) and Pak Pong Ju (R) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The Worker-Peasant Red Guards [WPRG] staged a parade, followed by a demonstration by Pyongyangites, in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September (Monday), the 65th anniversary of the foundation of the DPRK.  Kim Jong Un attended the WPRG parade and demonstration.  Also on the reviewing platform were senior DPRK officials including Kim Yong Nam (Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium President), Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), “the chairperson of a friendly party, officials of the party, armed forces organs and the Cabinet and chief secretaries of Provincial Party Committees of the WPK” along with “Kwon Sun Hwi, advisor to the Central Standing Committee of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, and Choe Un Bok, chairwoman of the General Association of Koreans in China.”  Also in attendance were “deputies to the Supreme People’s Assembly, officials of the party, armed forces and power bodies, social organizations, ministries and national institutions, service personnel of the KPA and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces, officials in the fields of science, education, literature and arts, public health and media, merited people, delegations of overseas Koreans and other compatriots and the chief of the Pyongyang Mission of the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front” and “foreign delegations and delegates, foreign diplomatic envoys and representatives of international bodies and their wives and military attaches here and other foreign guests.”

Minister of the People's Armed Forces Gen. Jang Jong Nam (foreground) presents Worker-Peasant Red Guard members to participate in a parade marking the 6th anniversary of the foundation in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Gen. Jang Jong Nam (foreground) presents Worker-Peasant Red Guard members to participate in a parade marking the 6th anniversary of the foundation in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (C) delivers a speech at a parade and demonstration in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 marking the 65th anniversary of the DPRK's foundation.  Also seen in attendance is Minister of State Security Gen. Kim Won Hong (L) and National Defense Commission Vice Chairman Gen. O Kuk Ryol (R) (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (C) delivers a speech at a parade and demonstration in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 marking the 65th anniversary of the DPRK’s foundation. Also seen in attendance is Minister of State Security Gen. Kim Won Hong (L) and National Defense Commission Vice Chairman Gen. O Kuk Ryol (R) (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

The flags of the DPRK and Korean Workers’ Party were raised with musical accompaniment.  WPRG members were ceremoniously inspected then presented to Kim Jong Un by Minister of the People’s Armed Forces, Gen. Jang Jong Nam.  After the presentation of the WPRG members DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju delivered a speech in which, according to KCNA, he said “that the history of the DPRK clearly proves immutable truth that the great leaders assure the high dignity and prosperity of the country and nation” and “stressed that the army and people of the DPRK holding the peerlessly great men in high esteem generation after generation will as ever dynamically advance along the road of independence, Military-First (So’ngun) and socialism and it will shine forever as the socialist state of Juche with the invincible might.”

After Pak’s speech the WPRK parade began with the marching of flags displaying of the portraits late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and his son late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il).  This was followed by WPRG members emptying Kim Il Sung Square and its vicinity to mark past the parade reviewing platform.  The WPRG members consisted of reserve military training units members of the WPRG’s units from the provinces, at industrial complexes and agricultural sites, along with WPRG units of the Ministries of Land Management and Public Health, reserve units from DPRK universities and members of the Young Red Guard.  The parade marchers were followed by a ride-past of multiple-launch rockets systems [MLRS] and towed artillery pieces.  A parade and demonstration by the citizens of Pyongyang followed the WPRK parade which began with a float consisting of replicas of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il statues amid a a sea of people carrying the DPRK flag.  According to KCNA “columns of dancers depicting the national flag, Taekwon-do players, military families, artistes, scientists, sportspersons, teachers and medical workers walked past the square” and “letters reading ‘Kim Il Sung’, ‘Kim Jong I’, ‘Kim Jong Un’, ‘Glory’, ‘Celebration of 65th Anniversary’, ‘Great Mt. Paketu (Paektusan) Nation’, ‘Speed on Masik Pass’, ‘Economic Power’, ‘Single-minded Unity’, etc. were presented on the square and the flags of the DPRK and the WPK were portrayed in succession.”

View of the Grand People's Study House overlooking Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 during a parade and demonstration marking the 65th anniversary of the country's foundation.  Also viewable in this image behind the study house are the KWP Organization Guidance Department, the Pyongyang Ice Rink and the Red Wall Apartments (inhabited by KWP Secretaries) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of the Grand People’s Study House overlooking Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 during a parade and demonstration marking the 65th anniversary of the country’s foundation. Also viewable in this image behind the study house are the KWP Organization Guidance Department, the Pyongyang Ice Rink and the Red Wall Apartments (inhabited by KWP Secretaries) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Members of the Worker-Peasant Red Guard march through Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang during a parade marking the 65th anniversary of the DPRK's foundation (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Members of the Worker-Peasant Red Guard march through Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang during a parade marking the 65th anniversary of the DPRK’s foundation (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Red tractors tow multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) through Kim Il Sung Square on 9 September 2013 as part of the WPRK parade (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Red tractors tow multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) through Kim Il Sung Square on 9 September 2013 as part of the WPRK parade (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Towed multiple-launch rocket systems ride through Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Towed multiple-launch rocket systems ride through Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Parade floats which were part of a demonstration by Pyongyangites which followed the WPRG parade, held on Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Parade floats which were part of a demonstration by Pyongyangites which followed the WPRG parade, held on Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un waves to a parade and demonstration held to mark the 65th anniversary of the DPRK's foundation in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013.  Also seen in attendance are: VMar Kim Yong Chun, Gen. Jang Jong Nam, Gen. Ri Yong Gil, Jang Song Taek and VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Photo: KCTV still).

Kim Jong Un waves to a parade and demonstration held to mark the 65th anniversary of the DPRK’s foundation in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013. Also seen in attendance are: VMar Kim Yong Chun, Gen. Jang Jong Nam, Gen. Ri Yong Gil, Jang Song Taek and VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Photo: KCTV still).

At the end of the parade “there were loud hurrahs resounding far and wide, fireworks being shot up and balloons rising to the sky.  Kim Jong Un, accompanied by VMar Choe Ryong Hae and Jang Song Taek, walked along the parade reviewing platform’s deck with Kim Jong Un waving to the crowd.

A few recent internal political issues (involving personnel matters) could be observed at the WPRK parade and demonstration.  Events held to mark the DPRK’s 65th anniversary were going to provide clarity on the current officeholder of Chief of the KPA General Staff.  Based on the standing order on the parade reviewing platform, Gen. Ri Yong Gil was standing in the spot previously occupied by Gen. Kim Kyok Sik indicating that Gen. Ri has replaced Gen. Kim.  Ri Yong Gil has also been replaced, with a new and unknown Chief of the General Staff Operations Bureau attending to Kim Jong Un during the WPRG parade.  The anniversary event also marked the return of KWP Secretary and weapons industry boss Pak To Chun.  Pak had not appeared in state media for several months and distinctly absent from war anniversary events in July.  Pak was shown at least three times, standing along side other senior KWP officials.   Kim Jong Un’s walk along the parade reviewing platform’s balcony to wave to the crowd was an interesting tabeleaux du régime for leadership dynamics.  Usual post-parade platform walks by the supreme leader have usually involved senior officials such as the SPA Presidium President, the DPRK Premier and the Chief of the KPA General Staff; instead, Kim Jong Un was accompanied by KPA General Political Department Director VMar Choe Ryong Hae and National Defense Commission Vice Chairman Jang Song Taek.  When taken with images and film footage of the war anniversary events from July,  Kim Jong Un’s balcony walk shows the DPRK’s top three political officials.

Expanded Meeting of the Party Central Military Commission Held

27 Aug
Kim Jong Un presides over an expanded Party Central Military Commission meeting (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un presides over an expanded Party Central Military Commission meeting (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 25 August (Sunday) that an expanded meeting of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Central Military Commission [CMC] was held.  The meeting’s venue and date was not publicized.  Attending the meeting were CMC Members, members of the executive board of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] KWP Committee, commanding officers of the KPA’s service branches and KPA corps commanders.  According to KCNA, the meeting “discussed and decided upon practical issues of bolstering up the combat capability of the revolutionary armed forces and increasing the defence capability of the country in every way as required by prevailing situation and the present conditions of the People’s Army.”  Also discussed during the meeting was an “organizational matter” which most likely refers to personnel changes (appointments and dismissals) on the CMC.  At the end of the CMC meeting, according to KCNA, Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) “made an important concluding speech which would serve as guidelines for firmly protecting the sovereignty and security of the country and promoting the cause of the Military-First (So’ngun) revolution of the party.”

Kim Jong Un speaks at an expanded Party Central Military Commission meeting (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un speaks at an expanded Party Central Military Commission meeting (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Overview of the expanded Party Central Military Commission meeting in August 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Overview of the expanded Party Central Military Commission meeting in August 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Graphic of current members of the Party Central Military Commission (Photo: Michael Madden/NK Leadership Watch).

Graphic of current members of the Party Central Military Commission (Photo: Michael Madden/NK Leadership Watch).

The last expanded CMC meeting was held in early February 2013.  This CMC meeting, along with a meeting of the KWP Political Bureau held on 12 February 2013, affirmed the DPRK central leadership’s decision to conduct a third experimental nuclear detonation, which occurred on 12 February at the test site in P’unggye-ri, Kilju County, North Hamgyo’ng Province.  According to a 22 August report in Dong-a Ilbo, which cited “informed sources on North Korea,” command of military operations during war or a national crisis have been transferred from the DPRK National Defense Commission to the CMC.  The news report also claimed that the decision to declare a war, or national crisis, was subject to a collective decision of the CMC, the NDC and KPA Supreme Command; previously the Supreme Command had sole authority to declare a war.  According to Dong-a Ilbo, “experts judge that this change is meant to promote the formality of the organizations of supreme authority making collective decision through consultations.”

DPRK state media reported on 25 August (Sunday) that Kim Jong Un attended a banquet hosted by the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces to mark the 53rd anniversary of the Military-First (So’ngun) Revolutionary Leadership.  The banquet was attended by members of the CMC, the NDC, senior KPA officials and KPA service branch and corps unit commanders.  VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Director of the KPA General Political Department delivered a speech.  VMar Choe referred to Kim Jong Un having published a treatise on Military-First leadership in the 25 August 2013 editions of Rodong Sinmun and Joson Inmingun.  According to KCNA Choe also said:

Kim Jong Un dedicated his everything to bolstering up the military capability by making endless trips to forefront posts and units including the Kkachilbong post on Mt. Oso’ng, saying the road of Songun covered by the great Generalissimos all their lives is the journeys to be made by him. Thanks to his energetic Songun leadership, the country greeted the golden days of the army building and great events took place on this land one after another, striking the world people with admiration.

Our army and people will build a reunified, prosperous and the strongest country and a land of bliss for people where loud shouts of hurrah for the WPK will ring out on this land at an early date by intensifying the drive for displaying the “Speed on Masik Pass” on all fronts for the building of a thriving nation.

During the banquet, attendees toasted to the health of Kim Jong Un, described as representing “the destiny, future and ever-victorious banner of the great Mt. Paektu (Paektusan) power.”

Kim Jong Un Visits Masik Pass Ski Resort Construction and Inspects KPA Unit #3404

18 Aug
Kim Jong Un (3rd L) visits the construction of the Masik Pass Ski Resort in Kangwo'n Province.  Also seen in attendance are VMar Choe Ryong Hae (4th R), Ma Won Chun (3rd R) and Col. Gen. Kim Yong Chol (2nd R) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (3rd L) visits the construction of the Masik Pass Ski Resort in Kangwo’n Province. Also seen in attendance are VMar Choe Ryong Hae (4th R), Ma Won Chun (3rd R) and Col. Gen. Kim Yong Chol (2nd R) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 17 August (Saturday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the construction of the Masik Pass (Masingnyo’ng) Ski Resort and inspected Korean People’s Army [KPA] Unit 3404.  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his attendance at a men’s soccer game in Pyongyang on 14 August.

Kim Jong Un’s first visit was to the construction of the Masik Pass Ski Resort in Kangwo’n Province.  Among those attending his visit to the construction were VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Pak Tae Song (Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Department Deputy [vice] Director), Hwang Pyong So (Deputy Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department), Kim Pyong Ho (Deputy Director of the KWP Propaganda and Agitation Department), Ma Won Chun (KWP Department Deputy Director and a leading party construction boss), Col. Gen. Jon Chang Bok (1st Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Col. Gen. Kim Yong Chol (Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff and Chief of the Reconnaissance General Bureau) and Col. Gen. O Kum Chol (Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff).  According to a 9 August Rodong Sinmun editorial “the soldier builders and combatants of various units, who embraced the historic written appeal of the respected and beloved Marshal Kim Jong Un and increased the speed of general construction by more than two times by rising up in greater effort, successfully completed construction of the framework for large buildings and dozens of employee residences and actively pushed forward interior and exterior plaster work on all projects in July, when the deeply meaningful War Victory Day is observed, “that the “success of the soldier builders and combatants of various units who took part in the Masingnyo’ng Ski Resort construction and rapidly accelerated and completed building framework construction for approximately 20 projects while overcoming rugged mountainous topography and the unfavorable weather conditions of the monsoon season is a precious outcome of the spirit of do-or-die implementation in our army and people, who ride the swift steed of the leap that the respected and beloved marshal bestowed and dash like a gale wind toward the pinnacle of victory” and that “even in weather conditions of heavy rainfall, construction unit commanders and combatants created the great innovation of executing overwhelming construction tasks far ahead of schedule by powerfully igniting the flame of the blitzkrieg, the multi-dimensional war.”

View of a hotel under construction at Masik Pass ski resort in Kangwo'n Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of a hotel under construction at Masik Pass ski resort in Kangwo’n Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

A view of ski slopes under development at Masik Pass Ski Resort in Kangwo'n Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

A view of ski slopes under development at Masik Pass Ski Resort in Kangwo’n Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

After arriving at the ski resort’s construction, Kim Jong Un was given a progress report and “expressed his great satisfaction over the fact that the soldier-builders and members of shock brigades of various units have wound up the frame assembling of more than 20 structures by pushing forward it at a high speed despite rough terrains and bad weather in rainy season.”  According to KCNA he said that “a breakthrough has been made towards the successful construction of the ski resort” and added “it is a miracle which can be worked only by service personnel and people of the DPRK who are the fighters ready to flatten any mountain and empty even a sea in response to an order or instruction of the party.”

He toured the construction of a hotel, a guesthouse, service facilities and skate park.  Whilst touring the hotel, according to KCNA, “he underscored the need to build all floors and aspects of construction to suit the features of the mountainous area and match its natural environment.”  He was briefed about the installation of a ski lift and said “to step up it so that skiers may use it up to the peak of Taehwa Hill more than 1 360 m (4, 462 feet) above the sea level from the coming winter.”  Kim Jong Un noted that the Masik Pass and it surrounding area had “undergone a dramatic change when comparing it with what he saw on May 26″ and “highly appreciated the world-startling labor feats the builders have performed in the construction.”  According to KCNA he “called for further rounding off the skiing courses and carrying out without fail daily quotas for each process of the projects including hotel, service buildings, lodging quarters and cableway service” and “urged the Cabinet, ministries and national institutions to take thorough measures for supplying necessary materials. He also called on the factories and enterprises in charge of building materials and equipment to implement their tasks without fail.”  He said that “the ski resort is a monumental edifice of eternal value to be used by the people even in the distant future, while enjoying wealth and prosperity under socialism, and it is also one of the icons of a highly civilized nation” and reiterated “the need for the builders to ensure the construction at the highest level so that they may be responsible for its safety and guarantee its absolute quality for all eternity.”  Kim Jong Un also “called on the builders to construct a world-class ski resort and provide the people, youth and children with a more civilized and happier living conditions so that cheerful laughter under socialism and loud shouts of hurrah for the WPK may be heard from the area of Masik Pass.”

2013-08-18-02-01

Kim Jong Un poses for a commemorative photo with officers and service members of KPA Unit #3404 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un also inspected KPA Unit #3404.  He was accompanied by VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Director of the KPA General Political Department.  After arriving at the unit, he received a salute from members of its command element.  He toured a revolutionary historical exhibition on his grandfather, late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng), and his father, late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il).  He learned about the history of KPA Unit #3404, viewing historic artifacts and information and “looked back with deep emotion on the history of the unit’s development.”  According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “highly praised the unit for achieving many successes through a dynamic drive for making combat preparations and bolstering up fighting capability, true to the noble intentions of the great Generalissimos Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.”  He also examined and appreciated inventions and products of KPA Unit #3404.  Prior to attending a commemorative photo session with officers and service members, Kim Jong Un “expressed expectation and belief that servicepersons of the unit would successfully discharge their mission and role as standard-bearers and shock brigade upholding the Military-First (So’ngun) politics of the party.”

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