DPRK state media reported on 18 September (Wednesday) that members of the DPRK’s central leadership visited the recently constructed U’nha Scientists’ Street in Pyongyang. Kim Yong Nam (Supreme People’s Assembly President), Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier) and VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army General Political Department) along with DPRK Vice Premiers and Korean Workers’ Party Department Deputy (vice) Directors “congratulated those who gratis had de luxe flats built under the loving care of supreme leader Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) to live in luxury and comfort” and “presented utensils to householders as souvenirs.” According to KCNA, the DPRK elites learn “about their children and house-keeping and hearing their impressions of the new flats, the officials told them about the devoted efforts made by Kim Jong Un to bring about the present happy event and the great and benevolent policy of attaching importance to science and technology enforced by the Workers’ Party of Korea” and “also told the scientists and technicians to contribute to the prosperity of the country with great successes in the effort to push back the frontiers of science and technology, always bearing deep in mind the great care to be handed down to posterity. “
A ceremony opening the U’nha Scientists’ Street, a residential area in Pyongyang for research scientists and technicians, was held on 11 September (Wednesday). Attending the ceremony were Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), along with “other senior officials of the party, state and army, officials concerned and service personnel of the Korean People’s Army and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces, and officials and builders and those scientists and technicians who are to live in the new flats.” Mun Kyong Dok, Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Committee, and Pak Pong Ju spoke at the ceremony.
According to KCNA in his speech, Pak “emphasized the need to regard it as main objective of construction to build dwelling houses and rest houses for personnel in the fields of science and education in the future as intended by Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) and implement the party’s idea of attaching importance to science and technology” and “called upon the officials and workers in charge of the management and the operation of those apartment houses, public buildings and welfare service facilities in the street to manage and operate all buildings and facilities in a responsible manner by embodying Kim Jong Il’s (Kim Cho’ng-il) patriotism to make sure that the party’s love for people reaches the scientists and technicians before anyone else.” Pak also “called upon those scientists and technicians to achieve more fresh successes in their scientific researches to repay with more latest scientific successes the love and trust of Kim Jong Un, who provided modern dwelling houses and highly civilized and happy living conditions to them.”
After the speeches, Pak Pong Ju cut a ceremonial red ribbon and ceremony participants toured the U’nha Scientists’ Street.
Yonhap noted that among the members of the DPRK central leadership attending the ceremony was Choe Chun Sik, President of the Second Academy of Natural Sciences. Choe toured the scientists’ residential area with Kim Jong Un the previous day, and had last been prominently seen attending various celebratory and commemorative events following the DPRK’s launch of the U’nha-3 in December 2012. At the opening ceremony, Choe was seen attired in a KPA dress uniform with the rank of Lt. General (sangjang) on the shoulder boards. Also attending the ceremony was KWP Secretary Pak To Chun, a key leading manager of the DPRK weapons industry and Choe Chun Sik’s nominal boss.
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.
DPRK state media reported on 13 August (Tuesday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the construction of apartment housing for science faculty and researchers of Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) University. He was accompanied by Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary and Supreme People’s Assembly Chairman Choe Tae Bok, Senior Deputy Director of the KWP Propaganda and Agitation Department Ri Jae Il and KWP Department Deputy Directors Pak T’ae Song and Ma Won Chun. Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to the 11 May Factory.
Kim Jong Un toured the construction of the two apartment towers (one consisting of 36 stories and the other 44 stories) in Pyongyang. Construction of the apartment buildings is being conducted by Korean People’s Army [KPA] Unit #267. According to KCNA, he “clarified the issues to be settled in building skyscraping apartment houses” and said “that it is nice and stable to see when welfare service facilities are built on the ground floor on the basis of calculation of the height of skyscraping apartment houses.” He toured one of the apartments and “was very pleased that it is very good to see the entrance between corridor and vestibule built in an arch style and decorated with a pillar and they look peculiar.” He toured the living room, kitchen and dining room and was briefed about furniture. Kim Jong Un “underscored the need to provide TV sets to scientists moving to new flats.” According to KCNA he said that “primary attention should be paid to ensuring the quality in the construction of apartment houses of scientists” and added “that the flats built at the best level should be provided to the scientists so that they may not require any additional job when moving to them.” He also said “that the flats built at the best level should be provided to the scientists so that they may not require any additional job when moving to them,” that “the teachers who have dedicated their lives to bringing up the rising generation and training talents of the country are patriots and there is nothing to spare for them” and that it “is the intention of the party to build more such apartment houses for teachers and researchers in the future.”
Kim Jong Un also said that “it is an important work related to the future of the country to take care of every aspect of the living of teachers and researchers. . .when they are provided with nice apartment houses and good living conditions, they can direct all their efforts to educating younger generation and scientific researches without any inconvenience. When the country preferentially treats the teachers and researchers including scientists and technicians, they can thoroughly implement the party’s idea of attaching importance to science” He said that he anticipated that the apartment towers for KIS University science faculty and researchers would be completed by 10 October, the official anniversary of the foundation of the Korean Workers’ Party. He said that apartments for science faculty and researchers at Kim Ch’aek University of Science and Technology would constructed during 2014 and that apartment housing for researchers and personnel at the State Academy of Sciences in P’yo’ngso’ng, along with a resort would be built on Yo’np’ung Lake** would also be constructed. According to KCNA Kim Jong Un “underscored the need to learn in detail about the conditions of all the universities and provide students with good dormitories” and he “expressed expectation and belief that KPA Unit 267 demonstrating its honor as a heroic unit in construction would put the intention of the party into practice.”
**Yo’np’ung Lake is a reservoir outside between Kaech’o’n and Anju, North P’yo’ngan, that is also the location of the Kim Family’s largest residential compound.
The DPRK Ministry of Land and Environmental Protection, in conjunction with the Swiss Development Cooperation Office DPRK, held an agroforestry (i.e. trees on farms) workshop from 4 to 8 August. According to KCNA it was attended by DPRK Cabinet and institutional officials, researchers and teachers, along with officials from UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the EU Programme Support Office, the World Agroforestry Center‘s east Asia office and officials from the Swiss Development and Cooperation Office. The workshop included a conference and speaking program, a discussion on the development of an agroforestry policy in the DPRK and a on-site visit to Suan County, North Hwanghae Province. Ri Song Il, a department director in the Ministry of Land and Environmental Protection said “that the DPRK Government set the agroforestry management as an important economic strategy and established legal and mechanical systems, thus paving a way for carrying on the management on a nationwide scale” and “elaborated on the achievements gained in the management in Suan County, North Hwanghae Province and other parts of the country, with cooperation of international agencies and several foreign countries,” according to KCNA.
Swiss Development Cooperation Office head Martin Weiersmuller, who also adminsters a Swiss-DPRK program on sloping land management, said ” the 4th National Workshop on Agroforestry would serve as an occasion for sharing experience gained by the Ministry of Land and Environment Protection and his office in some 100 trial sites and attaining a legal framework for expanding the management.” Other speakers from international organizations said “the agroforestry management played an important role in improving the people’s livelihood and restoring mountains’ scenery” and “referred to the ways for preventing land degradation in the management sites and exchanged experience and views they obtained in carrying on the management.”
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 reported on 12 April (Friday) that the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium established the Ministry of Atomic Energy Industry on 11 April (Thursday). According to KCNA the General Department of Atomic Energy was upgraded to a DPRK Cabinet ministry “for the purpose of modernizing the nation’s atomic energy industry and putting it on a solid foundation of latest science and technology so as to increase the production of nuclear materials, improve their quality and further develop the independent nuclear energy industry.” The establishment of the new ministry is part of the new policy lines adopted at the March 2013 Korean Workers’ Party Central Committee meeting which said the “”self-reliant nuclear power industry should be developed and the work for developing light water reactor be dynamically promoted to actively contribute to easing the strain on the electricity problem of the country.” The ministry might also be linked to the 1 April 2013 passage of the law “On Consolidating the Position of Nuclear Weapons for Self-Defense” at the 7th session of the 12th SPA. In publicizing the decision to establish the Ministry of Atomic Energy Industry, there was no announcement about who would be appointed as Minister.
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.”