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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).”

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.

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(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).

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.

Hwang Pyong So Meets with Members of Russian MOD Central Military Orchestra

2 Jul
VMar Hwang Pyong So, Director of the KPA General Political Department (right), meets with Lt. Gen. Valery Khalilov in Pyongyang on 2 July 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

VMar Hwang Pyong So, Director of the KPA General Political Department (right), meets with Lt. Gen. Valery Khalilov in Pyongyang on 2 July 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Hwang Pyong So, Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department, met with Lt. General Valery Khalilov, Director of Music of Military Bands Services of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Segei Durgin, head of the Russian Ministry of Defense’s Central Military Orchestra, and the orchestra’s principal musicians in Pyongyang on 2 July (Wednesday).  Also in attendance were Lt. Gen. Ryom Chol Song (Deputy Director of the KPA General Political Department), senior officials of the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces along with the charge d’affaires and defense attache of the Russian Embassy in the DPRK.

VMar Hwang “courteously conveyed the congratulations of KPA Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n), first chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission, to the central military orchestra on giving splendid performances which encouraged the army and people of the DPRK and contributed to the development of the traditional DPRK-Russia friendly relations.”  According to KCNA, Hwang Pyong So quoted Kim Jong Un who has stated that he ” he warmly welcomed the revisit of the central military orchestra to the DPRK, setting store by the ties it had with leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) and  that “he (KJU) was too busy to watch the performance and meet the members of the central military orchestra and personally invited them to spend holiday in Korea, adding all of them or its leading members only might come to it later.”  Hwang also said that Kim Jong Un remarked he ” hoped that the traditional DPRK-Russia friendly relations would develop on a higher level,  stressing that the army and people of the DPRK would make positive efforts to invariably boost the DPRK-Russia friendship with a long-standing tradition as intended by the supreme commander. He hoped that the central military orchestra would as ever perform the role of a bugler in boosting the DPRK-Russia friendship.”

Valery Khalilov “extended his thanks to Kim Jong Un for personally inviting the central military orchestra to visit the DPRK and congratulating it on its successful performances and offering it a warm salute” and said that “the current visit to the DPRK provided the members of the central military orchestra with an opportunity to know well about the high sense of organization and discipline of the service personnel of the KPA and people wisely led by the supreme commander.”  Lt. Gen. Khalilov requested that Hwang “convey the warm regards of all members of the central military orchestra to Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army Kim Jong Un, first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and first chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, who personally invited the central military orchestra to visit the DPRK and took deep care of it so that it might give successful performances.”

KPA General Political Department Director VMar Hwang Pyong So (4th L) poses for a commemorative photo with members of the Central Military Orchestra of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation in Pyongyang on 2 July 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

KPA General Political Department Director VMar Hwang Pyong So (4th L) poses for a commemorative photo with members of the Central Military Orchestra of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation in Pyongyang on 2 July 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

On 2 July, the DPRK National Defense Commission hosted a reception for the Central Military Orchestra.  Attending the reception were VMar Hwang Pyong So, Lt. Gen. Ryom Chol Song, Col. Gen. O Kum Chol (Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff), senior MPAF officials and members and functionaries of the KPA’s military bands.

At the reception, Lt. Gen. Ryom Chol Song and Col. Gen. O Kum Chol delivered speeches in which they remarked that “that the orchestra’s visit to the DPRK marked an important occasion in demonstrating the traditional DPRK-Russia friendship and greatly encouraged the army and the people of the DPRK dynamically advancing toward the final victory under the wise leadership of Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un” and, according to KCNA, they recalled that “Kim Jong Un highly appreciated the successful performances of the orchestra and extended congratulations to it and took such benevolent step as making sure that a meaningful reception was given for it.”

Lt. Gen. Valery Khalilov and the Central Military Orchestra’s conductor Andrei Nisenbaum “extended sincere thanks to Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un for personally inviting it to visit the DPRK and paying deep attention to it during the whole period of its visit to the DPRK..”  They also remarked that during their visit to the country “members of the orchestra came to know well the fact that the DPRK and Russia have the long-standing tradition not only in political and military fields but in the cultural field and it is of weighty significance in boosting the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries to develop military music between the armies of the two countries, they noted.  It is the invariable will of the armies and peoples of the two countries to boost the bilateral traditional relations of friendship” and they underscored “the need for the armies and peoples of the two countries to join hands and make concerted efforts to boost the Russia-DPRK friendly relations in the future, too. “

 

Jang Song Taek Meets with Japanese Sports Delegation

6 Nov
JST_AIKMJPD_PY_061113 kopie

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.

Former DPRK Courts’ Boss Kim Pyong Ryul Dies

6 Nov
Kim Pyong Ryul (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Pyong Ryul (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Pyong Ryul, a member of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Central Committee and immediate past president of the DPRK Supreme Court (DPRK Central Court) died on 4 November (Monday) at the reported age of 83.  Kim’s death was announced in DPRK state media through an obituary published by the KWP Central Committee.  According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) sent a floral wreath to Kim Pyong Ryul’s funeral “to express deep condolences over his death.”

Kim Pyong Ryul began his career during the late 1950s as a guidance officer in the KWP Education Department (currently part of the KWP Science Education Department).  He held successive positions in the Education Department working as a section chief, deputy and senior deputy (1st vice) director.  In 1968 Kim was appointed Chief Secretary of the North P’yo’ngan KWP Provincial Committee, a position he held until 1989.  In 1974 he was interim Chairman of the North P’yo’ngan Provincial People’s Committee.  Kim traveled to the former Soviet Union in 1972 as member of a KWP-DPRK Government delegation and to China in 1979 at the head of delegation from North P’yo’ngan Province.  In 1989 ill health compelled him to resign as North P’yo’ngan’s leading party official and he moved to Pyongyang to receive medical treatment at the Ponghwa Clinic.  In 1990 Kim was appointed Chief KWP Secretary of the Central People’s Committee (currently the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium).  In 1991 Kim was promoted to the military rank of Lieutenant General and appointed to serve as member of the Guard Command’s Political Bureau.

At the first session of the 10th SPA in September 1998, Kim Pyong Ryul was appointed Chief Justice and President of the DPRK Central Court (Supreme Court) and a member of the SPA Legislation Committee.  He was reappointed head of the court at the first session of the 11th SPA in September 2003 and the 12th SPA in April 2009.  In 2005 he led a delegation of DPRK attorneys to participate in a lawyers’ conference in Beijing.  Kim also signed legal cooperation and extradition agreements with Vietnam in 2002, China in 2003, Ukraine in 2004 and Russia in 2006.  In January 2010, he accompanied late leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) on a visit to the Court’s renovated offices and its new courthouse.  By 2012, Kim Pyong Ryul was semi-retired.  He vacated his seat on the SPA Legislation Committee and became an advisor to the Supreme Court.

Kim Pyong Ryul was the son of Kim Jung Gwon, a member of the Wangqing County Young Communist League who participated with late DPRK president and founder Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng)  in anti-Japanese guerrilla activities in northeastern China and died in the early 1930s.  Kim attended Mangyo’ngdae Revolutionary School, served for several months during the Fatherland Liberation (Korean) War and studied at the Czech Technical University in Prague during the mid-1950s.  He was elected a member of the Party Central Committee at the 5th Party Congress in 1970 and he was first elected a deputy (delegate) to the SPA in 1972.  He retained both positions until his death.  He was promoted to KPA Lt. General in 1991 and was promoted to General in October 1995.  Kim retired from the KPA in 1998 ahead of his appointment to the DPRK Supreme Court.  Kim had close ties to the Kim Family.  He was a diligent worker with a pragmatic personality who was quite effective in implementing policy.

DPRK, China Prosecutors’ Offices Sign Cooperation Memo

5 Nov
Hu Zejun, Deputy Procurator-General of China, poses for a commemorative photo with delegation of the DPRK Supreme Prosecutor's Office on 28 October 2013 (Photo: Xinhua).

Hu Zejun, Deputy Procurator-General of China, poses for a commemorative photo with delegation of the DPRK Supreme Prosecutor’s Office on 28 October 2013 (Photo: Xinhua).

A delegation from the DPRK Supreme Prosecutor’s Office (f.k.a. the Central Public Prosecutor’s Office) met with Chinese Deputy Procurator (Attorney) General Hu Zejun on 28 October.  The DPRK delegation included 1st Vice Director Lt. Gen. Ri Chol, other Supreme Prosecutor’s Office officials and DPRK Ambassador to China Ji Jae Ryong.    At the meeting, the DPRK and PRC signed a memorandum of understand on cooperation between the DPRK Supreme Prosecutor’s Office and the PRC Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

According to Chinese state media, Hu Zejun said that “North Korea is China’s friendly neighbor and  Friendship between the two peoples have a profound historical basis. Sino-Korean diplomatic ties have existed for more than 64 years.   The bipartisan leaders of the two countries maintain close communication, both in law enforcement to further strengthen judicial exchanges and cooperation, and have achieved gratifying results.  I believe that your Excellency’s current visit will further promote the existing good relations between the procuratorial organs.”  Hu briefed the DPRK delegation on functions and missions of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and said it was using revised criminal and civil statues to “strengthen legal supervision, safeguard social fairness and justice to play a more active role.”  After the meeting, a signing ceremony was held to ink the memorandum of understanding on cooperation.  Hu said that the MOU was signed “to deepen exchanges and cooperation” and that the agreement “marked the judicial cooperation between the two sides and entered a more substantive phase.”  Hu said that “Chinese prosecutors are willing to take this opportunity to promote comprehensive development and friendly relations with North Korea.”  Ri Chol said that the “the DPRK attaches great importance to exchanges and cooperation with the Chinese procuratorial organs, will seriously implement the memorandum of understanding on cooperation and consensus reached at the meeting and cooperation between procuratorial organs to achieve new progress.”

 

 

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