DPRK state media reported on 27 June (Friday) that Premier Pak Pong Ju (Pak Pong-chu) visited the Sinp’o Pelagic (open sea) Fishing Complex in South Hamgyo’ng Province. He toured the fishing complex’s vessels and viewed its equipment. According to KCNA he ” encouraged fishermen, firmly determined to bring about great innovations in the pelagic fishing this year by carrying forward the heroic fighting spirit of the preceding generation.” After his tour he held a meeting with fishery officials based on the DPRK’s east coast. The meeting “discussed the issue of setting a model in the east coastal area and generalizing it on the basis of the analysis of the production foundation and potentials of the fishery stations in North and South Hamgyo’ng and Kangwo’n provinces.” The meeting “took measures to improve the living standard of fishermen and simultaneously push forward pelagic and offshore fishing including the issues modernizing fishing boats, bringing dredge of wharves and repair of breakwater to a normal footing and satisfactorily ensuring electricity and spare parts needed for repairing fishing boats.” Pak Pong Ju “called upon the fishery complex to make big fish hauls,” according to KCNA.
Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and a delegation of senior Mongolian government officials arrived in Pyongyang on 28 October (Monday) for a four-day visit ending on 31 October. President Elbegdorj’s visit will commemorate the 65th anniversary of DPRK-Mongolian relations and lead to the expansion of the countries’ bilateral ties. Greeting Elbegdorj at Pyongyang Airport were Kim Yong Nam (President of the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA]), Pak Ui Chun (Minister of Foreign Affairs), 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), Kwang Il Ryong (Vice Minister of Land and Marine Transport), Hong Kyu (DPRK Ambassador to Mongolia), Kim Jin Bom (Vice Chairman of the Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries and Chairman of the DPRK-Mongolia Friendship Association) and other DPRK officials. Also greeting President Elbegjorj at the airport was Mongolian Ambassador to the DPRK Manibadrakh Ganbold.
Elbegdorj was accompanied by his wife, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Luvsanvandan Bold, Minister of Industry and Agriculture Khaltmaa Battulga, Secretary General of the National Security Council Tsagaandari Enkhtuvshin, Chief of the General Staff of the Mongolian Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Tserendejid Byambajav, Vice Minister of Road Transport Khabshai Erjan, Presidential National Security and Foreign Policy Advisor Lundeg Purevsuren, Presidential Advisor for Mass Liaison and Mass Policy Amgalanbaatar Ganbaatar, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Pureb Altangerel and other Mongolian government officials. During the welcoming ceremony for the Mongolian delegation, President Elbegdorj reviewed an honor guard consisting of the KPA’s three service branches and the Worker-Peasant Red Guards. Representatives of DPRK women workers and children of Mongolian diplomatic staff stationed in the DPRK presented floral bouquets to Elbegdorj and his wife.
Following the delegation’s arrival, Elbegdorj and senior Mongolian officials met with SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang. Attending the meeting from the DPRK were Pak Ui Chun, Ri Jong Mu (Minister of Physical Culture and Sports), Kim Jong Suk (Chairwoman of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries), Pak Kil-yo’n (Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs), Kwang Il Ryong, Hong Kyu and other DPRK officials. According to KCNA, “both sides exchanged views on the issue of boosting the bilateral relations of friendship and other issues of mutual concern” during the meeting and the “talks took place in a friendly atmosphere.”
DPRK state media reported on 26 October (Saturday) that Cabinet Premier Pak Pong Ju visited a cooperative farm and the construction South Hwanghae Provincial Mushroom Farm. Pak first toured the Jangsong Cooperative Farm in Ongjin County. He held a meeting with the farm’s managers and employees which, according to KCNA, “underscored the need for agricultural workers to finish the threshing in good time by gathering all crops without any waste as befitting masters responsible for the nation’s agricultural production and by operating threshing machines in full capacity” and “called on the relevant units to satisfactorily supply electricity necessary for farms and took measures for meticulously organizing and commanding transport and carrying procured grains in time.” Pak also visited the construction of the South Hwanghae Provincial Mushroom Farm. According to KCNA Pak said that the “construction of the farm is a patriotic work to implement the behests of President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) who worked heart and soul to provide the people with tasty nutritious mushroom and the noble intention of Marshal Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n)” and Pak “took measures to ensure quality in construction and complete it in a short span of time.”
DPRK state media reported on 3 June (Monday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the Kosan Fruit Farm in Kosan County, Kangwo’n Province. Attending the visit were Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (Chief of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Staff), Choe Hwi (Senior Deputy [1st] Director of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Propaganda and Agitation Department) Pak Tae Song (Deputy KWP Director), Col. Gen. Pak Jong Chon (Chief of the KPA Artillery Command) and Maj. Gen. An Ji Yong. Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his inspection of the KPA base on Mt. Osong and KPA Unit #507.
The Kosan Fruit Farm is reportedly undergoing a major expansion. The fruit farm was one of two pomiculture sites on the DPRK’s east coat which received technical advice on cultivation and modernization during 2008 to 2010 through a program of Germany’s Ministry of Cooperation [PDF available from the National Committee on North Korea here]. After arriving at the fruit farm, Kim Jong Un was briefed about the farm’s geography and production. He recalled a June 2011 visit to the fruit farm by late leader Kim Jong Il and said the farm “an important one to which the leader paid special attention as it is directly linked with the people’s living.” Kim Jong Un was also briefed about the construction activities of KPA Construction Shock Brigade #618 which has contributed to the Kosan Fruit Farm’s expansion.
Kim Jong Un was also briefed about the cultivation of apple trees and according to KCNA said that “he felt as if he were watching trees heavily laden with apples in autumn and expressed satisfaction at the fact that the farm has turned into a young orchard.” He “stressed the need to mass-produce organic compound fertilizer and thus decisively raise the fertility of soil by applying a ring-shaped rotation production system to the combination of fruit farming and stock-breeding” and “also underscored the need for the farm to make full preparations from now on to solve the issues arising in picking and carrying apples and processing fruits, in particular, in keeping with the increase of fruit production.” Kim Jong Un instructed that a combined fruit farm be constructed on the premises of the fruit farm. He also toured an irrigation facility. According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “praised the builders and employees of the farm for having introduced a modern irrigation system to put the manuring and cultivation of fruit trees on a highly intensive basis and thus provided a scientific and technological guarantee for boosting the fruit production while safely cultivating the trees.” He also saw a road recently completed by KPA Construction Shock Brigade #618.
Kim Jong Un remarked that “it is meaningful, indeed, that a large orchard has made its appearance at the foot of Chol Pass symbolic of the Military-First (So’ngun) revolutionary leadership. . . a fresh fairyland called ‘the sea of apples at foot of Chol Pass’ will spring up when the project for expanding the capacity of the farm comes to a finish and a sea of apples is unfolded there.” Kim Jong Un toured a small construction materials factory and said “the expansion project should be completed unconditionally at the date fixed by Kim Jong Il” and he “expressed expectation and belief that the members of the shock brigade and the employees of the farm would make sustained efforts to step up the project and increase the fruit production.”
DPRK state media reported on 28 May (Tuesday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the 25 August** Fishery Station subordinate to Korean People’s Army [KPA] Unit #313***. His last observed appearance was his field inspection of KPA Navy Unit #291. Attending Kim Jong Un’s visit to the fishery station were VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of KPA General Political Department), Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Col. Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff Operations Bureau), Col. Gen. Son Chol Ju, Col. Gen. Ryom Chol Song, Col. Gen. Jon Chang Bok (1st Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Col. Gen. Yun Tong Hyon (Senior Deputy Director of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Organization Guidance Department), Col. Gen. Jo Kyong Chol (Chief of the Military Security Command), Maj. Gen. An Ji Yong, Lt. Gen. Kim Su Gil and Hwang Pyong So (Deputy Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department).
Kim Jong Un began his visit to the fishery station greeting military and civilian personnel who manage the fishery. According to KCNA, he said “the fishery station should catch a lot of fishes with good fishing boats and supply the soldiers on the forefront with them all the year round so that the fishing boats provided by the Party may pay off profusely.” He climbed aboard a fishing boat and toured the engine room to learn about the ship’s engine and fuel consumption. He also toured the cabins utilized by the fishing crew and said that “an experience gained by a fishery base in effectively using spent fuel, underscoring the need to make sure that fishermen can have rest in a warm place as their hands are wet in cold water of rough sea.” Kim Jong Un also instructed that each fishing boat should catch 1,000 tons of fish per year and that the fishery station managers should “write a letter to the Supreme Commander when they honor their plan.” Whilst touring the fishing boat, Kim Jong Un mentioned that the KPA is engaged in a campaign to grow soybeans,”calling for successfully conducting both soybean growing and fishing operations to provide the soldiers with soybean and fishes all the year round.” He also named the fishing boat he toured “naming it ‘maple,’ symbolic of autumn.”
Kim Jong Un also visited a historical exhibition about the fishery and a monument denoting late leader Kim Jong Il’s visit to the fishery station on 25 August 1973. He also toured a tackle shop and a refrigeration unit. According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “called on the fishery station to undertake aquaculture on a large scale while catching a lot of fishes in order to boost aquatic products, adding that it is necessary to cultivate seaweed, tangle, mussel, etc. in a big way” and he said he “visited the supply base on the east coast under KPA Unit 639 a few days ago where he saw it providing good supply service and catching a lot of fishes by putting fishing operations on a scientific basis, urging them to follow the working style and experience of the officials at that unit.” Kim Jong Un ended his visit to the 25 August Fishery Station of KPA Unit #313 by posing for commemorative photographs with the fishery station’s military and civilian managers and employees.
Kim Jong Un’s visit to the 25 August Fishery Station was the first public event in which all of the senior KPA officials affected by personnel changes during February to May 2013 were present. This was the first observed occasion in DPRK state media that gathered Col. Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff Operations Bureau, appointed February 2013), Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces, appointed May 2013), Col. Gen. Jon Chang Bok (1st Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces, appointed May 2013) and Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (Chief of the KPA General Staff, appointed May 2013).
**The fishery station of KPA Unit #313 is named after the date (25 August) in 1960 when Kim Jong Il inspected the 105th Tank Division. The DPRK’s official history marks this as the beginning of Military-First (so’ngun) politics.
***In previous mentions in DPRK state media, KPA Unit #313 had been identified as “KPA Large Combined (taeyonhap pudae) #313.” It is not clear whether DPRK news writers streamlined the nomenclature of the KPA unit or if KPA Unit #313 had been downgraded from a large combined unit (a KPA unit consisting of several combined units) with its assets merged or migrated to other KPA units as part of a force restructuring process in the KPA.
DPRK state media reported on 25 May (Saturday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) inspected a Korean People’s Army [KPA] supply base on the country’s east coast and visited the food factory of KPA Unit #534. Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his inspection of KPA Unit #405. Attending his visit were Col. Gen. Son Chol Ju, Col. Gen. Jong Chang Bok, Lt. Gen. Pak Jong Chon and Lt. Gen. So Hung Chun.
Kim Jong Un’s first appearance was a field inspection of a commercial fishing and boat repair facility subordinate to KPA Unit #639. He viewed persimmon trees and listened to a poetry recital, then toured the dining hall, public baths and other facilities for the employees. He was briefed about the management and operations of the “supply base” and “urged other fishery bases to follow the working style and experience of the officials at that unit.”Kim Jong Un toured a boat repair facility and one of the fishing boats. According to KCNA he “was very pleased to hear that the base keeps boats operating not by the method of repairing boats when they go wrong but by the method of always keeping a spare engine for replacing any one out of order with it in a short span of time.” Kim Jong Un also met two factory employees and “appreciated their efforts.” Kim Jong Un also remarked that “the supply base is a model for the whole army.” Kim Jong Un ended his visit by presenting the fishing facility of KPA Unit #639 with a pair of binoculars, an automatic rifle and a machine gun, then posing for commemorative photos with service members and employees of the unit.
Kim Jong Un’s next appearance was a visit to the food factory subordinate to KPA Unit #534. He toured the historical exhibition and was briefed about the layout and production of the food factory. According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “looked back with deep emotion on the immortal leadership exploits of leader Kim Jong Il, who initiated the reconstruction of the factory in order to increase the production of varieties of processed foodstuffs including essential foodstuffs for the service personnel and visited it several times when its project was at its height, giving precious instructions to it.” He then visited the control room, the factory’s e-library and research facilities, followed by a tour of the factory’s different production sections.
He said that “to put production processes on an automatic basis at foodstuff factories is an essential requirement for ensuring hygienic safety of foodstuffs” and “gave precious instructions to keep production going at a high rate and improving their quality.” He also remarked that “supply service means a battle for defending socialism. . .the foodstuff factories including this factory are standing at the outpost of supply service, that of the battle for defending socialism.” KCNA also reported that Kim Jong Un told factory employees “to bear in mind that they are standing alongside service personnel in the same trench for defending socialism” and ordered the factory to be reconstructed “reconstructing the factory as required by the era of Military-First politics (So’ngun)” and that he “took measures for carrying out the project with loving care.” After touring the food factory, Kim Jong Un posed for commemorative photographs with factory employees.