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Kim Jong Un Visits Airport Terminal Construction Site

10 Jul
Kim Jong Un smokes a cigarette during his visit to the construction of a terminal at Pyongyang Airport (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un smokes a cigarette during his visit to the construction of a terminal at Pyongyang Airport (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un tours the construction of Terminal #2 at Pyongyang Airport.  Also seen in attendance are VMar Hwang Pyong So (1st left), Ma Won Chun (3rd left) and Director of the DPRK General Bureau of Civil Aviation Kang Ki Sop (2nd right) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un tours the construction of Terminal #2 at Pyongyang Airport. Also seen in attendance are VMar Hwang Pyong So (1st left), Ma Won Chun (3rd left) and Director of the DPRK General Bureau of Civil Aviation Kang Ki Sop (2nd right) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 11 July (Friday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the construction of a terminal at Pyongyang Airport.  Attending the visit were VMar Hwang Pyong So (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department) and Ma Won Chun (Director of the National Defense Commission Design Department).  KJU’s last observed appearance was his visit to the wake of Jon Pyong Ho.

Kim Jong Un tours the construction of Terminal #2 at Pyongyang Airport in the Sunan District (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un tours the construction of Terminal #2 at Pyongyang Airport in the Sunan District (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un views the progress of the construction of an airport terminal (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un talks with civil aviation officials during a tour of the construction of a terminal at Pyongyang Airport (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un talks with civil aviation officials during a tour of the construction of a terminal at Pyongyang Airport (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

After arriving at the construction site, KJU was briefed on the progress of the construction and layout of the Terminal #2.  He noted that ” the soldier-builders have successfully carried out the construction of the terminal as intended by the party” and said he “was pleased with their work.”  According to KCNA KJU praised the KPA construction workers “for having done a lot of work” and “indicated the tasks to be fulfilled to wind up the construction and ways to do so.”  He said that “the Terminal of Pyongyang International Airport is like a gateway to Pyongyang and the face of the country” and “underscored the need to build it as a proud edifice in the era of the Workers’ Party both in architectural style and contents and as befitting the appearance of the highly civilized socialist nation.”  He said that “it is important to firmly preserve the Chuch’e character in architecture” and he instructed “officials to introduce the world trend and good experience of other countries into the construction of the terminal and, at the same time, make sure that national identity is preserved in it.”

Kim Jong Un also “underscored the need to build the arrival lounge, the lounge for departure formalities, departure lounge, resting lounge, interview room and restaurant, etc. for the best convenience of passengers and to be impeccable in the aspects of architectural beauty and formative art” and he “underlined the need to equip the terminal with all modern facilities and build service facilities in a peculiar manner and make thorough arrangements for service from now.”  KJU proposed that airport staff be prepared “to improve the service and specified tasks and ways for doing so” and “called for building more service facilities including hotel and bus stops near the terminal and energetically pushing forward a project for face-lifting the environment of the area of Sunan where the terminal is located.”  He also “stressed the need for the soldier-builders to enhance their responsibility and role and for the Cabinet, the ministries and national institutions to render positive material and moral assistance to the builders in order to finish the construction of the terminal as scheduled.” He noted that “construction of Terminal No. 2 of the airport is the project to which the party pays particular attention” and  “expressed expectation and conviction that the soldier-builders would successfully complete the project qualitatively and thus build the terminal as an impeccable monumental edifice in the era of So’ngun (Military-First).”

Jon Pyong Ho Funeral Held

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DPRK Premier Visits Farms in North P’yo’ngan Province

9 Jul
DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (L) talks with agricultural officials during a tour of farms in North P'yo'ngan Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (L) talks with agricultural officials during a tour of farms in North P’yo’ngan Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 8 July (Tuesday) that Cabinet Premier Pak Pong Ju (Pak Pong-chu) visited Chimhyang Cooperative Farm in Cho’ngju and the U’nha Cooperative Farm in Unjo’n County, as well as Sinu’iju Chemical Fiber Mill.  At the chemical fiber mill he “”discussed the ways for putting the production of chemical goods on a normal basis.” He later toured the Chimhyang and U’nha farms and held meeting to consult with farm officials.  According to KCNA the meeting “referred to the issues of firmly establishing a food production cycle of organically combining agriculture and stock-breeding to raise the fertility of soil, and dynamically conducting the drive to combat drought” and “stressed the need to do farming in a scientific and technological way by widely introducing advanced agricultural techniques and methods to raise the utility rate of soil.”

 

Jon Pyong Ho (1926-2014)

8 Jul
Jon Pyong Ho (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Jon Pyong Ho (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Former Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Secretary and Director of the WPK Munitions Industries Department and Member of the DPRK National Defense Commission Gen. Jon Pyong Ho passed away on 7 July 2014 from a heart attack at the age of 88.  With over five decades working in the DPRK’s munitions industry, Jon was a key figure in the DPRK’s development of ballistic missiles, nuclear weapons and space programs, supervising the country’s nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, test launches of the Taepodong missile in 1998 and 2006 and a 2009 launch of the U’nha-2.  He was instrumental in the establishment of the Second Economy Commission [SEC], which is responsible for the production of conventional arms and weapons of mass destruction [WMDs].  He was a member of the SEC at its inception in 1971 and served as Vice Chairman and Chairman of the SEC.  Jon effectively retired from active involvement in the DPRK’s weapons industries as 2012 and had served as honorary curator of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] Museum of Weapons and Equipment.

Jon will be waked at the Sojang Club in the Pot’onggang District in Pyongyang on 9 July (Wednesday) and his funeral and burial will be held on 10 July (Thursday).

State Funeral Committee for Jon Pyong Ho (Photo: NK Leadership Watch/Rodong Sinmun).

State Funeral Committee for Jon Pyong Ho (Photo: NK Leadership Watch/Rodong Sinmun).

Jon Pyong Ho was a member of a squad of teenaged and twenty-something close protection escorts from 1945 to 1947 for the late DPRK President and founder, Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng), and his wife Kim Jong Suk (Kim Cho’ng-suk).  He knew the late leader Kim Jong Il (1941-2011) and his sister Kim Kyong Hui (Kim Kyo’ng-hu’i) when they were small children.  His official career began at the Kanggye General Tractor Plant, a leading DPRK arms manufacturer in Chagang Province, during the Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War).  During the 1950s and 1960s Jon Pyong Ho held a series of industrial and political management positions at munitions factories under the DPRK Cabinet.  He also held concurrent positions in the WPK Organization Guidance Department where he worked to consolidate Kim Il Sung’s command and control over munitions production.

Until the early 1970s the research, development and production of convention and advanced weapons in the DPRK was dispersed among a series of Cabinet, KPA and WPK factories and research institutes.  Holding the position of deputy (vice) director of the WPK Machine-Building Industry Department and alternate (candidate) membership on the WPK Political Bureau, Jon was instrumental in consolidating these production and research sites under one central authority, the WPK Second Economy Commission (WPK Second Economic Committee).  Jon became a member of Second Economy Commission and served as its Director-General throughout the 1970s.  He was elected a full member of the WPK Central Committee at the 6th Party Congress in October 1980.  In 1982 he was appointed Chairman of the Second Economy Commission and deputy to the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] .  Throughout the 1980s Jon supervised the DPRK’s acquisition of numerous weapons systems, as well as sales to foreign countries.  He was elected WPK Secretary for Munitions Industries and Director of the WPK Munitions Industries Department (Machine-Building Industry) in 1986.  In 1988, he was elected a full member of the WPK Political Bureau.

Jon Pyong Ho's death announcement as published in the 9 July 2014 edition of Rodong Sinmun.

Jon Pyong Ho’s death announcement as published in the 9 July 2014 edition of Rodong Sinmun.

In 1990, Jon Pyong Ho was elected a member of the DPRK National Defense Commission and appointed Director of the WPK Military Policy Inspection Department.  In 1994, as the DPRK prioritized military spending and arms production over the development of the civilian economy, Jon was appointed Director of the WPK Economic Policy Inspection Department.  He was a member of the funeral committee for DPRK President Kim Il Sung in July 1994.  In 1998 he was elected a member of the Party Central Military Commission [CMC].  Jon was also a member of the Three Person Committee, a group of key policymakers involved in macroeconomic planning focused on allocating resources for arms production.  During the 1990s Jon led negotiations and arrangements for the DPRK’s acquisition of centrifuge and enrichment technology and expertise from Pakistan.

In 2010, Jon vacated his positions at the top of the DPRK’s military industrial complex.  At the 3rd Party Conference on 28 September 2010 Jon retained his membership on the WPK Political Bureau, however he was replaced as WPK Secretary, WPK Central Committee Department Director and CMC Member.  In 2010 he assumed the position of Political Director of the DPRK Cabinet and Chief Secretary of the DPRK Cabinet WPK Committee.  In 2011 he was replaced by Pak To Chun as a member of the NDC.  Jon Pyong Ho continued to make occasional public appearances and was a member of the funeral committee organized for Kim Jong Il in December 2011.  In 2012 Jon Pyong Ho retired all of his political positions and was appointed honorary curator of the KPA Museum of Weapons and Equipment.

Jon Pyong Ho was born into a hard scrabble life to an itinerant farming family in Chagang Province in 1926.  He was a diligent student and studied in the DPRK Russia. He completed graduate coursework in mechanical engineering.  Jon was a savvy operator and manager in the DPRK’s political culture and a talented writer.  He was a consensus-builder among his colleagues in the DPRK’s military industrial complex, had a calm demeanor and was reportedly pleasant in both social and professional interactions.  Several of Jon’s children and in-laws work in the party and government.

KCNA’s obituary of Jon Pyong Ho

 

Pyongyang, July 9 (KCNA) — General of the Korean People’s Army Jon Pyong Ho, honorary curator of the KPA Museum of Weapons and Equipment, died of acute myocardial infraction at 19:00 on July 7, Juche 103 (2014) at the age of 88.

Jon was a veteran revolutionary who devoted his all to the victory of the revolutionary cause of Chuch’e true to the So’ngun (Military-First) leadership of the party and the leader.

Born into a poor peasant’s family in Jonchon County of Jagang Province on March 20, 1926, he grew up to be an able official under the loving care of the party and the leader after the liberation of the country and devoted all his life to the defence industry.

From October 1945 he served in the guards company under the loving care of President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and anti-Japanese war hero Kim Jong Suk (Kim Cho’ng-suk). He bravely fought to protect the headquarters of the revolution at the cost of his life from the desperate moves of the enemies inside and outside the country.

Working as a process engineer, department chief and chief engineer of a munitions factory from September 1952 to July 1970, he made a positive contribution to ensuring the munitions production in the wartime and hastening the victory in the Fatherland Liberation War.

He devotedly worked to defend the sovereignty of the country and the gains of the revolution by thoroughly implementing the line of simultaneously developing the economic construction and defense capabilities laid down by the President.

Holding the posts of vice department director, department director and secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea from August 1970 and director of the Political Bureau of the Cabinet and chief secretary of its Party Committee from June 2010 to March 2012, he made a special contribution to turning the KPA into the powerful elite revolutionary army equipped with modern offensive and defensive means and converting the DPRK into a satellite producer and launcher and a nuclear weapons state and devoted himself to carrying out the WPK’s line and policy of economic construction.

Working as honorary curator of the KPA Museum of Weapons and Equipment from May 2012, he devoted all his wisdom and enthusiasm to the work for conveying the undying revolutionary exploits the peerless great persons of Mt. Paektu performed in the field of defence industry to the posterity.

He worked as alternate member, member of the C.C., the WPK and as alternate member and member of the Political Bureau of the C.C., the WPK from November 1970 to April 2012.

He was elected a deputy to the 7th Supreme People’s Assembly and worked as a deputy until the 12th SPA. He worked as a member of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK for a long period.

He was awarded high state orders and citations including two Orders of Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and Order of Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il), the highest orders of the DPRK, the title of Twice Hero of the DPRK and the title of Labor Hero for the distinguished feats he performed for the party and revolution, the country and its people.

An obituary of Jon Pyong Ho was released in the joint name of the Central Committee of the WPK and the National Defence Commission of the DPRK on July 7.

It said that though Jon passed away, the exploits he performed on behalf of the party and revolution and the country and its people will shine long.

The Central Committee of the WPK and the NDC of the DPRK announced that the late Jon would be accorded a state funeral, and formed a funeral committee with supreme leader Kim Jong Un as its chairman and 88 officials including Kim Yong Nam, Pak Pong Ju and Hwang Pyong So as its members.

 

Kim Jong Un Visits Songdowon International Children’s Camp (revised)

5 Jul
Kim Jong Un tours the Songdowon International Children's Camp in Wo'nsan, Kangwo'n Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un tours the Songdowon International Children’s Camp in Wo’nsan, Kangwo’n Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 6 July (Sunday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited Songdowon International Children’s Camp in Wo’nsan, Kangwo’n Province.  Attending his visit to the camp were Han Kwang Sang (Director of the Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Finance and Accounting Department), Lt. Gen. Ma Won Chun (Director of the NDC Design Department and deputy [vice] director of the WPK Finance and Accounting Department) and Kim Yo Jong (Deputy [vice] Director of the WPK Organization Guidance Department and KJU’s sister).  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his guidance and observation of an island landing drill by the three service branches of the Korean People’s Army.

KJU toured various sites at the camp.  He looked at a waterside and wading pool and remarked that the “longer he watched it, the more wonderful it looked, adding children would like it.”  According to KCNA he said “I am very pleased to see it as it was made by our own efforts and with our own technique. It looks nice with the brand of ‘Taedonggang’ ” and  “appreciated its successful installing, instructing officials to let the next-term campers fully enjoy it.  At a dive tour he “told officials to ensure a proper filtering of water so that the outdoor wading pool may be full of clean water.”  KJU toured a house of mirrors and “was pleased to see the number of playing grounds for children increasing at the camp day by day.” He also remarked that “this cheerful laughter of children would instill the conviction of victory and optimism into our people.”

Waterslides and swimming area at Songdowon International Children's Camp (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Waterslides and swimming area at Songdowon International Children’s Camp (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un tours the construction of Songdowon Railway Station.  Also seen in attendance is Director of the NDC Design Department Ma Won Chun (left) and WPK Finance and Accounting Department Director Han Kwang Sang (right) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un tours the construction of Songdowon Railway Station. Also seen in attendance is Director of the NDC Design Department Ma Won Chun (left) and WPK Finance and Accounting Department Director Han Kwang Sang (right) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un poses for a commemorative photograph with managers, teachers, functionaries and other employees of Songdowon International Children's Camp (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un poses for a commemorative photograph with managers, teachers, functionaries and other employees of Songdowon International Children’s Camp (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un also visited an aquarium at the camp and was “pleased that species and numbers of rare fishes including shark increased.”  During a tour of the beach, according to KCNA “he told officials to provide the camp with sailboats so that campers may enjoy marine sports.”

He also looked at the construction of a railway station designated for the camp’s use and said “now that direct train service is available for campers and arrangements have been made for its operation, it is necessary to build the station well to suit the nature of its service, while providing the best convenience of the campers.”  KJU also underscored “the need to manage well the camp which was built by the party with much effort” and issued tasks “to be fulfilled to manage and operate it.”  At the end of his visit he posed for a commemorative photo with with the camp’s managers and employees.

The railway station reported as being “under construction” is possibly renovation work at a station used by KJU’s father, late leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il).  This railway station sits across a canal from the Kim Family’s Wo’nsan residential compound.  KJU has generally favored availing himself of exclusive roads and tunnels, as well as airplanes, to travel around the country, it’s likely he has foregone traveling by rail, thus reducing the need for an exclusive railway station to travel to the Wo’nsan compound (other members of the Kim Family and DPRK elites travel to the compound by car).  On the other hand, he may have ordered a new railway station to be constructed as part of the renovation of Songdowon International Children’s Camp.  If that is the case then it is highly likely the station was constructed on the same railway line on which the VIP station sits.

SICC_WSRS_17102012_06072014

(Photo: Google image).

View of the VIP Railway Station and Songdowon International Children's Camp in Wo'nsan, Kangwo'n Province (Photo: Google image).

View of the VIP Railway Station and Songdowon International Children’s Camp in Wo’nsan, Kangwo’n Province (Photo: Google image).

DPRK Premier Visits Construction Work at Wisong Street Apartments and May Day Stadium

5 Jul
DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (1) visits the renovation of the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang.  Also seen in attendance is Ro Tu Chol (2), DPRK Vice Premier and Chairman of the State Planning Commission (Photo: KCNA).

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (1) visits the renovation of the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang. Also seen in attendance is Ro Tu Chol (2), DPRK Vice Premier and Chairman of the State Planning Commission (Photo: KCNA).

PPJ_WSSST_RS05072014

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (3rd R) visits the construction of the Wisong Street apartment complex in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

DPRK state media reported on 5 July (Saturday) that Premier Pak Pong Ju (Pak Pong-chu) visited the construction of the Wisong Street apartment complex and the renovation of May Day Stadium.  According to KCNA Pak toured the construction sites and encouraged “the builders working a fresh miracle through a collective innovation movement, in hearty response to the instructions given by Marshal Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) while providing field guidance to them.”  He also “called on the builders to step up the construction on the highest level so that they may take responsibility for the safety of the projects and guarantee their absolute quality for all eternity and widely introduce the advanced building methods” and “underscored the need to satisfactorily supply materials needed for the finishing projects.”

Special Investigative Committee Formed Under National Defense Commission

4 Jul
Graphic showing the organization of the DPRK Special Investigation in to Japanese Nationals Residing in the DPRK (Photo: NK Leadership Watch)

Graphic showing the organization of the DPRK Special Investigation in to Japanese Nationals Residing in the DPRK (Photo: NK Leadership Watch)

On 4 July 2014, the DPRK Government formed a special investigative committee charged with a “comprehensive” enquiry into the the whereabouts and status of all Japanese nationals presently residing, or who have previously resided, in the DPRK.  The investigative committee was formed by a “special mandate” of the DPRK National Defense Commission, the country’s highest authority, in accordance with an agreement between the governments of Japan and the DPRK and it “shall operate under a well-regulated command system of the Center.”

Although it was established under the pretext of re-investigating the whereabouts of Japanese nationals abudcted by DPRK operatives during the 1970s, the special investigative committee’s areas of enquiry will be “investigated in a simultaneous and parallel manner and the investigation will be conducted by way of holding interview, hearing testimony and touring the relevant field.”

According to an announcement disseminated by KCNA on 4 July the committee “will be invested with special mandate from the National Defence Commission of the DPRK to investigate all institutions and mobilize relevant institutions and persons concerned for the investigation any time when necessary.”     The special investigative committee will consist of 30 officials drawn from the Ministry of State Security [MSS], the Ministry of People’s Security [MPS], the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces [MPAF, the DPRK Cabinet and the Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK; Korean Workers’ Party]. So Tae Ha, Vice Minister of State Security and NDC Councilor, was appointed Chairman of the Special Investigations Committee and will be supported by Kim Myong Chol, MSS Councilor, and Pak Yong Sik, MPS Department Director.

The DPRK’s special investigation committee will consist of four different panels:

  • A panel tasked to investigate the remains of Japanese nationals buried in the DPRK will be led by Kim Hyon Chol of the Ministry of Land and Environmental Protection and will “take measures concerning various places where remains of Japanese are buried across the territory of the DPRK and conduct field survey and trial excavation on the basis of the existing information, testimonies, etc. and consult and take steps for handling remains.”
  • A panel investigating Japanese nationals currently residing in the DPRK will be led by DPRK Red Cross Society Secretary-General Ri Ho Rim and “confirmation will be made through register books of citizens kept by people’s security institutions and relevant people’s committees and through information provided by those concerned and hearing testimonies made by witnesses, and measures will be taken”
  • A panel tasked to investigate Japanese abducted Japanese nationals will be headed by Ministry of State Security Councilor Kim Myong Chol and shall “reinvestigate the abductees recognized by the Japanese government and confirm all records of each person from his or her entry”
  • A panel focused on the whereabouts of Japanese nationals reported missing will be led by Pak Yong Sik, Minister of People’s Security Department Director and Vice Chairman of the Special Investigation Committee will enquire about the “entry into the DPRK of those who were reported missing and their identities will be confirmed by use of register books of citizens kept by the institutions of people’s security while taking the information provided by the Japanese side for reference.”

After the preliminary investigations about the predicament of Japanese nationals, the DPRK also announced that “personnel concerned of the Japanese side will be allowed to visit” in order to “ensure objectivity and transparency of the investigation.

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