DPRK state media reported on 14 May (Tuesday) that DPRK Cabinet Premier Pak Pong Ju visited the Namhu’ng Youth Chemical Complex in Anju, South P’yo’ngan Province. The primary purpose of Pak’s visit was to learn about the production of chemical fertilizers. Pak toured the chemical complex and “encouraged officials and workers in their effort to boost the production of Chuch’e fertilizer, true to the spirit of the March, 2013 Plenary Meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea.” According to KCNA Pak “stressed the need for the workers there to decisively increase the fertilizer production, bearing deep in mind that agricultural production is the main thrust of the drive for economic construction and the improvement of the people’s living standard and fertilizers precisely mean rice, and thus bring about a radical boost in grain production this year.” Pak also “called upon officials and workers of the coal mines to intensify the drive for increased production, underlining the need for the coal mines to satisfactorily provide coal for boosting the fertilizer production” and “proposed tasks for settling the issue of timely transport of coal for keeping the fertilizer production going at a high rate and other issues. “
DPRK state media reported on 9 May (Thursday) that DPRK Cabinet Premier Pak Pong Ju visited a cooperative farm in Mundo’k County, South P’yo’ngan Province and the Pukch’ang Thermal Power Complex. Pak’s first stop was a visit to Ryongrim Cooperative Farm in Mundo’k County. According to KCNA, Pak “encouraged the farmers there in their effort to step up preparations for rice transplanting despite unfavorable weather conditions with the belief that rice precisely means socialism” and he “urged them to decisively boost the per-hectare yield by completing the rice transplantation at the right time as it is decisive of success in the year’s farming.” Pak also “underlined the need to widely introduce the advanced farming methods and technologies, put farming on a scientific basis and boost the production of quality organic fertilizer to increase the fertility of soil and give full play to the advantages of the sub-workteam management system.”
Pak Pong Ju also visited Pukch’ang Thermal Power Complex in Pukch’ang County, South P’yo’ngan. He toured the power complex and “encouraged the scientists, technicians and workers there registering successes in the production of electricity and modernization of the complex.” Whilst “underscoring the great importance of increased electricity production in carrying out the new line of simultaneously pushing forward economic construction and the building of nuclear force set forth by the dear respected Marshal Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n)” Pak Pong Ju “called for bringing about a boost in the power production in line with the elated enthusiasm of people across the country.”
Pak held a meeting with the power complex’s managers and party officials which “underlined the need to focus all efforts on boosting the power production to suit the position of the complex in economic construction” and stressed the need for the related fields to sufficiently provide raw and other materials to the complex.” Pak held a separate meeting with managers and officials of the Pukch’ang and To’kch’o'n coal mining complexes. That meeting “called upon the field of coal industry to honor its monthly and quarterly production quotas to contribute to increasing power production and improving people’s living standard” and “discussed the issue of improving the standards of material and cultural life of coal miners.”
In April 2013, the top Cabinet official for the DPRK’s coal mine complex was replaced. At the first expanded plenary meeting of the DPRK Cabinet on 21 April 2013, Ri Yong Yong participated in the Cabinet’s debate on the agenda item “the fulfillment of this year’s first quarter people’s economy development plan and on measures for the fulfillment of the second quarter people’s economy development plan.” This was the first occasion at which Ri was identified as Minister of Coal Industry. According to Minju Joson the Cabinet resolved that “the coal industry sector to give firm priority to prospecting and tunneling, to actively introduce advanced coal cutting methods, and to thereby epochally increase coal production and for the collieries to actively introduce coal dressing facilities according to their situations and to thereby decisively improve coal qualities” and “investments should be concentrated in the coal mines in the western region and the coal mines in Anju and Kyo’ngwo’n areas where there are large quantities of coal deposits and where the coal mining conditions are good to further expand the coal production capacity, and firm measures should be worked out to provide with top priority the facilities, supplies, and labor safety articles needed by the coal mines.”
Previously the Vice Minister of Coal Industry from 2006 to 2013, Ri Yong Yong replaced Kim Hyong Sik, who had served as Minister since September 2007. Ri Yong Yong is the former general manager of the Kangdong Area Coal Mine Complex in Kangdong County, Pyongyang.
In reporting on the Cabinet meeting, Minju Joson identified Ri as Minister of Coal Industry.
DPRK state media reported on 5 May (Sunday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the Turf Institute of the Bioengineering Branch of the State Academy of Sciences. KJU’s last observed public appearance was his attendance at May Day-themed concert of the U’nhasu Orchestra at the People’s Theater in central Pyongyang. Joining Kim Jong Un for his visit to the Turf Institute were Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary and Supreme People’s Assembly Chairman Choe Tae Bok and KWP Deputy (vice) Department Directors Pak T’ae-so’ng and Hwang Pyong So.
The Turf Institute, which was the locale of previous visits by senior government and party officials, was described as “newly constructed by soldiers.” Kim Jong Un visited the institute’s main building where he “was pleased to see the green-tiled outer wall” and he “praised the soldier-builders for erecting the monument to the institute in an imposing manner.” KJU toured the institute’s exhibition of its accomplishments, various research facilities, a study center and its e-library. Kim Jong Un noted “research rooms and laboratories were built well to suit the nature of the institute” and “he underscored the need to take measures for providing it with necessary equipment and scientific and technological information.” He also toured the institute’s commissary and living quarters of its employees.
Kim Jong Un toured the Turf Institute’s research greenhouse where he saw “various species of turf being cultivated.” According to KCNA, KJU said “what is essential in the research into turf is to cultivate turf which remains green all the year round, strong in resistance to cold and treading and high in ornamental effect.” KJU also toured experimental plots of turf “comprising the experimental field for species, experimental field for seed-selection and vegetative propagation, experimental field for turf cutting and other fields” where he “called for conducting research into species suited to the areas distinct in four seasons and different in their climatic conditions.” Kim Jong Un also instructed that regional offices of the Turf Institute be established in the east, west and central areas of the DPRK. KJU also looked at several species of turf and instructed that additional research be conducted into developing grass that is green throughout the year. Kim Jong Un also spoke of “the need to plant trees, create grassland and cultivate flowers and other plants in all lands except the cultivated land so that there may be no land left waste or overgrown with weed.” KJU also inspected “various type machines including those for collecting turf seeds, sowing them and cutting turf and a ground-stiffening roller machine contrived and manufactured by the Academy” and “called for widely applying them.” According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un said he “would send modern equipment for researches to the institute” and he “underscored the need to turn the country into a socialist thriving nation and make it richer and more beautiful for the people by dynamically conducting the land management under a long-term plan.”
DPRK state media reported on 23 April (Tuesday) that DPRK Cabinet Premier Pak Pong Ju visited agricultural sites in South Hwanghae Province and the Kim Jong Suk Textile Mill. Pak’s visited the Kim Jong Suk Textile Mill in east Pyongyang where he “learned about the modernization” of the mill, according to KCNA. Pak also visited Haeju, provincial capital of South Hwagnhae, where he toured a fertilizer factory and greenhouse.
Pak Pong Ju also visited Chongjong Cooperative Farm in Ch’o'ngdan County and the Pumin Cooperative Farm in Kangryo’ng County “where the farmers are all out in farming in the spirit of the March, 2013 plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea.” According to KCNA Pak “encouraged the agricultural workers who are making efforts to raise good crops to suit to the characteristics of each land and each area and according to the crop growth conditions, standing the bad weather” and “stressed the need for the farms to introduce the advanced farming method and display the advantages of sub-workteam management system, adding that it is a firm resolution of our party to solve the food problem of the people.” Pak held a meeting with provincial officials and agricultural employees at which he “noted that the officials and other people in the agricultural field should boost their responsibilities and roles as the master of farming, bearing in their minds the continued devotion made by the great Generalissimos Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il to improve the people’s standard of living.” The meeting also addressed “issues of producing much organic manure of good quality and fertilizing fields and the issues for relevant units to help the socialist rural countryside materially and technically.”
Pak’s visit to the textile mill and his tour around South Hwanghae Province marked his first inspection tour since his reappointment as DPRK Premier (he previously held the job from 2003-2007) at the 7th session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly on 1 April 2013. Pak is maintaining the same public profile as his predecessor, Choe Yong Rim, who conducted dozens of inspection tours of economic sites in the DPRK and held many meetings with local officials.
DPRK state media reported on 22 March (Friday) that members of the DPRK’s central political leadership toured an exhibition of light industry goods being held at the Three Revolutions Exhibition in Pyongyang on 20 and 22 March. Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium President Kim Yong Nam, DPRK Cabinet Premier Choe Yong Rim, Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary and SPA Chairman Choe Tae Bok, KWP Secretary Pak To Chun and SPA Presidium Vice President Yang Hyong Sop toured the exhibition of what KCNA reported were “142.000 items of consumer goods produced by light industrial establishments in Pyongyang and local areas,” saw “exhibition stands fully stacked with vinalon products, velvet cloth, shoes, seasonal clothes, sportswear, foodstuffs, cosmetics and household utensils” and “popular among visitors were products from provincial combined foodstuff factories and Ch’angso’ng County which made big contributions to producing consumer goods by developing local industry.” According to KCNA “those consumer goods produced through the creative ingenuity of masses and the tapping of internal reserves clearly proved the validity and vitality of the August 3 Consumer Goods Production Movement. “
The 3 August Consumer Goods Production Movement was initiated on 3 August 1984 when the late supreme leader Kim Jong Il inspected the Pyongyang City Light Industrial Goods Exhibition. According to one of his official biographies, “this movement prvoed very viable because it sharply increased the production of various consumer goods and relied on the masses’ intelligence and creativity. Comrade Kim Jong Il suggested party organizations push on powerfully with the movement. In May 1986 he paid a high tribute to P’yo’ngchon District, Pyongyang, as an exemplary unit and its experience generalized across the country.”
DPRK state media reported on 19 March (Tuesday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) attended a commemorative photo session with participants in a national meeting of industrial workers held in Pyongyang on 18 March (Monday). KJU’s last reported public appearance was at the national meeting of light industry workers. Attending the photo-op with Kim Jong Un were Choe Yong Rim (DPRK Cabinet Premier), Kim Kyong Hui (Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary and Department Director and KJU’s aunt), Kim Ki Nam (KWP Secretary and Director of Propaganda and Agitation [publicity and information]), Mun Kyong Dok (Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang City [municipal] KWP Committee), Ro Tu Chol (DPRK Cabinet Vice Premier and State Planning Commission Chairman), Pak Pong Ju (Director of the KWP Light Industry Department), Ri Mu Yong (DPRK Cabinet Vice Premier) and the chief secretaries of KWP Provincial Committees and chairmen of Provincial People’s Committees.
According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un said, “the meeting loudly sounded the drive on the front of the light industry for improving the people’s living standard and made the torchlight for innovations kindled in the light industry furiously flare up for a fresh leap forward in agriculture and all economic sectors” and “warmly congratulated the participants on having successfully carried out their work with high enthusiasm and active participation and had a photo taken with them.” KJU also “expressed belief that working people, officials, scientists and technicians in the field of light industry and related fields playing important roles in improving the people’s living standard would perform their duties for developing the light industry as required by the building of a thriving socialist nation.”
DPRK state media reported on 18 March (Monday) that a national meeting of light industry workers was held in Pyongyang. Attending the meeting from the central leadership were Kim Jong Un, Choe Yong Rim (DPRK Cabinet Premier), Kim Kyong Hui (Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary and Department Director), Kim Ki Nam [KWP Secretary], Mun Kyong Dok (Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang City [municipal] KWP Committee), Ro Tu Chol (DPRK Cabinet Vice Premier and Chairman of the State Planning Commission) and Tae Jong Su (Chief Secretary of the South Hamgyo’ng KWP Provincial Committee) along with “officials of the units taking the lead in carrying out the Party’s policy of light industry and labor innovators, leading officials here and in local areas, officials of economic guidance organs, affiliated fields and working people.” KJU’s last reported public appearance was his observation and guidance of live fire artillery exercises in the West (Yellow) Sea.
Choe Yong Rim delivered the national meeting’s report. According to KCNA Choe said in his report “that the history of the development of light industry in the DPRK is a history associated with President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il’s Juche-oriented idea on building light industry, their outstanding leadership and tireless devotion and efforts. Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il regarded it as the supreme principle of the party and state activities to improve the standard of people’s living, regarding it as their maxim to believe in people as in Heaven. The great Generalissimos’ idea of building the Juche-based light industry and their undying leadership feats are being successfully carried forward by Marshal Kim Jong Un.” Choe also “referred to the successes achieved in the light industrial field under the leadership of the WPK in the past” and “called for making great innovations and leap forward in producing consumer goods, steadily pushing forward the modernization of equipment and production processes and producing consumer goods as an all-people movement.”
Choe was followed by other speakers from the party, government and the country’s light industrial sector. Kim Jong Un then delivered his speech in which he said “that the light industrial front along with the agricultural front are the main fronts on which efforts should be focused in the drive for building an economic power and improving the people’s living standard. To rapidly develop the nation’s light industry is as worthwhile work not only for improving the people’s material and cultural living standards but an important political work for demonstrating the advantages and vitality of the socialist system in the DPRK, consolidating the single-minded unity of the Party and people as firm as a rock and bringing earlier the revolutionary great event of national reunification,” and KJU “set forth main tasks and ways to be held fast to by the field of light industry at present.”
According to a gist published by KCNA, Kim Jong Un also remarked:
It is necessary to make the most effective use of the existing production potential to radically increase the production of consumer goods and push forward the modernization and scientification of light industry and thus put it on the world’s advanced level.
The light industry should keep production going at a high rate to massively produce varieties of quality consumer goods.
The industrial establishments in the field of light industry should wage a widespread campaign to improve the quality of consumer goods in order to produce daily necessities favored by people and ones symbolic of their units and impeccable on foreign markets.
In order to solve the issue of raw and other materials for light industry the units tasked to provide funds for the people’s living should increase their roles for the present.
A basic way of solving the issue is to locally produce raw and other materials.
The chemical industry has a big role to play for locally producing those materials.
It is very important to develop the local industry for boosting the production of consumer goods.
The field of light industry should regard it as important task to put light industry on a modern and scientific basis and dynamically push forward it at a high level.
The industrial establishments should have scientists and technicians positively involved in production as required by the trend of developing modern light industry so that they may scientifically analyze all the issues arising in producing goods, improving quality, managing equipment and conducting business activities and solve them by dint of science and technology.
It is important to wage the drive for radically increasing the production of consumer goods through a movement involving all masses and the whole society.
It is necessary to boost the production of varieties of quality consumer goods by waging a widespread August 3 Consumer Goods Production Movement as it was done in the 1980s.
If the field of light industry makes rapid progress ahead of other fields, displaying its vitality, and the whole country intensifies the drive for the production of consumer goods, keeping pace with it, the Party’s plan to radically improve the people’s living standard in near future will be translated into a reality.
Great efforts should be channeled into improving public service while increasing the production of consumer goods.
In order to quickly improve the people’s living standard by bringing about a new turn in the development of light industry the officials in the field of light industry should increase their responsibility and role.
Officials of the ministries and national institutions in the field of light industry should learn about and grasp in detail the overall situation of light industry and actual conditions of the units under them. On this basis they should command in a responsible manner the operations for solving knotty problems and bringing about a new turn in the development of light industry.
The officials in the field of light industry should reject stiffness, schema, stagnation and depression, work in a unique and resilient manner and shape reasonable management and business strategies to ensure expanded reproduction and reenergize production by their own efforts.
The officials should have ardent patriotism, value their own things and make positive efforts to develop them to be better than others’.
Scientists and technicians should solve scientific and technological issues arising in the on-going production in good time and, at the same time, study and round off innovative plans for producing raw materials for light industry locally and putting machines and equipment and production processes on a CNC and automation basis and develop more new varieties of light industrial products and functional goods.
The whole state should attach importance to light industry and channel great efforts into its development.
Various sectors and units of national economy should render positive help to the field of light industry, bearing in mind the Party’s intention to effect a turn in the people’s living in the shortest possible span of time.
The Party organizations should increase their roles in order to rapidly develop light industry.
We have not a few difficulties and bottlenecks at present but light industry has a bright prospect of its development.
As long as there are a solid foundation of light industry provided by President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il through all their lives’ dedication and the people intensely loyal to the Party’s leadership, a turn is sure to be effected in the development of the light industry and our people will fully enjoy wealth and glory under socialism without fail.
The Party Central Committee firmly believes that the officials and workers in the field of light industry will turn out with confidence of victory and bring about a new turn in its development.