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Pyon In Son Head of Operations Bureau?

16 Sep
KPA Colonel General (L) attending to Kim Jong Un at the 9 September 2013 WPRG parade and Col. Gen. Pyon In Son (R) (Photos:  KCTV screengrab, KCNA).

KPA Colonel General (L) attending to Kim Jong Un at the 9 September 2013 WPRG parade and Col. Gen. Pyon In Son (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrab, KCNA).

Has Col. Gen. Pyon In Son been appointed director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA]  General Staff Operations Bureau [GSOB] ?

Film footage of the military parade and demonstration on the 65th anniversary of the country’s foundation on 9 September 2013 shows a KPA officer who resembles Col. Gen. Pyon briefing Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) during the Worker-Peasant Red Guards’ parade.  Since the Kim Jong Il era, one of the Operations Bureau director’s ceremonial functions is to brief the KPA Supreme Commander during a military or reserve unit parade, or military exercise.  If Col. Gen. Pyon was briefing Kim Jong Un during the WPRG parade then he has replaced previous GSOB director Ri Yong Gil.  Ri was recently promoted to four-star general and appointed Chief of the KPA General Staff, replacing Gen. Kim Kyok Sik.

KPA Colonel General (top) attending to Kim Jong Un at the 9 September 2013 WPRG parade and Col. Gen. Pyon In Son (bottom) (Photos:  KCTV screengrab, Xinhua, KCNA-Yonhap).

KPA Colonel General (top) attending to Kim Jong Un at the 9 September 2013 WPRG parade and Col. Gen. Pyon In Son (bottom) (Photos: KCTV screengrab, Xinhua, KCNA-Yonhap).

Directors of the General Staff Operations Bureau at previous military parades. 1. General Kim Myong Guk in Octoner 2010; 2. Gen Choe Pu il In April 2012; 3. Gen. Ri Yong Gil in July 2013 (Photos: CCTV, KCTV screengrabs).

Directors of the General Staff Operations Bureau at previous military parades. 1. General Kim Myong Guk in Octoner 2010; 2. Gen Choe Pu il In April 2012; 3. Gen. Ri Yong Gil in July 2013 (Photos: CCTV, KCTV screengrabs).

The KPA General Staff (Photo: NK Leadership Watch).

The KPA General Staff (Photo: NK Leadership Watch).

The directorate of the  GSOB is one of the most powerful positions in the DPRK’s national security community.  The GSOB is responsible for the daily operational management and administration of the KPA’s conventional forces.  It interfaces with all KPA corps-level units to implement DPRK military planning, strategy and operations plans, as well as assessing combat readiness.  It also formulates and implements military training for all KPA conventional units, the Pyongyang Defense Command and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces.  During a war or national crisis, command and control over KPA forces passes from the core leadership directly to the Operations Bureau.

Pyon In Son’s last reported position, as of July 2013, was  Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces,.  From August 2011 until April 2013, Col. Gen. Pyon served as commanding officer of the IV Army Corps.  From about 2007 to 2011 he served as Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces.  He led a KPA delegation on an official visit to China in October 2010.  Prior to his appointment at the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces, Pyon was commanding officer of the VII Army Corps in South Hamgyo’ng Province.  Col. Gen. Pyon has patronage links to VMar Kim Yong Chun, Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission and current Director of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Civil Defense Department.

If Pyon has been appointed director of the GSOB then it indicates that Kim Jong Un applies a similar criteria in selecting the GSOB chief as his father, having selected someone with a career both in military administration (such as at MPAF or the General Staff) and field command experience and holding the rank of Colonel General.  Being former commander of the IV Army Corps, Pyon’s possible appointment to the GSOB would also mean another new member of the KPA’s high command whose immediate past field experience was at one of the four frontline (1st echelon) corps units.  These are the KPA ground force units stationed in areas along the inter-Korean border, the Military Demarcation Line and the North Limit Line.   Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Jang Jong Nam (appointed in May 2013) commanded the I Army Corps and Ri Yong Gil (appointed Chief of the General Staff in August 2013 and GSOB director in February 2012) commanded the V Army Corps.

Pak Is Back

10 Sep
KWP Secretary Pak To Chun (annotated), the DPRK's leading official in the production of conventional and advanced weapons, attends a 9 September 2013 parade and demonstration marking the country's 65th anniversary.  Also seen in attendance are Kim Kyong Hui (L), Kim Ki Nam (2nd L) and Choe Yong Rim (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

KWP Secretary Pak To Chun (annotated), the DPRK’s leading official in the production of conventional and advanced weapons, attends a 9 September 2013 parade and demonstration marking the country’s 65th anniversary. Also seen in attendance are Kim Kyong Hui (L), Kim Ki Nam (2nd L) and Choe Yong Rim (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Pak To Chun on the parade review platform in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, attending a 9 September 2013 parade marking the DPRK's 65th anniversary (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Pak To Chun on the parade review platform in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, attending a 9 September 2013 parade marking the DPRK’s 65th anniversary (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

The DPRK’s leading official in the production of conventional and advanced weapons has reappeared following a four-month absence from state media.  Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary and National Defense Commission [NDC] Member Pak To Chun attended the Worker-Peasant Red Guard parade and Pyongyangites’ demonstration held in Pyongyang on 9 September (Monday) to mark the 65th anniversary of the country’s foundation.  During the parade Pak stood on the parade review platform with other VIPs, standing between KWP Secretary Choe Tae Bok and Honorary Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium Vice President Choe Yong Rim.  Pak’s last observed appearance occurred in early May, when he attended sports competitions between workers in the public health sector.  Pak’s absence from the DPRK’s political culture was especially noticeable when he did not attend Kim Jong Un’s (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) tour of Jagang Province, where Pak was an influential KWP official and industrial manager.  When Pak failed to attend a number of events to mark the end of the active hostilities of the Fatherland Liberation (Korean) War in July, he was presumed to have been removed from office.  A number of reasons for Pak’s disappearance or possible dismissal were given, including the failure of a possible test launch of the Mususan intermediate range ballistic missile and allegations of corruption.  Pak To Chun’s disappearance from state media might be correlated to the rise and fall of Gen. Kim Kyok Sik.  Gen. Kim was appointed Chief of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Staff around the same time Pak disappeared.  Pak only re-emerged in DPRK public life after Gen. Kim Kyok Sik was removed as chief of the general staff.

Pak To Chun (L) accompanies Kim Jong Il on a tour of the Kanggye General Tractor Plant in December 2009 (Photo: KCNA).

Pak To Chun (L) accompanies Kim Jong Il on a tour of the Kanggye General Tractor Plant in December 2009 (Photo: KCNA).

Expanded Meeting of the Party Central Military Commission Held

27 Aug
Kim Jong Un presides over an expanded Party Central Military Commission meeting (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un presides over an expanded Party Central Military Commission meeting (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 25 August (Sunday) that an expanded meeting of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Central Military Commission [CMC] was held.  The meeting’s venue and date was not publicized.  Attending the meeting were CMC Members, members of the executive board of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] KWP Committee, commanding officers of the KPA’s service branches and KPA corps commanders.  According to KCNA, the meeting “discussed and decided upon practical issues of bolstering up the combat capability of the revolutionary armed forces and increasing the defence capability of the country in every way as required by prevailing situation and the present conditions of the People’s Army.”  Also discussed during the meeting was an “organizational matter” which most likely refers to personnel changes (appointments and dismissals) on the CMC.  At the end of the CMC meeting, according to KCNA, Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) “made an important concluding speech which would serve as guidelines for firmly protecting the sovereignty and security of the country and promoting the cause of the Military-First (So’ngun) revolution of the party.”

Kim Jong Un speaks at an expanded Party Central Military Commission meeting (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un speaks at an expanded Party Central Military Commission meeting (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Overview of the expanded Party Central Military Commission meeting in August 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Overview of the expanded Party Central Military Commission meeting in August 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Graphic of current members of the Party Central Military Commission (Photo: Michael Madden/NK Leadership Watch).

Graphic of current members of the Party Central Military Commission (Photo: Michael Madden/NK Leadership Watch).

The last expanded CMC meeting was held in early February 2013.  This CMC meeting, along with a meeting of the KWP Political Bureau held on 12 February 2013, affirmed the DPRK central leadership’s decision to conduct a third experimental nuclear detonation, which occurred on 12 February at the test site in P’unggye-ri, Kilju County, North Hamgyo’ng Province.  According to a 22 August report in Dong-a Ilbo, which cited “informed sources on North Korea,” command of military operations during war or a national crisis have been transferred from the DPRK National Defense Commission to the CMC.  The news report also claimed that the decision to declare a war, or national crisis, was subject to a collective decision of the CMC, the NDC and KPA Supreme Command; previously the Supreme Command had sole authority to declare a war.  According to Dong-a Ilbo, “experts judge that this change is meant to promote the formality of the organizations of supreme authority making collective decision through consultations.”

DPRK state media reported on 25 August (Sunday) that Kim Jong Un attended a banquet hosted by the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces to mark the 53rd anniversary of the Military-First (So’ngun) Revolutionary Leadership.  The banquet was attended by members of the CMC, the NDC, senior KPA officials and KPA service branch and corps unit commanders.  VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Director of the KPA General Political Department delivered a speech.  VMar Choe referred to Kim Jong Un having published a treatise on Military-First leadership in the 25 August 2013 editions of Rodong Sinmun and Joson Inmingun.  According to KCNA Choe also said:

Kim Jong Un dedicated his everything to bolstering up the military capability by making endless trips to forefront posts and units including the Kkachilbong post on Mt. Oso’ng, saying the road of Songun covered by the great Generalissimos all their lives is the journeys to be made by him. Thanks to his energetic Songun leadership, the country greeted the golden days of the army building and great events took place on this land one after another, striking the world people with admiration.

Our army and people will build a reunified, prosperous and the strongest country and a land of bliss for people where loud shouts of hurrah for the WPK will ring out on this land at an early date by intensifying the drive for displaying the “Speed on Masik Pass” on all fronts for the building of a thriving nation.

During the banquet, attendees toasted to the health of Kim Jong Un, described as representing “the destiny, future and ever-victorious banner of the great Mt. Paektu (Paektusan) power.”

Kim Jong Un Visits Construction of Mirim Riding Club and Munsu Wading Pool

10 Aug
Kim Jong Un (3rd L) gestures whilst issuing instructions on the design of the Mirim Riding Club in east Pyongyang.  Also seen in attendance is Hwang Pyong So (L), Deputy Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (3rd L) gestures whilst issuing instructions on the design of the Mirim Riding Club in east Pyongyang. Also seen in attendance is Hwang Pyong So (L), Deputy Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 9 August (Friday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visit the ongoing construction of the Mirim Riding Club and the Munsu Wading Pool in Pyongyang.  He was accompanied by Pak Tae Song (Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Deputy Department Director), Hwang Pyong So (Deputy [vice] Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department), Ma Won Chun (KWP Deputy Department Director) and Lt. General Kim Su Gil.  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to the construction of apartments designated for scientists.

After a briefing on the equestrian club’s construction, according to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “was very satisfied to learn that the soldier-builders have done a lot of work in a brief span of time by overcoming bottlenecks and difficulties in the revolutionary soldier spirit” and he said “the appearance of the modern Mirim Riding Club would help working people and school youth and children enjoy horse riding there to have sound mentality and strong physical bodies for labor and national defense.”    He issued instructions on the clubs construction and said “stressed the need to build well a room for preserving historic relics to convey the exploits performed by leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) in guiding the club and construct indoor riding exercise hall, riding school, service building and other structures to be impeccable even in the distant future.”  He instructed that a rest area be constructed where people could relax after riding horses, along with a veterinary hospital and a research institute to increase the number of the club’s horses.  According to KCNA he said that “it is also necessary to take steps for successfully operating the club in a far-sighted manner while accelerating the construction of the club” and that “it is important to properly choose a unit for operating the club, organize a horse riders association and scrupulously do a work for providing things such as vehicles, lawn mowers and sprinkler trucks necessary for the management and operation of the club.”  Kim Jong also “expressed expectation and conviction that the soldier-builders and officials concerned would successfully complete the construction of the club till the 68th anniversary of the Workers’ Party of Korea.”

Construction of facilities at the Mirim Riding Club in east Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Construction of facilities at the Mirim Riding Club in east Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (2nd L) issues instructions about the construction of the Munsu Wading Pool in Pyongyang.  Also seen in attendance is architect and leading construction manager, KWP Department Deputy Director Ma Won Chun (L) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (2nd L) issues instructions about the construction of the Munsu Wading Pool in Pyongyang. Also seen in attendance is architect and leading construction manager, KWP Department Deputy Director Ma Won Chun (L) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un watches the progress of the construction of the outdoor pool and water amusements at Munsu Wading Pool in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un watches the progress of the construction of the outdoor pool and water amusements at Munsu Wading Pool in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un also visited the ongoing construction of the Munsu Wading Pool.  After his arrival, he received a briefing on the progress of the wading pool’s construction.  He toured the lobby “with keen interest” and instructed that a a statue of his father, late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il, be erected on the premises.  According to KCNA he said “the completion of the wading pool would mean carrying out the behest of Kim Jong Il who worked heart and soul to provide a comprehensive wading pool to the people” and added “how nice it would be if it were built in the lifetime of Kim Jong Il.”  Kim Jong Un was also “satisfied to learn that the roof of the wading pool is made with ball truss to suit the nature of the multi-service indoor wading pool and covered with glass to admit sunrays.”  He toured the indoor waiting pool where he also saw water tanks and the construction of outdoor water amusement facilities.  He said that the “Munsu Wading Pool will operate as a multi-service sports centre when the rooftop of the indoor wading pool will have volleyball, badminton and basketball courts, and skate park, sand volleyball court and other sports and amusement facilities will appear around the outdoor wading pool” and that “Munsu Wading Pool will be crowded with people and school youth and children in the future. . . everyone feels pleasant when thinking of this.”  Kim Jong Un “praised the builders for taking measures for using terrestrial heat so as to consume electricity as less as possible” and “underlined the need to plant trees of good species in the area of the outdoor wading pool to suite environment, and create larger area of turf.”  According to KCNA Kim Jong Un said that “it is the determination and will of the Workers’ Party of Korea to successfully complete the construction of the Munsu Wading Pool as a world class one and provide the people with it till the anniversary of the Party founding” and he “expressed expectation and conviction that the soldier-builders would unconditionally finish the construction of the Munsu Wading Pool as scheduled and materialize the plan of the WPK in revolutionary practice.”

This was Kim Jong Un’s third reported visit to the Mirim Riding Club since November 2012.  The riding club was previously the headquarters and training ground of the equestrian company of Korean People’s Army [KPA] Unit #534.  It was the setting for one of the first observed appearance of late leader Kim Jong Il, after he successfully recuperated from a series of strokes in 2008.  During his visit in November 2012, according to state media, Kim Jong Un said “that he had a plan to turn the equestrian training ground — which is currently used by the people’s army — into an equestrian ground where working people, youths, and children can build up their physical strength, and he thus tasked a relevant sector with mapping out a blueprint for the plan and he had now come to the ground to acquaint himself firsthand with the state of the equestrian training ground” and that the “respected and beloved marshal said that the equestrian club should be remodeled in a modern way at an early date to present it to the people.”  In calling for the construction of the Mirim Riding Club, Kim Jong Un remarked “that more than anything else a good design is necessary, if Mirim Equestrian Club is to be excellently built in line with the demands of the new century” and “said that designs should be prepared by many designing units, and then the best design should be selected among all the designs prepared.”

Late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il visits the equestrian company subordinate to KPA Unit #534 on 4 November 2008 (L) and Kim Jong Un visits the equestrian company on 19 November 2012 and renamed it the Mirim Riding Club (Photos: KCTV-Yonhap; KCNA).

Late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il visits the equestrian company subordinate to KPA Unit #534 on 4 November 2008 (L) and Kim Jong Un visits the equestrian company on 19 November 2012 and renamed it the Mirim Riding Club (Photos: KCTV-Yonhap; KCNA).

Kim Family members and core DPRK elites Kim Jong Un's uncle Jang Song Taek (1) Kim Jong Un's younger sister Kim Yo Jong (2) and Kim Jong Un's aunt and Mr. Jang's wife Kim Kyong Hui (3) riding horses at the Mirim equestrian grounds in Pyongyang in November 2012 (Photos: KCNA, KCTV; NK Leadership Watch archives photos).

Kim Family members and core DPRK elites Kim Jong Un’s uncle Jang Song Taek (1) Kim Jong Un’s younger sister Kim Yo Jong (2) and Kim Jong Un’s aunt and Mr. Jang’s wife Kim Kyong Hui (3) riding horses at the Mirim equestrian grounds in Pyongyang in November 2012 (Photos: KCNA, KCTV; NK Leadership Watch archives photos).

Designs of a structure at Munsu Wading Pool (L) resemble the banquet hall at the Kim family's residential compound in Ryongso'ng District in northern Pyongyang (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrab, Digital Globe).

Designs of a structure at Munsu Wading Pool (L) resemble the banquet hall at the Kim family’s residential compound in Ryongso’ng District in northern Pyongyang (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrab, Digital Globe).

Design for indoor pool at Munsu Wading Pool (L) resembles indoor water amusement facilities at the Kim Family's residential compound in Ryongso'ng District in northern Pyongyang (Photos: KCTV screengrab and Digital Globe).

Design for indoor pool at Munsu Wading Pool (L) resembles indoor water amusement facilities at the Kim Family’s residential compound in Ryongso’ng District in northern Pyongyang (Photos: KCTV screengrab and Digital Globe).

When Kim Jong Un made his second visit to the Mirim Riding Club’s construction in early May 2013, he expressed his displeasure with construction personnel from the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces for not following instructions on the club’s design.  According to KCNA, “recalling that he sent information about riding schools in different countries and a lot of reference books to build the club on a world level, he criticized the officials for failing neither to use them as reference nor study them and building it in a manner completely different from the design he had instructed to send to a designing organ of the KPA among those reported to him by various designing institutions.”  This was the second of three incidents where Kim Jong Un has publicly upbraided party and army officials.**  During his most recent visit Kim Jong Un was described as  “very satisfied ” that “soldier-builders have done a lot of work in a brief span of time by overcoming bottlenecks and difficulties.”

This was Kim Jong Un’s second reported visit to the construction of the Munsu Wading Pool, although the project has not wanted for attention by top DPRK officials  with two visits each by DPRK Cabinet Premier Pak Pong Ju and KPA General Political Department Director VMar Choe Ryong Hae.  The wading pool, which replaces one that existed until the early 2000s, has been under construction since February 2013.

**The other occasions on which Kim Jong Un expressed his displeasure with subordinate officials was during a May 2012 visit to Mangyo’ngdae Fun Fair and a June 2013 visit to the 18 January General Machine Plant.  

Kim Jong Un Attends Moranbong Band Concert with FLW Anniversary Parade Participants

4 Aug
Kim Jong Un (2nd R) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (3rd R) watch  a Moranbong Band concert with participants in the anniversary military parade and demonstration (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (2nd R) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (3rd R) watch a Moranbong Band concert with participants in the anniversary military parade and demonstration (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 3 August (Saturday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) attended a concert given for participants in the military parade and demonstration (held on 27 July) to mark the 60th anniversary of the termination of active hostilities of the Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War).  Kim Jong Un was joined by his wife Ri Sol Ju (Ri So’l-chu), along with VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Col. Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Col. Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff Operations Bureau and ex aequo 1st Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff), Mun Kyong Dok (Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Committee), Col. Gen. O Il Jong (Director of the KWP Military Affairs Department), Kim Kyong Ok (Senior Deputy [1st Vice] Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department) and Gen. Kim Yong Chol (Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff and Chief of the Reconnaissance General Bureau).  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his attendance at a commemorative photo session with war veterans and parade participants.  Ri Sol Ju’s last observed appearance was at her husband’s guidance of the flight drills of KPA Air and anti-Air Force Unit #1017.

Overview of a Moranbong Band concert given for participants in the 27 July 2013 military parade and demonstration marking the 60th anniversary of the termination of the Fatherland Liberation War's (Korean War) active hostilities (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Overview of a Moranbong Band concert given for participants in the 27 July 2013 military parade and demonstration marking the 60th anniversary of the termination of the Fatherland Liberation War’s (Korean War) active hostilities (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The Moranbong Band perform during a concert for participants in the war anniversary military parade and demonstration (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The Moranbong Band perform during a concert for participants in the war anniversary military parade and demonstration (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

After entering the concert venue to the audience’s cheers, Kim Jong Un “warmly congratulated the participants in the military parade on fully demonstrating the spirit of Military-First (So’ngun) Korea to surely build a thriving socialist nation on this land shining the undying exploits the great Generalissimos Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) performed by winning the victory in the war and their feats performed by achieving the victory in the Military-First (So’ngun) revolution.”  The concert began with the national anthem and the program included “Go All Out for Victory in the War,”  “Mungyong Pass,” “Tell, Fireworks of Victory,” “Long Live Generalissimo Kim Il Sung,” “Tribute to Victors in Great Annals,” and “July 27 March.”  According to KCNA the Moranbong Band “impressively showed that the victory in the Fatherland Liberation War was a victory of the Chuch’e-oriented military idea, distinguished strategy and tactics and superb commanding art of President Kim Il Sung and it was a shining victory of the might of the unity and cohesion of the army and people of the DPRK closely united around the party and the leader and their indomitable spirit.”  According to KCNA when images of Kim Il Sung, late DPRK President and founder, appeared on the screen along with footage of him giving a speech the audience “broke into loud applause and was overwhelmed with excitement.”  When the song “The Leader Whom We Entrust to Destiny” was played and an image of Kim Jong Un was projected, the audience “overcome with excitement rose from their seats and enthusiastically clapped their hands and sang in chorus, shaking the theatre.”

After the performance Kim Jong Un waved to the Moranbong Band members and to the audience, “congratulating the artistes on their successful performance.”  According to KCNA Kim Jong Un “expressed great expectation and belief that the participants in the military parade would discharge their sacred missions and duties in the struggle to defend socialism and the drive to build a thriving nation in the same heroic fighting spirit as displayed in the 1950s.”

KPA Holds Meeting to Commemorate 60th Anniversary of “Victory” in Korean War

25 Jul

DPRK state media reported on 24 July (Wednesday) that a meeting of Korean People’s Army [KPA] officers and service members took place in the plaza of the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces [MPAF] in Pyongyang to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the victory/armistice which terminated active hostilities of the Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War).  According to KCNA, KPA service members and officers who participated in the meeting “vowed to eternally glorify the undying feats the Generalissimos performed by leading confrontation with imperialism and the U.S. to a victory and reunify the country without fail under the leadership of Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n).”  Attending the meeting were VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the KPA General Political Department and Vice Chairman of the Party Central Military Commission), Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Col. Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), along with MPAF officials, officers and service members of the KPA’s three conventional service branches (ground ,naval and air/anti-air), cadets of the DPRK’s military academies and students of the revolutionary schools.

VMar Choe Ryong Hae delivered the meeting’s report in which he said that “the brilliant victory in the Fatherland Liberation War was a victory of the outstanding military idea of Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and his original strategies, tactics and war methods and a victory of the indomitable mental power displayed by the army and people of the DPRK rallied close around him.  The feats Kim Il Sung performed by winning a victory in the war could shed their bright rays century after century thanks to Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il), a peerlessly brilliant Military-First (So’ngun) commander.  The history and tradition of victory provided by the Generalissimos are being firmly defended thanks to the outstanding and tested leadership of Marshal Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n), another greatest-ever commander.”  VMar Choe “called for defending the undying feats the Generalissimos performed in the war and Military-First (So’ngun) revolution and glorifying July 27, the day of war victory, as the day of a victory in national reunification under the leadership of Kim Jong Un.”  After Choe Ryong Hae delivered his report speeches were delivered by Gen. No Kwang Chol (Deputy Chief of the KPA General Staff), VAdm Kim Myong Sik (Commander of the KPA Navy) and Gen. Ri Pyong Chol (Commander of the KPA Air and anti-Air Command) who “vowed to inherit the spirit of matchless offensive displayed by the heroic soldiers in the 1950s to successfully conclude the fight for national reunification, and thus display fireworks of victory in the sky above the powerful Mt. Paektu (Paektusan) nation.”

Kim Jong Un Visits Ku’msusan Palace

8 Jul
Kim Jong Un (6th L) visits the Ku'msusan Palace of the Sun with senior DPRK officials on 8 July 2013, the 19th anniversary of the death of his paternal grandfather, late DPRK founder and president Kim Il Sung (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (6th L) visits the Ku’msusan Palace of the Sun with senior DPRK officials on 8 July 2013, the 19th anniversary of the death of his paternal grandfather, late DPRK founder and president Kim Il Sung (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the Ku’msusan Memorial Palace of the Sun at midnight KST on 8 July (Monday) to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the death of his grandfather, DPRK founder and President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng).  He was accompanied by senior DPRK government and Korean People’s Army [KPA] officials including VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier), Jang Song Taek (Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission, Director of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Administration Department and Kim Il Sung’s son-in-law), Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Col. Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Gen. Kim Wo’n-hong (Minister of State Security), VMar Hyon Chol Hae (Member of the KWP Political Bureau and Member of the KWP Central Military Commission), Gen. Choe Pu Il (Minister of People’s Security), Ju Kyu Chang (Director of the KWP Machine-Building Industry Department) and Kim Kyong Ok (Senior Deputy [1st Vice] Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department with the portfolio for military affairs).  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to the Kangdong Precision Machine Plant.

Kim Jong Un and the members of the core leadership accompanying him first entered a hall containing the statues of Kim Il Sung and late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il.  Floral baskets from Kim Jong Un and from the National Defense Commission and Party Central Military Commission were placed in front of the statues.  Kim Jong Un “and his companions” bowed in respect to the statues.  They visited the chamber containing Kim Il Sung’s preserved remains and bowed to him “in humblest reverence,” according to KCNA.  Kim Jong Un and the core elites visited a memorial hall and an exhibition of state titles, awards and various honors given to Kim Il Sung, as well as a display of the railway coach and sedan used by the late DPRK President.  Kim Jong Un then visited the chamber containing the preserved remains of his father, late leader Kim Jong Il “to make a bow to him in humblest reverence together with the companions.”  After visiting KJI’s remains, they proceeded to visit a display of the various titles, awards and honors KJI accumulated and an exhibition of one of KJI’s private railway coaches, his private boat, his black Mercedes Benz S-Class sedan and an electric cart he used in later years.

An honor guard of the Korean People's Army's three service branches and the Worker-Peasant Red Guards stand in attention in a hall containing the statues of DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung (1912-1994) and his son Kim Jong Il (1941-2011) at the Ku'msusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang on 8 July 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

An honor guard of the Korean People’s Army’s three service branches and the Worker-Peasant Red Guards stand in attention in a hall containing the statues of DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung (1912-1994) and his son Kim Jong Il (1941-2011) at the Ku’msusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang on 8 July 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

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