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.
DPRK state media reported on 2 November (Saturday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the construction of the Masik Pass Ski Resort. Attending the visit were VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Lt. Gen. Ryom Chol Song, Hwang Pyong So, Kim Tong Hwa, Hyong Yong Chil, Ma Won Chun and Maj. Gen. Jo Nam Jin. Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to a KPA Navy Cemetery.
Returing for his third trip to Masik Passk Ski Resort since construction began, Kim Jong Un’s first stop was at the hotel where he “wassatisfied to see the hotel built to match the mountainous scenery and natural environment as required by the design ratified by the Party” and “appreciated the hotel as a flawless structure and model building as it fully meets the requirements of the Party’s idea of architectural beauty which calls for designing and constructing all construction objects according to their features and purposes.” At a sitting area, he praised “the soldier-builders for building well the resting places as intended by the Party” and, according to KCNA, he “instructed them to build all resting places to be impeccable so that the visitors to the ski resort may not only train their physical bodies but have a pleasant rest.”
Kim Jong Un toured the ski trails and said “it is nice to see the skiing courses constructed by builders as required by the construction method and the turf planted with good care.” He also said that “the construction of the ski resort conceived and initiated by the Party is near its completion” and “that this is entirely ascribable to the merits of the soldier-builders and a shining fruition of their heroic feats.” According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un remarked that “he was quite right when he assigned the project for building the ski resort to the Korean People’s Army and it carried out a great nature-remaking project and the new watchword the ‘speed on Masik Pass’ is shining more brilliantly thanks to the KPA” and “that the WPK is proud and honored to have such army.”
Referring to the KPA’s contribution in the development of the country’s sports economy Kim Jong Un said that the “the KPA has done a lot of work for the people this year including the construction of Munsu Water Park and Mirim Riding Club and “that when the ski resort on Masik Pass is completed, more cheerful laughter of people will be heard from the area of Masik Pass.” He also said that “all participants in the construction are patriots and the feats performed by them would go down in the history of building a rich and powerful country” and “indicated tasks to be fulfilled for building the ski resort as the world’s best one and ways to do so.”
Following a meeting of senior DPRK and Mongolian government officials at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on 28 October (Monday), the two countries signed two economic agreements, along with a technology exchange agreement. DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam and Mongolian Minister of Industry and Agriculture Khaltmaa Battulga signed a cooperation agreement on industry and agriculture. Chairwoman of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries Kim Jong Suk and Mongolian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Luvsanvandan Bold signed a cooperation agreement on cultural and sports exchanges and tourism. DPRK Vice Minister of Land and Marine Transport Kwak Il Ryong and Mongolian Ambassador to the DPRK Manibadrakh Ganbold signed an agreement on cooperation in the road and transportation sectors. Jong Song Chang Deputy (vice) General Director of the DPRK General Bureau of Software Industry and Ambassador Ganbold on behalf of theMongolian IT, Post and Telecommunications Bureau signed a 2013 to 2015 technology exchange agreement “in the field of IT.”
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 17 August (Saturday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the construction of the Masik Pass (Masingnyo’ng) Ski Resort and inspected Korean People’s Army [KPA] Unit 3404. Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his attendance at a men’s soccer game in Pyongyang on 14 August.
Kim Jong Un’s first visit was to the construction of the Masik Pass Ski Resort in Kangwo’n Province. Among those attending his visit to the construction were VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Pak Tae Song (Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Department Deputy [vice] Director), Hwang Pyong So (Deputy Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department), Kim Pyong Ho (Deputy Director of the KWP Propaganda and Agitation Department), Ma Won Chun (KWP Department Deputy Director and a leading party construction boss), Col. Gen. Jon Chang Bok (1st Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Col. Gen. Kim Yong Chol (Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff and Chief of the Reconnaissance General Bureau) and Col. Gen. O Kum Chol (Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff). According to a 9 August Rodong Sinmun editorial “the soldier builders and combatants of various units, who embraced the historic written appeal of the respected and beloved Marshal Kim Jong Un and increased the speed of general construction by more than two times by rising up in greater effort, successfully completed construction of the framework for large buildings and dozens of employee residences and actively pushed forward interior and exterior plaster work on all projects in July, when the deeply meaningful War Victory Day is observed, “that the “success of the soldier builders and combatants of various units who took part in the Masingnyo’ng Ski Resort construction and rapidly accelerated and completed building framework construction for approximately 20 projects while overcoming rugged mountainous topography and the unfavorable weather conditions of the monsoon season is a precious outcome of the spirit of do-or-die implementation in our army and people, who ride the swift steed of the leap that the respected and beloved marshal bestowed and dash like a gale wind toward the pinnacle of victory” and that “even in weather conditions of heavy rainfall, construction unit commanders and combatants created the great innovation of executing overwhelming construction tasks far ahead of schedule by powerfully igniting the flame of the blitzkrieg, the multi-dimensional war.”
After arriving at the ski resort’s construction, Kim Jong Un was given a progress report and “expressed his great satisfaction over the fact that the soldier-builders and members of shock brigades of various units have wound up the frame assembling of more than 20 structures by pushing forward it at a high speed despite rough terrains and bad weather in rainy season.” According to KCNA he said that “a breakthrough has been made towards the successful construction of the ski resort” and added “it is a miracle which can be worked only by service personnel and people of the DPRK who are the fighters ready to flatten any mountain and empty even a sea in response to an order or instruction of the party.”
He toured the construction of a hotel, a guesthouse, service facilities and skate park. Whilst touring the hotel, according to KCNA, “he underscored the need to build all floors and aspects of construction to suit the features of the mountainous area and match its natural environment.” He was briefed about the installation of a ski lift and said “to step up it so that skiers may use it up to the peak of Taehwa Hill more than 1 360 m (4, 462 feet) above the sea level from the coming winter.” Kim Jong Un noted that the Masik Pass and it surrounding area had “undergone a dramatic change when comparing it with what he saw on May 26″ and “highly appreciated the world-startling labor feats the builders have performed in the construction.” According to KCNA he “called for further rounding off the skiing courses and carrying out without fail daily quotas for each process of the projects including hotel, service buildings, lodging quarters and cableway service” and “urged the Cabinet, ministries and national institutions to take thorough measures for supplying necessary materials. He also called on the factories and enterprises in charge of building materials and equipment to implement their tasks without fail.” He said that “the ski resort is a monumental edifice of eternal value to be used by the people even in the distant future, while enjoying wealth and prosperity under socialism, and it is also one of the icons of a highly civilized nation” and reiterated “the need for the builders to ensure the construction at the highest level so that they may be responsible for its safety and guarantee its absolute quality for all eternity.” Kim Jong Un also “called on the builders to construct a world-class ski resort and provide the people, youth and children with a more civilized and happier living conditions so that cheerful laughter under socialism and loud shouts of hurrah for the WPK may be heard from the area of Masik Pass.”
Kim Jong Un also inspected KPA Unit #3404. He was accompanied by VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Director of the KPA General Political Department. After arriving at the unit, he received a salute from members of its command element. He toured a revolutionary historical exhibition on his grandfather, late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng), and his father, late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il). He learned about the history of KPA Unit #3404, viewing historic artifacts and information and “looked back with deep emotion on the history of the unit’s development.” According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “highly praised the unit for achieving many successes through a dynamic drive for making combat preparations and bolstering up fighting capability, true to the noble intentions of the great Generalissimos Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.” He also examined and appreciated inventions and products of KPA Unit #3404. Prior to attending a commemorative photo session with officers and service members, Kim Jong Un “expressed expectation and belief that servicepersons of the unit would successfully discharge their mission and role as standard-bearers and shock brigade upholding the Military-First (So’ngun) politics of the party.”
DPRK state media reported that Korean People’s Army [KPA] and civilian construction personnel contributing to the Sep’o grazing land reclamation project in Kangwo’n Province held an army-people solidarity meeting in support of the Masikryo’ng Speed Battle on 13 June (Thursday). Attending the meeting were DPRK Cabinet Premier Pak Pong Ju, Jang Jong Nam (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary and Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department Kim Ki Nam, KWP Secretary and Director of the Finance and Planning Department Kwak Pom Gi, DPRK Vice Premier and State Planning Commission Ro Tu Chol, Korean People’s Internal Security Forces Political Bureau Director Col. Gen. Ri Pyong Sam along with “officials of ministries and national institutions, service personnel of the Korean People’s Army and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces, members of shock brigade and officials and other people in Sep’o County.”
At the start of the meeting, Kim Jong Un’s letter of appeal on the Masikryo’ng Speed battle was read. The meeting’s speakers said that “they would make a breakthrough for the ranks with daring and bold operation and skillful command just like the KPA officers who are taking part in the construction of the Masik Pass Skiing Ground, and make positive contribution to implementing the grand plan of Kim Jong Un ahead of schedule,” according to KCNA. A letter of appeal from personnel involved in the Sep’o tableland project was also read at the meeting. The letter was addressed to “working people across the country” and said that “they would turn the tableland not only into the world-wide stockbreeding base but also into a famous tourist resort by building skiing and sliding grounds, race course, ecological park, lodging houses and other facilities for tourists” and it “called for making the army-people grand advance of Songun Korea in the spirit of the “Masikryong Speed” and ushering in a great heyday of Kim Jong Un’s era.”
DPRK state media reported on 10 June (Monday) that Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium President and nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam (Kim Yo’ng-nam) toured the Sep’o Tableland project, which is attempting to reclaim grassland for livestock grazing lands in Kangwo’n Province. Kim’s visit was tied to internal publicity efforts in support of the “Masiknyo’ng Speed” battle, proposed in a written appeal by DPRK leader Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) on 4 June. Kim visited with the Korean People’s Army [KPA] service members and officers contributing to the project. Kim “inspired the service personnel and shock brigade members who perform feats day after day in the same spirit as displayed in winding up the sowing of grass seeds in the reclaimed tableland covering thousands of hectares in the right time of spring.” Kim “met officials concerned to learn about the reclamation of the tableland. He said that the achievements made at the projects are the shining product of patriotism and loyalty displayed by service personnel and people of the DPRK inheriting the fighting spirit of the preceding generations who performed heroic feats in the history of the country in hearty response to the call of the party and the leader.” According to KCNA, Kim Yong Nam “told officials that nothing is impossible if everybody works hard in the spirit of devotedly carrying out the party’s policies and the spirit of ‘at a go’, bearing deep in mind the noble intention of the dear respected Marshal Kim Jong Un” and he “expressed belief that all the builders of the tableland would bring about a leap forward and innovations in every construction site like the soldier-builders who created the ‘Masiknyo’ng Speed’ and thus live up to the deep trust and expectation of Kim Jong Un.