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Jang Song Taek Meets with Japanese Sports Delegation

6 Nov
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Jang Song T’aek (C) talks with Kanji (Antonio) Inoki (L), a member of the House of Councillors, and Kenshiro Matsunami (R), Chancellor of Nippon Sport Science University in Pyongyang on 6 November 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Jang Song T’aek, Chairman of the DPRK State Physical Culture and Sports Guidance Commission and Vice Chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission, met a sports delegation from Japan in Pyongyang on 6 November (Wednesday).  Jang met with Kanji (Antonio) Inoki (Member of the House of Councillors), members of Inoki’s entourage, and a delegation of the Nippon Sport Science University led Kenshiro Matsunami (University Chancellor).  Attending from the DPRK were Ri Jong Mu (Minister of Physical Culture and Sports), Kim Song Nam (Deputy Director of the Korean Workers’ Party International Affairs Department), Ma Chol Su (Secretary of the DPRK-Japan Friendship Association), Sin Tong Gyu (Rector of he Korea University of Physical Education) and other officials.

Jang Song Taek, Kanji Inoki and a Japanese sports delegation watch a women's university basketball game at Pyongyang Indoor Stadium on 6 November 2013 (Photo: KCNA screen grab).

Jang Song Taek, Kanji Inoki and a Japanese sports delegation watch a women’s university basketball game at Pyongyang Indoor Stadium on 6 November 2013 (Photo: KCNA screen grab).

(Photos: KCNA)

(Photos: KCNA)

Jang and the Japanese delegation also watched basketball games at Pyongyang Indoor Stadium.  Also in attendance were “basketball experts, fans and citizens including students in Pyongyang.”  The games were between DPRK and Japanese men’s and women’s university teams.  According to KCNA ” players created chances for scoring through diversified and well-organized attack and accurate passes between two or three players to serve the teams’ tactical intention and that “spectators enthusiastically applauded the players when they scored goals.”  Korea University of Physical Education won both games.

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.

KIS Youth League Delegation Meets PRC Vice President

19 Oct
Jon Yong Nam (L), Chairman of the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League Central Committee, shakes hands with Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao (R) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on 18 October 2013 (Photo by Xie Huanchi, Xinhua News Agency).

Jon Yong Nam (L), Chairman of the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League Central Committee, shakes hands with Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao (R) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on 18 October 2013 (Photo by Xie Huanchi, Xinhua News Agency).

A delegation of the Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) Socialist Youth League [KISYL] met Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao iin Beijing on 18 October (Friday).  The KISYL delegation was led by Jon Yong Nam, Chairman of the KISYL Central Committee.  During the meeting,  Jon told Li that “the DPRK stands ready to increase the exchanges and cooperation between youths of the two countries to further promote bilateral relations.”  Li Yuanchao said that “China and DPRK are friendly neighbors, and that youths are the inheritors and builders of bilateral relations” and he hoped “that the two countries will expand youth exchanges to ensure that the friendly relations between the two countries will continue and flourish.”  According to KCNA, Li said that “that the Korean people are making great achievements in the drive to develop economy and improve the standard of people’s living under the leadership of Marshal Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n)” and that he hoped “the young people of the two countries would boost the traditional relations of friendship provided by the revolutionaries of the elder generations.”

On 17 October the KISYL delegation visited Dalian University of Technology and attended a meeting with the university’s faculty and students and a concert by Chinese performers and members of the art propaganda squad of the KISYL Central Committee.  During the meeting, participants said “the DPRK-China friendly and cooperative relations provided and brought into bloom by President Kim Il Sung, leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) and Chinese revolutionaries of elder generations have long-standing historical roots and tradition” and “noted that the friendship and exchange between the youth of the DPRK and China grow stronger day by day amid the deep concern of the top leaders of the two countries.”  Speakers at the meeting also said that “that the youth are flowers of the country and nation and proud masters of the future” and “expressed the belief that the traditional DPRK-China relations of friendship would further develop by the common efforts of the youth of the two countries.”  The concert included performances of DPRK songs  “Sng of General Kim Il Sung,” “Thinking of the General,” “Let Youth Run Like [an] Express Train (instrumental)” and “Our Leader Loved by People” and Chinese songs “Red Flag Flutters High,” and “Beautiful Hometown.”  According to KCNA  “warm sentiment of friendship between the youth of the two countries pervaded the meeting venue.”

 

Kim Jong Un Visits Construction of KISU Faculty Housing

29 Sep
Kim Jong Un tours the construction of apartment housing for faculty members of Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un tours the construction of apartment housing for faculty members of Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 28 September (Saturday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the construction of two apartment towers for the faculty of Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) University [KISU].  He was accompanied by Choe T’ae Bok (Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary and Chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA]), Ma Won Chun (KWP Department Deputy Director), T’ae Hyong Chol (President of KISU and Secretary-General of the SPA Presidium) and Kim T’ae Hi (Chief Secretary of the KISU KWP Committee).  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance public appearance was his visit to May Day Stadium.

According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un toured the premises around the apartment towers and visited several of the units.  According to KCNA, he “was satisfied to see the exterior of the apartment houses peculiarly decorated with color tiles and hard glass” and said the apartments were ” properly fitted with furniture according to the design he had already ratified, the floors are covered with quality material and the colors and patterns of the wallpapers gave the feeling of comfort.”  Kim Jong Un “promised to provide every household with a TV set and more sets of varieties of tableware as he had said” and “told officials to fix a bookshelf to the wall of the study in front the table so that teachers and researchers may study and prepare their teaching plans in their houses without any inconvenience and a round mirror to the wall of the corridor to their convenience.”  He toured a common area and said it “has been successfully built so that teachers and researchers may have stroll, reading and amusement games and their children may play to their satisfaction.”  During a stop at one the apartment towers’ verandas he “was pleased that the apartment houses are located in a good place and their appearance made the Ryonghung Crossroads look nicer.”  According to KCNA he said that “there is nothing to spare for teachers and researchers of the university who train scientific talents who will be responsible for the future of the country in the age of knowledge-based economy, age of campaign of brains”  and “expressed expectation and conviction that educators of Kim Il Sung University would achieve bigger successes in the education of younger generation and training of talents true to the party’s intention.”

View of apartment towers under construction in Pyongyang for faculty members of Kim Il Sung University (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of apartment towers under construction in Pyongyang for faculty members of Kim Il Sung University (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

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View of a dining room in an apartment unit for KISU faculty members (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

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View of a study in an appartement unit for faculty members of Kim Il Sung University (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

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View of a bedroom in an apartment unit for KISU faculty members (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

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(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un Visits Scientists Residential Area

9 Sep
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Kim Jong Un tours an apartment in the U’nha Scientists’ Street. Also seen in attendance is DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (3rd L) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 8 September (Sunday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) toured the U’nha Scientists’ Street.  He was accompanied by Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), Kim In Sik (DPRK Vice Premier and Chairman of the Capital City Construction Commission), Senior Deputy (1st Vice) Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Department Directors Choe Hwi and Pak Tae Song and KWP Deputy (vice) Department Directors Hong Yong Chil and Ma Won Chun.  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was attending a basketball game and dinner party with Dennis Rodman.

Kim Jong Un first toured the scientists’ apartment housing and “was pleased that they were constructed to be impeccable and furniture in kitchens, living rooms and studies is very high in quality.”  According to KCNA he said that “one more ardent desire of President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il to provide the best living conditions to our scientists has been realized” and that “we make a revolution to bring about such reality.  Kim Jong Un also toured a childcare center and schools.  According to KCNA he said that “the education of the rising generation is an important work decisive of rise and fall of the country” and that “educators should become the roots in bringing up the future pillars of the country.”  He also toured a health complex and recreation facilities.  He “highly praised the builders for constructing a multi-purpose park where residents can enjoy both sports and cultural rest,” said that “builders worked such a miracle as completing a street in a matter of seven months. “

Kim Jong Un visits a child care center at the U'nha Scientists' Street (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un visits a child care center at the U’nha Scientists’ Street (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of the U'nha Scientists' Stree (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of the U’nha Scientists’ Stree (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un view blue prints with KWP Deputy Director Ma Won Chun (2nd R) during a visit to the U'nha Scientists' Street (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un view blue prints with KWP Deputy Director Ma Won Chun (2nd R) during a visit to the U’nha Scientists’ Street (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

 

Students Science and Technology Exhibition Opened

25 Aug
Overview of an exhibition of the products and inventions by DPRK students that opened at the Three Revolutions Exhibition Hall in Pyongyang on 23 August 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Overview of an exhibition of the products and inventions by DPRK students that opened at the Three Revolutions Exhibition Hall in Pyongyang on 23 August 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

DPRK students discuss their projects during the exhibition (Photo: KCNA).

DPRK students discuss their projects during the exhibition (Photo: KCNA).

A national science fair of inventions and other products of DPRK students opened at the Three Revolutions Exhibition Hall in Pyongyang on 23 August (Friday).  The exhibition was organized as part of Youth Day, which is observed on 28 August.  Attending the opening event were  Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Workers’ Organizations and Capital Construction Department Director Ri Yong Su, Chairman of the State Science and Technology Commission Choe Sang Gon, Chairman of the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League Central Committee Jon Yong Nam, along with “officials of the youth league and young scientists and technicians from across the country.”  According to KCNA the exhibition includes “3 000 valuable inventions and new technologies including over 520 IT products” and the inventions and products “were developed by organizations of the youth league and young people across the country through their dynamic drive to push back the frontiers of latest science and technology.”   Jon Yong Nam delivered a speech opening the exhibition.

Kim Jong Un Attends Soccer Game Prior to Liberation Day

14 Aug
Kim Jong Un attends a men's football (soccer) game between the Ryongaksan and Pot'onggang Teams at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang on 14 August 2013, one day ahead of Liberation Day (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un attends a men’s football (soccer) game between the Ryongaksan and Pot’onggang Teams at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang on 14 August 2013, one day ahead of Liberation Day (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of a men's football (soccer) game between the Yongaksan and Pot'onggang Teams at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang on 14 August 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of a men’s football (soccer) game between the Yongaksan and Pot’onggang Teams at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang on 14 August 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) attended a men’s football (soccer) game between the Ryongaksan and Pot’onggang teams at Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) Stadium in Pyongyang on 14 August (Wednesday).  Also attending the game were Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Political Bureau members and alternates including Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), Jang Song Taek (Vice Chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission, Chairman of the State Physical Culture and Sports Commission  and Director of the KWP Administration Department), Col. Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Kim Kyong Hui (KWP Secretary and Kim Jong Un’s aunt), Kim Ki Nam (KWP Secretary and Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department), Choe Tae Bok (KWP Secretary and Chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly), Kang Sok Ju (DPRK Vice Premier), Gen. Kim Won Hong (Minister of State Security), Kim Yang Gon (KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Department), Kim Yong Il (KWP Secretary and Director of International Affairs), Kim P’yong-hae (KWP Secretary and Director of Cadres’ Affairs), Kwak Pom Gi (KWP Secretary and Director of the Finance and Planning Department), Mun Kyong Dok (Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang KWP Committee), Ro Tu Chol (DPRK Vice Premier and Chairman of the State Planning Commission), Gen. Choe Pu Il (Minister of People’s Security) and Jo Yon Jun (Senior Deputy [1st Vice] Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department), along with “members of the State Physical Culture and Sports Guidance Commission, leading officials of the support organizations for various sports events, officials of the party, armed forces and power organs, working people’s organizations, the Cabinet, ministries and national institutions, those in the sports field, sportspersons, working people from all walks of life and school youth and children in the city.”  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to the construction of two apartment towers earmarked for Kim Il Sung University science faculty and researchers.

The game began with a kick-off from the Pot’onggang Team.  According to KCNA, “Ryongaksan Team made attempts to score goals through flank attack and short passes which helped a forward make strong kick 16 m from goal mouth, scoring the first goal at around 33rd minute of the first half” and “when the Pot’onggang Team had a chance of penalty kick, its forward scored a goal through his skillful kick at around 36th minute of the first half.”  The game was tied at halftime.  In the second half “back of the Ryongaksan Team made a smart heading, scoring a goal at around 11th minute of the second half.”  The Ryongaksan Team beat the Pot’onggang Team 2-1.  According to KCNA, after the game Kim Jong Un “expressed great satisfaction over the nice match and congratulated the players on their success.”

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