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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 Supervises Missile Drills in West Sea

9 Jul
Kim Jong Un is briefed about a rocket drill by the KPA Strategic Forces (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un is briefed about a rocket drill by the KPA Strategic Forces (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

 

DPRK state media reported on 10 July (Thursday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) attended and supervised a “tactical rocket firing drill” by the Korean People’s Army [KPA] Strategic Force.  Attending the drill with him were VMar Hwang Pyong So (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Col. Gen. Pak Jong Chon (Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff and Director of the Firepower Command Department), Col. Gen. Yun Tong Hyon (Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces) and Hong Yong Chil (Deputy [vice] Director of the WPK Machine-Building Industry Department).  KJU’s last observed appearance was at a national memorial service commemorating the 20th anniversary of the death DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng).

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

According to KCNA the “drill was conducted as a combination of a sudden movement and firepower strike to assess and inspect the actual combat capabilities of the above-said units.”  Prior to the drill KJU was brief on the “firing plan worked out by the Staff of the Strategic Force, the designated flight orbit and the blockade of the targeted waters, etc.” then issued an order for the drill to commence.  According to KCNA the drill “once again fully demonstrated the tactical rockets’ high capability of hitting the targets and combat capability” and it “helped accurately define the order of combat actions and firepower missions of the strike units of the Strategic Force in the western sector of the front in case of emergency and round off the firing methods according to different enemy targets.”

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un “expressed great satisfaction over the fact that the drill was successfully staged in combination with rapid movement as required by a modern warfare” and he “gave important instructions for rounding off the combat preparations of the Strategic Force and applying the Chuch’e-oriented rocket combat methods.”  He said that “we should be prepared for both words and actions. However fair-minded and just we are, we may become a bargaining chip for the strong and our precious history inherited with blood will loose its shine in a moment if we are weak.”  He also “expressed great expectation and conviction that the units of the Strategic Force would as ever further step up the combat readiness of rockets and always keep themselves ready to promptly fire them by undergoing drills under the simulated conditions of an actual battle and thus cope with the reckless confrontation hysteria of the enemies to stifle the DPRK by force at any cost with powerful military deterrent.”

Kim Jong Un Visits Ku’msusan

7 Jul
Kim Jong Un visits the Ku'msusan Palace of the Sun at midnight on 8 July 2014 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the death of his grandfather, late DPRK President and founder Kim Il-so'ng (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un visits the Ku’msusan Palace of the Sun at midnight on 8 July 2014 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the death of his grandfather, late DPRK President and founder Kim Il-so’ng (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the Ku’msusan Memorial Palace of the Sun at midnight KST on 8 July (Tuesday), the 20th anniversary of the death of his grandfather, late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng).  Joining KJU at Ku’msusan were VMar 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), Gen. Pyon In Son (Director of the KPA General Staff Operations Bureau and 1st Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff) Col. Gen. So Hong Chan (1st Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Col. Gen. Gen. Pak Yong Sik (Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Lt. Gen. Ryom Chol Song (Deputy Director of the KPA General Political Department), Gen. Jo Kyong Chol (Director of the Military Security Command), Gen. Ri Pyong Chol (Commander of the KPA Air and anti-Air Forces) and Gen. Kim Yong Chol (Director of the Reconnaissance General Bureau and Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff)   KJU’s last observed appearance was his inspection of the Ung Islet Defense Detachment.

An honor guard of the KPA’s three service branches and the Worker-Peasant Red Guard saluted statues of KIS and Kim Jong (Kim Cho’ng-il).  Floral baskets from Kim Jong Un and the KPA were placed in front of the statues.  KJU and the senior KPA officials “paid high tribute to the statues” then proceeded to a chamber containing Kim Il Sung’s preserved remains where they “paid homage to him in the humblest reference,” according to KCNA.  They then visited a room containing KIS’ car, his railway coach, various state titles and honorary degrees and other personal affects.  Kim Jong Un and the senior KPA officials then went to a chamber containing KJI’s remains where they “paid homage to him in the humblest reverence.”  Then then visited rooms exhibiting KJI’s sedan, electric cart, boat and personal railway coach.

 

Visiting Ku'msusan with KJU were: Lt. Gen. Ryom Chol Song (1); Col. Gen. Pak Yong Sik (2); Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (3) VMar Hwang Pyong So (4); Gen. Ri Pyong Chol (5); Gen. Ri Yong Gil (6); Gen. Kim Yong Chol (7); and Gen. Pyon In So (8) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Visiting Ku’msusan with KJU were: Lt. Gen. Ryom Chol Song (1); Col. Gen. Pak Yong Sik (2); Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (3) VMar Hwang Pyong So (4); Gen. Ri Pyong Chol (5); Gen. Ri Yong Gil (6); Gen. Kim Yong Chol (7); and Gen. Pyon In Son (8) (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.

Kim Jong Un Visits Masik Pass Ski Resort Construction

2 Nov
Kim Jong Un tours the construction of the Masik Pass Ski Resort in Kangwo'ng Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un tours the construction of the Masik Pass Ski Resort in Kangwo’ng Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 2 November (Saturday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the construction of the Masik Pass Ski Resort.  Attending the visit were VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Lt. Gen. Ryom Chol Song, Hwang Pyong So, Kim Tong Hwa, Hyong Yong Chil, Ma Won Chun and Maj. Gen. Jo Nam Jin.  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to a KPA Navy Cemetery.

Returing for his  third trip to Masik Passk Ski Resort since construction began, Kim Jong Un’s first stop was at the hotel where he  “wassatisfied to see the hotel built to match the mountainous scenery and natural environment as required by the design ratified by the Party” and “appreciated the hotel as a flawless structure and model building as it fully meets the requirements of the Party’s idea of architectural beauty which calls for designing and constructing all construction objects according to their features and purposes.”  At a sitting area, he praised “the soldier-builders for building well the resting places as intended by the Party” and, according to KCNA, he “instructed them to build all resting places to be impeccable so that the visitors to the ski resort may not only train their physical bodies but have a pleasant rest.”

View of the construction of the Masik Pass Ski Resort in Kangwo'n Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of the construction of the Masik Pass Ski Resort in Kangwo’n Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un and senior Korean Workers' Party and Korean People's Army officials tour Masik Pass Ski Resort in Kangwo'n Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un and senior Korean Workers’ Party and Korean People’s Army officials tour Masik Pass Ski Resort in Kangwo’n Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un toured the ski trails and said “it is nice to see the skiing courses constructed by builders as required by the construction method and the turf planted with good care.” He also said that “the construction of the ski resort conceived and initiated by the Party is near its completion” and “that this is entirely ascribable to the merits of the soldier-builders and a shining fruition of their heroic feats.”  According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un remarked that “he was quite right when he assigned the project for building the ski resort to the Korean People’s Army and it carried out a great nature-remaking project and the new watchword the  ‘speed on Masik Pass’ is shining more brilliantly thanks to the KPA” and “that the WPK is proud and honored to have such army.”

Referring to the KPA’s contribution in the development of the country’s sports economy Kim Jong Un said that the “the KPA has done a lot of work for the people this year including the construction of Munsu Water Park and Mirim Riding Club and “that when the ski resort on Masik Pass is completed, more cheerful laughter of people will be heard from the area of Masik Pass.”  He also said that “all participants in the construction are patriots and the feats performed by them would go down in the history of building a rich and powerful country” and “indicated tasks to be fulfilled for building the ski resort as the world’s best one and ways to do so.”

Mongolian President Departs the DPRK

31 Oct
Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj shakes hands with DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam prior to departing from Pyongyang airport on 31 October 2013 after a four-day visit to the DPRK (Photo: KCNA)

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj shakes hands with DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam prior to departing from Pyongyang airport on 31 October 2013 after a four-day visit to the DPRK (Photo: KCNA)

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and a senior Mongolian Government delegation departed the DPRK on 31 October (Thursday) after a four day visit.  Attending the farewell ceremony were Kim Yong Nam (Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium President), Pak Ui Chun (DPRK Foreign Minister), Ri Ryong Nam (Minister of Foreign Trade), Col. Gen. O Kum Chol (Vice Chief of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Staff), Son Kwang Ho (Vice Minister of Physical Culture and Sports), Kwak Il Ryong (Vice Minister of Land and Marine Transport), Hong Kyu (DPRK Ambassador to Mongolia), Kim Jin Bom (Chairman of the DPRK-Mongolia Friendship Association and Vice Chairman of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries), other DPRK officials and staff members of the Mongolian Embassy in the DPRK.  According to KCNA when President Elbegdorj and his wife “arrived at the airport, children of the Mongolian embassy presented bouquets to him and his wife” and that Elbegdorj “exchanged farewells with the officials.”

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (L) and his wife Khajidsurengiin Bolormaa (R) wave before departing the DPRK on 31 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (L) and his wife Khajidsurengiin Bolormaa (R) wave before departing the DPRK on 31 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Senior DPRK officials acknowledge President Elbegdorj's departure at Pyongyang Airport on 31 October 2013.  Among those in attendance are Col. Gen. O Kum Chol (4th R), Ri Ryong Nam (3rd R), Pak Ui Chun (2nd R) and Kim Yong Nam (R) (Photo: KCNA).

Senior DPRK officials acknowledge President Elbegdorj’s departure at Pyongyang Airport on 31 October 2013. Among those in attendance are Col. Gen. O Kum Chol (4th R), Ri Ryong Nam (3rd R), Pak Ui Chun (2nd R) and Kim Yong Nam (R) (Photo: KCNA).

Prior to his departure President Elbegdorj toured the Munsu Swimming Complex where he watched a volleyball game between the 25 April Sports Team and Mongolia’s Enacoree Sports Team.  President Elbegdorj also visited Kim Il Sung University on Thursday.  Elbegdorj and members of the Mongolian delegation delivered flowers to the statue of late leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) on the university’s campus.  Elbegdorj also delivered a speech to KIS University faculty and students.  According to KCNA, Elbegdorj said that “he was pleased to visit the university and referred to the politics, economy, history, culture and foreign policy of Mongolia.”  Elbegdorj noted that “President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) visited Mongolia two times” and said “that the relations between the two countries have a long history and tradition. He expressed the belief that the friendly relations between the two countries associated with the wisdom and efforts of the leaders of the elder generation would grow stronger.”

President Elbegdorj presented a gift to Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) on Thursday which was received by SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam.  When Elbegdorj and the Mongolian delegation departed from Pyongyang airport later the same day, he had not met with Kim Jong Un, despite widespread expectations that the DPRK leader would hold his first summit meeting with a foreign head of state since assuming power between 2011 and 2012.  However, neither Mongolia nor the DPRK ever officially claimed that Kim Jong Un would receive Elbegdorj.  In reporting about President Elbegdorj’s arrival in and departure from Pyongyang, KCNA clearly said Elbegdorj and senior Mongolian government officials visited “at the invitation of Kim Yong Nam.”  In reporting about Elbegdorj’s departure from Mongolia to the DPRK on 28 October, a news release from the Office of the President said that he would “hold official meetings and negotiations with the DPRK leaders and other high-level government officials to discuss issues of bilateral relations as well as regional and international matters of mutual concern.”  News.MN reported that President Elbegdorj “will have individual meetings with the North Korean leader and high ranking officials for official talks on mutual relations between Mongolia and DPRK as well as regional and international issues.”  InfoMongolia noted in its 28 October report that Elbegdorj’s visit “was the first head of state to visit since Kim Jong-un took power,” but also reported that Elbegdorj “will meet with high-level officials from the Government and ruling party.”  None of these news items explicitly reported that Elbegdorj and Kim Jong Un would actually meet–the only report from News.MN which referred to “the North Korean leader” did not mention Kim Jong Un.

The perception that an Elbegdorj-Kim summit meeting would be held derived from non-Mongolian and non-DPRK media reports in which anonymous sources claimed that a summit was on the agenda.  A 22 October Kyodo World Service report filed from Ulan Bator claimed that during his visit Elbegdorj was “to discuss bilateral and regional affairs” with Kim Jong Un.  Kyodo cited an unnamed “Mongolian government source.”  On 24 October the Wall Street Journal reported that “North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is set to meet his first head of state since coming to power nearly two years ago when Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj visits Pyongyang next week” and that “the Mongolian Embassy in Seoul confirmed the visit would take place but declined to comment further.”  However the WSJ report was not clear whether the Mongolian Embassy in ROK “confirmed” an Elbegdorj-Kim meeting or simply “confirmed” that Elbegdorj was traveling on an official state visit to the DPRK.  On the day Elbegdorj and the senior Mongolian delegation arrived in Pyongyang, Yonhap reported that Kim Jong Un was “set to hold talks with the visiting Mongolian president this week” and that “we have been informed that First Secretary Kim and the Mongolian president were scheduled to hold talks today or tomorrow.”

Kim Jong Un’s last reported meetings with senior officials of foreign governments, including Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao, occurred in July 2013 when the DPRK marked the anniversary of the Fatherland Liberation (Korean) War armistice.  Prior to that, the last significant interaction Kim Jong Un had with foreign government officials was in December 2012 when he received a senior delegation of the Communist Party of China [CPC] led by CPC Political Bureau Member Li Jianguo.  Kim Jong Un does not appear to be completely allergic to interacting with foreign visitors, having met twice with former National Basketball Association player Dennis Rodman, as well as meeting with the management of Russia’s Orchestra of the 21st Century, top International Weightlifting Federation officials and interacting at several events with foreign diplomats and NGO heads stationed in the DPRK.  Kim Jong Un’s first and only reported meeting with a foreign head of state occurred in September 2011 when Kim Jong Il received and met with Lao President Choummaly Sayasone.

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