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Two Sports Economy Projects Completed

7 Oct
An apartment complex constructed for DPRK athletes with judoka An Kum Ae in front of her apartment  (top) and the ceremony open the renovated Pyongyang Indoor Stadium (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

An apartment complex constructed for DPRK athletes with judoka An Kum Ae in front of her apartment (top) and the 3 October 2013 ceremony open the renovated Pyongyang Indoor Stadium (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Two construction projects linked to the DPRK’s policy of promoting sports and physical culture were opened in Pyongyang on 3 October (Thursday).  A ceremony was held on Thursday marking the opening of the renovation of the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium, a venue for political meetings, commemorative photo-ops and athletic competitions  located on a bank of the Pot’ong River in the city centre next to the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Central Committee Office Complex.  Attending the ceremony were Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier), Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Kim Ki Nam (KWP Secretary and Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department), Choe Tae Bok (KWP Secretary and Chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA]), Yang Hyong Sop (Vice President of the SPA Presidium), Kwak Pom Gi (KWP Secretary and Director of the Finance and Planning Department), Mun Kyong Dok (Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang KWP Committee), Ro Tu Chol (DPRK Vice Premier and Chairman of the State Planning Commission), Kim Yong Jin (DPRK Vice Premier), Kim In Sik (DPRK Vice Premier and Chairman of the Capital City Construction Commission), Ri Yong Su (Director of the KWP Workers’ Organizations Department), Ri Jong Mu (Minister of Physical Culture and Sports), Col. Gen. O Kum Chol (Vice Chief of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Staff) along with “exemplary construction workers who took part in the remodeling construction; functionaries and employees of the Ministry of Physical Culture and Sports and Pyongyang Indoor Stadium; players, coaches, and members of the cheering squad taking part in the National Sports Contest of Provincial Teams; (and) working people of Pyongyang and the youth and students.”

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju speaks at a ceremony reopening the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium after renovations on 3 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA screen grab).

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju speaks at a ceremony reopening the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium after renovations on 3 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA screen grab).

Pak Pong Ju delivered a speech in which he said that “Supreme leader Kim Jong Un unfolded a plan for giving a facelift to the stadium, which is associated with the leadership feats of President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) and contributed to the development of the country’s sports and the cultural and emotional life of the working people, as required by the new century, and wisely led the work to do so.”  According to KCNA Pak also “called on all officials and other people to pay deeper social attention to the sports, raise the hot wind of sports across the country through mass sports activities and thus glorify forever the undying feats of the WPK which has provided the people with the best base for sports and cultural life. ”  After the ceremony, participants toured the stadium and watched the Provincial Teams’ National Sports Contest.

In east Pyongyang, at the Central Youth Hall, on 3 October a ceremony was held at which DPRK athletes were given residence certificates to live in a recently constructed apartment complex in the Pyongyang’s Pot’onggang District.  Attending the ceremony were VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Kim Ki Nam, External Construction Guidance Bureau officials and athletes receiving apartments.  In his speech at the ceremony Kim Ki Nam said that “the houses reflectMarshal Kim Jong Un’s great expectation that the sportspersons will display ardent enthusiasms and faithfully uphold the WPK’s idea on turning the DPRK into a sports power” and he “stressed the need for officials in the sports field, players and coaches to make contributions to demonstrating the dignity and honor of Military-First (So’ngun) Korea with gold medals.”  According to KCNA the athletes’ apartments have”several living rooms, a kitchen, a washroom, a toilet, etc. and are furnished with household goods and high-class furniture. ”  On 5 October (Saturday), members of the State Physical Culture and Sports Guidance Commission visited the athletes and their families in the apartments.  They brought housewarming gifts and “told the sportspersons to give fuller play to the might of Kim Il Sung’s nation and Kim Jong Il’s Korea by winning gold medals in international games in the future and thus encourage all the service personnel and people dynamically advancing towards a final victory in the building of a thriving socialist nation.”

Members of the State Physical Culture and Sports Guidance Commission visit athletes’ apartments on 5 October 2013.

Director of the KWP Machine-Building Industry Department, National Defense Commission Member and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Ju Kyu Chang (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

Director of the KWP Machine-Building Industry Department, National Defense Commission Member and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Ju Kyu Chang (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang KWP Committee and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Mun Kyong Dok (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang KWP Committee and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Mun Kyong Dok (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

KWP Secretary and Director of the Finance and Planning Department and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Kwak Pom Gi (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

KWP Secretary and Director of the Finance and Planning Department and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Kwak Pom Gi (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

KWP Secretary and Director of the International Affairs Department and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Kim Yong Il (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

KWP Secretary and Director of the International Affairs Department and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Kim Yong Il (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Department and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Kim Yang Gon (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Department and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Kim Yang Gon (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

KWP Secretary, National Defense Commission Member and KWP Political Bureau Member Pak To Chun (Photo: KCTV screengrabs).

KWP Secretary, National Defense Commission Member and KWP Political Bureau Member Pak To Chun (Photo: KCTV screengrabs).

KWP Secretary, Supreme People's Assembly Chairman and KWP Political Bureau Member Choe T'ae-pok (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

KWP Secretary, Supreme People’s Assembly Chairman and KWP Political Bureau Member Choe T’ae-pok (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

KWP Secretary and Director of the Cadres' Affairs Department and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Kim P'yo'ng-hae (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

KWP Secretary and Director of the Cadres’ Affairs Department and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Kim P’yo’ng-hae (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

DPRK Vice Premier, State Planning Commission Chairman and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Ro Tu Chol (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

DPRK Vice Premier, State Planning Commission Chairman and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Ro Tu Chol (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

KWP Secretary and Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department and KWP Political Bureau Member Kim Ki Nam (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

KWP Secretary and Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department and KWP Political Bureau Member Kim Ki Nam (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

Senior Deputy Director of the KWP Organization and Guidance Department and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Member Jo Yon Jun (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

Senior Deputy Director of the KWP Organization and Guidance Department and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Member Jo Yon Jun (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

Wreath Laying Ceremonies Held to Mark 64th Anniversary of Kim Jong Suk’s Death

22 Sep
A floral wreath from Kim Jong Un at the memorial bust of his grandmother Kim Jong Suk at Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery in Pyongyang on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

A floral wreath from Kim Jong Un at the memorial bust of his grandmother Kim Jong Suk at Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery in Pyongyang on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

A floral wreath laying ceremony were held at the memorial bust of Kim Jong Suk (Kim Cho’ng-suk) at the Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery in Pyongyang on 22 September (Sunday) to mark the 64th anniversary of her death.  Similar wreath-laying ceremonies were held the same day in front of Kim Jong Suk statues in Hoeryo’ng, North Hamgyo’ng Province (her birth place) at the Kim Jong Suk Naval Academy in South Hamgyo’ng Province and the Kim Jong Suk General Military Academy.  Kim Jong Suk (1917-1949) was the first wife of late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and mother of late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) and current Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary Kim Kyong Hui.  Kim Jong Suk died in Pyongyang on 22 September 1949 due to complications from an extra-uterine pregnancy.

Attending the wreath laying ceremony at the Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery were Kim Yong Nam (President of the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium), Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), along with other senior KWP, KPA and DPRK Government officials.  A floral wreath sent by Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) was delivered to the memorial bust, as well as wreath jointly sent by the KWP Central Committee, the SPA Presidium and the DPRK Cabinet.  Wreaths sent by the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces, the Ministry of People’s Security and from “working people’s organizations, ministries, national institutions, KPA units, scientific, educational and media institutions, joint national organizations of the Korean Children’s Union, party and power bodies, factories and farms in Pyongyang” were also delivered.  According to KCNA, “participants paid silent tribute to her, recollecting her revolutionary life.”

Floral wreaths delivered to the memorial bust of Kim Jong Suk to mark the 64th anniversary of her death in Pyongyang on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Floral wreaths delivered to the memorial bust of Kim Jong Suk to mark the 64th anniversary of her death in Pyongyang on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Members of the DPRK central leadership visit Kim Jong Suk's memorial bust at Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery in Pyongyang to mark her death anniversary on 22 September 2013.  Among those in attendance are: Gen. Kim Won Hong (L), Gen. O Kuk Ryol (2nd L), VMar Ri Yong Mu (3rd L), VMar Kim Yong Chun (4th L), Gen. Jang Jong Nam (5th L), Gen. Ri Yong Gil (6th L), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (7th L), Kim Yong Nam (8th L), Pak Pong Ju (9th L), Kim Ki Nam (10th L),  Choe Tae Bok (11th L), Pak To Chun (12th L) and Yang Hyong Sop (13th L) (Photo: KCNA screengrab).

Members of the DPRK central leadership visit Kim Jong Suk’s memorial bust at Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery in Pyongyang to mark her death anniversary on 22 September 2013. Among those in attendance are: Gen. Kim Won Hong (L), Gen. O Kuk Ryol (2nd L), VMar Ri Yong Mu (3rd L), VMar Kim Yong Chun (4th L), Gen. Jang Jong Nam (5th L), Gen. Ri Yong Gil (6th L), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (7th L), Kim Yong Nam (8th L), Pak Pong Ju (9th L), Kim Ki Nam (10th L), Choe Tae Bok (11th L), Pak To Chun (12th L) and Yang Hyong Sop (13th L) (Photo: KCNA screengrab).

Members of the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League and Young Red Guards salute Kim Jong Suk's memorial bust in Pyongyang on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA screengrab).

Members of the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League and Young Red Guards salute Kim Jong Suk’s memorial bust in Pyongyang on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA screengrab).

DPRK citizens pay their respects to the memorial bust of Kim Jong Suk, wife of late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung, on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA screengrab).

DPRK citizens pay their respects to the memorial bust of Kim Jong Suk, wife of late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung, on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA screengrab).

Kim Jong Suk's obituary (Photo: KCTV/NKLW archive photo).

Kim Jong Suk’s obituary (Photo: KCTV/NKLW archive photo).

WPRK Parade and Demonstration Held to Mark DPRK’s 65th Anniversary

10 Sep
2013-09-10-02-04

Kim Jong Un waves to a crowd from the parade review platform in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013, during a parade and demonstration marking the 65th anniversary of the country’s foundation. Also seen on the platform with him are Jang Song Taek (L), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (2nd L), Kim Ki Nam (3rd R), Kim Yong Nam (2nd R) and Pak Pong Ju (R) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The Worker-Peasant Red Guards [WPRG] staged a parade, followed by a demonstration by Pyongyangites, in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September (Monday), the 65th anniversary of the foundation of the DPRK.  Kim Jong Un attended the WPRG parade and demonstration.  Also on the reviewing platform were senior DPRK officials including Kim Yong Nam (Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium President), Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), “the chairperson of a friendly party, officials of the party, armed forces organs and the Cabinet and chief secretaries of Provincial Party Committees of the WPK” along with “Kwon Sun Hwi, advisor to the Central Standing Committee of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, and Choe Un Bok, chairwoman of the General Association of Koreans in China.”  Also in attendance were “deputies to the Supreme People’s Assembly, officials of the party, armed forces and power bodies, social organizations, ministries and national institutions, service personnel of the KPA and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces, officials in the fields of science, education, literature and arts, public health and media, merited people, delegations of overseas Koreans and other compatriots and the chief of the Pyongyang Mission of the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front” and “foreign delegations and delegates, foreign diplomatic envoys and representatives of international bodies and their wives and military attaches here and other foreign guests.”

Minister of the People's Armed Forces Gen. Jang Jong Nam (foreground) presents Worker-Peasant Red Guard members to participate in a parade marking the 6th anniversary of the foundation in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Gen. Jang Jong Nam (foreground) presents Worker-Peasant Red Guard members to participate in a parade marking the 6th anniversary of the foundation in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (C) delivers a speech at a parade and demonstration in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 marking the 65th anniversary of the DPRK's foundation.  Also seen in attendance is Minister of State Security Gen. Kim Won Hong (L) and National Defense Commission Vice Chairman Gen. O Kuk Ryol (R) (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (C) delivers a speech at a parade and demonstration in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 marking the 65th anniversary of the DPRK’s foundation. Also seen in attendance is Minister of State Security Gen. Kim Won Hong (L) and National Defense Commission Vice Chairman Gen. O Kuk Ryol (R) (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

The flags of the DPRK and Korean Workers’ Party were raised with musical accompaniment.  WPRG members were ceremoniously inspected then presented to Kim Jong Un by Minister of the People’s Armed Forces, Gen. Jang Jong Nam.  After the presentation of the WPRG members DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju delivered a speech in which, according to KCNA, he said “that the history of the DPRK clearly proves immutable truth that the great leaders assure the high dignity and prosperity of the country and nation” and “stressed that the army and people of the DPRK holding the peerlessly great men in high esteem generation after generation will as ever dynamically advance along the road of independence, Military-First (So’ngun) and socialism and it will shine forever as the socialist state of Juche with the invincible might.”

After Pak’s speech the WPRK parade began with the marching of flags displaying of the portraits late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and his son late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il).  This was followed by WPRG members emptying Kim Il Sung Square and its vicinity to mark past the parade reviewing platform.  The WPRG members consisted of reserve military training units members of the WPRG’s units from the provinces, at industrial complexes and agricultural sites, along with WPRG units of the Ministries of Land Management and Public Health, reserve units from DPRK universities and members of the Young Red Guard.  The parade marchers were followed by a ride-past of multiple-launch rockets systems [MLRS] and towed artillery pieces.  A parade and demonstration by the citizens of Pyongyang followed the WPRK parade which began with a float consisting of replicas of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il statues amid a a sea of people carrying the DPRK flag.  According to KCNA “columns of dancers depicting the national flag, Taekwon-do players, military families, artistes, scientists, sportspersons, teachers and medical workers walked past the square” and “letters reading ‘Kim Il Sung’, ‘Kim Jong I’, ‘Kim Jong Un’, ‘Glory’, ‘Celebration of 65th Anniversary’, ‘Great Mt. Paketu (Paektusan) Nation’, ‘Speed on Masik Pass’, ‘Economic Power’, ‘Single-minded Unity’, etc. were presented on the square and the flags of the DPRK and the WPK were portrayed in succession.”

View of the Grand People's Study House overlooking Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 during a parade and demonstration marking the 65th anniversary of the country's foundation.  Also viewable in this image behind the study house are the KWP Organization Guidance Department, the Pyongyang Ice Rink and the Red Wall Apartments (inhabited by KWP Secretaries) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of the Grand People’s Study House overlooking Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 during a parade and demonstration marking the 65th anniversary of the country’s foundation. Also viewable in this image behind the study house are the KWP Organization Guidance Department, the Pyongyang Ice Rink and the Red Wall Apartments (inhabited by KWP Secretaries) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Members of the Worker-Peasant Red Guard march through Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang during a parade marking the 65th anniversary of the DPRK's foundation (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Members of the Worker-Peasant Red Guard march through Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang during a parade marking the 65th anniversary of the DPRK’s foundation (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Red tractors tow multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) through Kim Il Sung Square on 9 September 2013 as part of the WPRK parade (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Red tractors tow multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) through Kim Il Sung Square on 9 September 2013 as part of the WPRK parade (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Towed multiple-launch rocket systems ride through Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Towed multiple-launch rocket systems ride through Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Parade floats which were part of a demonstration by Pyongyangites which followed the WPRG parade, held on Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Parade floats which were part of a demonstration by Pyongyangites which followed the WPRG parade, held on Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un waves to a parade and demonstration held to mark the 65th anniversary of the DPRK's foundation in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013.  Also seen in attendance are: VMar Kim Yong Chun, Gen. Jang Jong Nam, Gen. Ri Yong Gil, Jang Song Taek and VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Photo: KCTV still).

Kim Jong Un waves to a parade and demonstration held to mark the 65th anniversary of the DPRK’s foundation in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013. Also seen in attendance are: VMar Kim Yong Chun, Gen. Jang Jong Nam, Gen. Ri Yong Gil, Jang Song Taek and VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Photo: KCTV still).

At the end of the parade “there were loud hurrahs resounding far and wide, fireworks being shot up and balloons rising to the sky.  Kim Jong Un, accompanied by VMar Choe Ryong Hae and Jang Song Taek, walked along the parade reviewing platform’s deck with Kim Jong Un waving to the crowd.

A few recent internal political issues (involving personnel matters) could be observed at the WPRK parade and demonstration.  Events held to mark the DPRK’s 65th anniversary were going to provide clarity on the current officeholder of Chief of the KPA General Staff.  Based on the standing order on the parade reviewing platform, Gen. Ri Yong Gil was standing in the spot previously occupied by Gen. Kim Kyok Sik indicating that Gen. Ri has replaced Gen. Kim.  Ri Yong Gil has also been replaced, with a new and unknown Chief of the General Staff Operations Bureau attending to Kim Jong Un during the WPRG parade.  The anniversary event also marked the return of KWP Secretary and weapons industry boss Pak To Chun.  Pak had not appeared in state media for several months and distinctly absent from war anniversary events in July.  Pak was shown at least three times, standing along side other senior KWP officials.   Kim Jong Un’s walk along the parade reviewing platform’s balcony to wave to the crowd was an interesting tabeleaux du régime for leadership dynamics.  Usual post-parade platform walks by the supreme leader have usually involved senior officials such as the SPA Presidium President, the DPRK Premier and the Chief of the KPA General Staff; instead, Kim Jong Un was accompanied by KPA General Political Department Director VMar Choe Ryong Hae and National Defense Commission Vice Chairman Jang Song Taek.  When taken with images and film footage of the war anniversary events from July,  Kim Jong Un’s balcony walk shows the DPRK’s top three political officials.

Wreath Laying Ceremonies Held to Mark DPRK Foundation Day

9 Sep
A floral wreath from Kim Jong Un delivered to the Revolutionary Martyrs' Cemetery in Pyongyang on 8 September 2013 to mark the 65th anniversary of the foundation of the DPRK (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

A floral wreath from Kim Jong Un delivered to the Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery in Pyongyang on 8 September 2013 to mark the 65th anniversary of the foundation of the DPRK (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Floral wreath laying ceremonies were held at the Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery, the Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery and the Fatherland Liberation War Martyrs’ Cemetery in Pyongyang on 8 September (Sunday).  Attending the wreath laying ceremonies were Kim Yong Nam, Pak Pong Ju, Choe Ryong Hae along with “other senior party, state and army officials, vice-premiers of the Cabinet, a chairperson of the friendly party, officials of the party, armed forces and power bodies, working people’s organizations, ministries and national institutions, service personnel of the KPA and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces (KPISF) and Pyongyangites.”  Wreaths sent on behalf of Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) were placed at the three cemeteries, along with wreaths sent by the Korean Workers’ Party Central Committee, the Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium, the DPRK Cabinet, the DPRK National Defense Commission, the Party Central Military Commission, the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces, the Ministry of People’s Security and from “working people’s organizations, ministries and national institutions, units of the KPA and the KPISF, scientific, educational, public health and media institutions and party and power organs, factories and farms, etc. in Pyongyang.”  According to KCNA, “participants observed a moment’s silence in memory of the martyrs” then “looked round the cemeteries.”

Senior DPRK officials including SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam, DPRK Vice Premier Kang Sok Ju, KWP Secretary Kim Yong Il, KWP Secretary Kim P'yo'ng-hae and Senior Deputy Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department Jon Yon Jun at the Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery in Pyongyang on 8 September 2013 (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Senior DPRK officials including SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam, DPRK Vice Premier Kang Sok Ju, KWP Secretary Kim Yong Il, KWP Secretary Kim P’yo’ng-hae and Senior Deputy Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department Jo Yon Jun at the Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery in Pyongyang on 8 September 2013 (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Senior DPRK officials including DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju and NDC Vice Chairman VMar Kim Yong Chun bow at the Patriotic Martyrs' Cemetery in Pyongyang on 8 September 2013 (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Senior DPRK officials including DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju and NDC Vice Chairman VMar Kim Yong Chun bow at the Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery in Pyongyang on 8 September 2013 (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Senior DPRK officials including KPA General Political Department Director VMar Choe Ryong Hae, NDC Vice Chairman Ri Yong Mu, KWP Secretary Kim Ki Nam and SPA Presidium Vice President Yang Hyong Sop walk through the Fatherland Liberation War Martyrs' Cemetery in Pyongyang on 8 September 2013 (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Senior DPRK officials including KPA General Political Department Director VMar Choe Ryong Hae, NDC Vice Chairman Ri Yong Mu, KWP Secretary Kim Ki Nam and SPA Presidium Vice President Yang Hyong Sop walk through the Fatherland Liberation War Martyrs’ Cemetery in Pyongyang on 8 September 2013 (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Kim Jong Un Attends Soccer Game Prior to Liberation Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

Senior DPRK Government and Party Officials Visit FLW Veterans’ Accomodations

25 Jul
Supreme People's Assembly Presidium President Kim Yong Nam (2nd L) visits Korean War veterans at thei guest house in Pyongyang on 24 July 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium President Kim Yong Nam (2nd L) visits Korean War veterans at thei guest house in Pyongyang on 24 July 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Senior officials of the DPRK Government and the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] visited Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War) veterans at their accommodations in Pyongyang on 24 July (Wednesday).   Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium President Kim Yong Nam, DPRK Cabinet Premier Pak Pong Ju, KWP Secretary and SPA Chairman Choe Tae Bok, KWP Secretary and Director of Cadres’ Affairs Kim P’yo’ng-hae, KWP Secretary and Director of Finance and Planning Kwak Pom Gi, Senior Deputy [1st Vice] Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department Jo Yon Jun, DPR Vice Premier Kim Yong Jin and leading cadres of the Party Central Committee visited with the veterans who are participating in events commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of the war’s active hostilities.  According to KCNA the senior government and party officials “congratulated the war veterans who performed immortal exploits by defeating the U.S. imperialists and honorably defending the freedom and independence of the country in the hard-fought battles decisive of the destiny of the country under the leadership of the party and leader. “

KJI Youngest Daughter Working as Events Manager for KJU?

22 Jul
Kim Yo Jong (L) attending her older brother Kim Jong Un's visit to the KPA Equestrian company (currently known as the Mirim Riding Club) in November 2012.  In the image on the right she is seen riding along side her aunt, KWP Secretary Kim Kyong Hui (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Yo Jong (L) attending her older brother Kim Jong Un’s visit to the KPA Equestrian company (currently known as the Mirim Riding Club) in November 2012. In the image on the right she is seen riding along side her aunt, KWP Secretary Kim Kyong Hui (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Yo Jong (Kim Yo’-cho’ng), the 26 year old sister of DPRK leader Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n), is working in the National Defense Commission [NDC] as her older brother’s trip director.  According to several ROK media reports, Kim Yo Jong is currently serving as a “protocol director” managing Kim Jong Un’s itineraries and public appearances and that “she started her career early last year [2012].”  While Kim may have been assigned her new position in early 2012, she has been active in the central party since 2009.

Kim has been observed on numerous occasions since 2009, when she accompanied her father, late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il), on guidance tours and inspections.  In 2010 she posed for a commemorative photograph with participants in the 3rd Party Conference, standing alongside KJI’s fifth wife Kim Ok which suggested that she was working in the Personal Secretariat.  In 2011 Kim Yo Jong was again observed at several of Kim Jong Il’s guidance tours, in the background with KJI’s personal aides and other Kim family members.

During events at her father’s funeral in December 2011, Kim was seen standing behind her brother as Kim Jong Un received foreign dignitaries.  She lined up with members of the leadership when they paid their respects at KJI’s casket. Twice during calling hours, she led core members of the DPRK leadership, standing in the center, in bowing at KJI’s remains; on one occasion she led Korean Workers’ Party Secretary and Director of the United Fron Kim Yang Gon, KWP Secretary for Machine-Building Industry Pak To Chun, KWP Secretary and Director of Cadres’ Affairs Kim P’yo’ng-hae and Gen. U Tong Chuk to KJI’s bier; on another occasion she led Kim Chang Son, Kim Kang Chol and other officials of KJI’s Personal Secretariat to the bier.  When a ceremony was held at Ku’msusan Memorial Palace of the Sun prior to the funeral service, Kim Yo Jong lined up with party elders Jon Pyong Ho, Choe Yong Rim and Kim Kuk Tae.

During 2012 and 2013 Kim Yo Jong has made several observed appearances, which ROK-based Pyongyang watchers link to her new role managing Kim Jong Un’s public appearances.  She was observed playfully jumping in the background during the opening of a park in Pyongyang in the spring of 2012.  In November the same year she attended Kim Jong Un’s visit to a Korean People’s Army equestrian training ground (now called the Mirim Riding Club).  Although her presence was not reported in DPRK state media, two images of her riding a horse, including one with her paternal aunt Kim Kyong Hui, were aired in the Korean Central Television news report of the visit.  Kim Yo Jong also was observed sitting with Kim Kyong Hui during a central party banquet in 2013.

Based on the description of her current role in support of her brother, Kim Yo Jong is working in a position similar to that of her older step-sister Kim So’l-song (Kim Sul Song).  For a number of years Kim So’l-song worked directly for Kim Jong Il, holding a Lt. Colonel’s rank in the Guard Command and managing KJI’s itineraries and some of the logistical and security arrangements around his public appearances.  After Kim Jong Il passed away, according to a well-placed DPRK source, Kim So’l-song moved into a more substantive managerial position (along with her husband) to support Kim Jong Un.  Due to Kim Yo Jong’s familial relationship to Kim Jong Un some ROK-based Pyongyang watchers have compared her with her aunt, Kim Kyong Hui (with whom Yo Jong has a close relationship) who began working at the age of 25 at the Korean Democratic Women’s Union in 1971.  Kim Yo Jong has other siblings and step-siblings who work around DPRK leadership circles including her oldest brother Kim Jong Chol (Kim Cho’ng-ch’o’l), who works in the KWP Propaganda and Agitation Department (note the name of the editor of Korea), and her older step-brother Kim Jong Nam, who manages several trading corporations.

Kim Yo Jong is Kim Jong Il’s youngest child and was the third child from his marriage to Ko Yong Hui (1953-2004).  She was born in Pyongyang in 1987.  Around 1996 Kim left the DPRK with Kim Jong Un to attend school in Berne, Switzerland.  With her brother she resided at a DPRK-owned residence.  Like her brother, she was registered at Swiss schools under an alias and was said to be the child of the residence’s domestic staff.  She was looked after by a small staff of women whom school officials felt overprotected her (for example, when she had minor illnesses she was taken to a local hospital).  Aside from holiday visits to her home country, Kim Yo Jong remained in Berne through 2001.  After her maternal aunt Ko Yong Suk defected to the west in 2001, Kim Yo Jong was removed from school in Switzerland and returned to the DPRK.  She completed her secondary and university education in her home country.  In 2004 her mother, Ko Yong Hui, passed away due to a recurrence of breast cancer.  In addition to Korean, she speaks some English and German.  When she was in her late teens, Kim Yo Jong expressed an interest in politics and DPRK political culture to her father, something about which he proudly discussed with foreign interlocutors.  In 2008, she was a constant presence at Kim Jong Il’s hospital bedside after he suffered two strokes.  Kim Yo Jong was groomed for a role in the country’s political affairs by her paternal aunt, Kim Kyong Hui, and her husband Jang Song Taek, and she began working in the Party Central Committee in 2009.

Kim Jong Un Visits War Museum

11 Jul
Kim Jong Un talks to senior party and government officials accompanying him during a tour of the renovated Victorious Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War) Museum in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un talks to senior party and government officials accompanying him during a tour of the renovated Victorious Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War) Museum in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the renovated Victorious Fatherland Liberation (Korean) War Museum which will reopen soon.  He was accompanied by Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier) VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), Kim Ki Nam (Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary of Propaganda and Agitation Department), Choe Tae Bok (KWP Secretary of Education and Science and Chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly), Kim Yong Il (KWP Secretary and Director of International Affairs), Kim Yang Gon (KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Department), Kim P’yo’ng-hae (KWP Secretary and Director of Cadres’ Affairs), Kwak Pom Gi (KWP Secretary and Director of Planning and Finance), Mun Kyong Dok (Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang KWP Committee), Han Kwang Sang (Deputy [vice] Director of the KWP Finance and Accounting Department), Ri Ch’ae-il (Deputy [vice] Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department), Pak Tae Song (KWP Department Deputy [vice] Director) and Col. Gen. Jo Kyong Chol (Chief of the Military Security Command).  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to Ku’msuan Palace on 8 July to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the death of his paternal grandfather, late DPRK founder and President Kim Il Sung.

View of the exterior of the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and memorial tower in Pyongyang (Photos: KCNA)

View of the exterior of the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and memorial tower in Pyongyang (Photos: KCNA)

Kim Jong Un talks to senior party and government officials during a tour of the renovated Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum in Pyongyang (Photo: KCNA)

Kim Jong Un talks to senior party and government officials during a tour of the renovated Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum in Pyongyang (Photo: KCNA)

Kim Jong Un and senior party and government officials tours the renovated Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum in Pyongyang (Photo: KCNA)

Kim Jong Un and senior party and government officials tours the renovated Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum in Pyongyang (Photo: KCNA)

According to KCNA the museum was “newly built as required by the 21st century and its area and the Monument to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War turned into a general education center to mark the 60th anniversary of the victory in the Fatherland Liberation War under the grand plan and energetic guidance of Kim Jong Un, who has successfully carried forward the ever-victorious history and tradition started on Mt. Paektu.”  Kim Jong Un toured different exhibitions and galleries in the museum and was briefed about the various artifacts, images and other items on display.  He praised the KPA construction personnel who worked on the museums renovation.  He said “the ceremony for opening the museum is planned to be held grandly” and “noted the museum is a treasure-house of the country, a theatre showcasing confrontation with the U.S. and an important base for anti-U.S. education.”  Kim Jong Un also said that “the excellent rebuilding of the museum and the improvement of the surrounding landscape will contribute to educating the servicepersons and people in President Kim Il Sung’s Chuch’e-oriented military idea, anti-imperialist revolutionary idea and outstanding commanding arts, and helping them carry forward the fighting spirit and soul of the forerunners” and “called for making good preparations for the opening and showing the fixed will of Songun Korea to always emerge victorious by carrying forward the tradition of victory displayed by the preceding generations.”

Kim Jong Un Visits Yanggakdo Stadium and Football Game

30 Apr
Kim Jong Un (1) provides instructions on the renovation of Yanggakdo Stadium in Pyongyang.  Also seen in attendance are Jang Song Taek (2), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (3) and Kim Jong Un's wife Ri Sol Ju (4) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un (1) provides instructions on the renovation of Yanggakdo Stadium in Pyongyang. Also seen in attendance are Jang Song Taek (2), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (3) and Kim Jong Un’s wife Ri Sol Ju (4) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

DPRK state media reported on 29 April (Monday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the Yanggakdo Stadium and attended the men’s football finals for the Mangyo’ngdae Prize at Kim Il Sung Stadium.  KJU’s last reported public appearance was his visit to the Haedanghwa Health Complex.  KJU’s first visit was to the Yanggakdo Stadium which he ordered to be renovated.  Attending the visit was 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), Jang Song Taek (Vice Chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission [NDC]), Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Col. Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff Operations Bureau) and other officials.

According to KCNA Kim Jong Un visited the stadium (originally opened in 1989) “with a plan to radically remodel the stadium as required by the new century.”  KJU visited the stadium historical exhibition where he “recollected with deep emotion the undying exploits they performed for the development of the Juche-based physical culture and sports.”  KJU then toured the stadium and ordered a series of renovations.  He said, “it is the intention of the Workers’ Party of Korea to turn the stadium into a football stadium which can represent stadiums of such type across the country as required by the new century.”  KJU also “formed a strong construction unit capable of carrying out the project in a brief span of time.”  KJU also remarked that “to develop physical culture and sports is an important work to augment the national power in every way, demonstrate the indomitable spirit and dignity of Military-First (So’ngun) Korea before the world and let all the service personnel and people dynamically step up the building of a thriving socialist nation full of national pride and self-esteem” and he “expressed expectation and belief that the relevant fields would successfully remodel the stadium as a football stadium to be impeccable in any aspect.”

Kim Jong Un (3) attends the men's premier league football finals for the Mangyongdae Prize at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang on 29 April 2013.  Also watching the game with are Jang Song Taek (1), Ri Sol Ju (2) and Choe Tae Bok) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un (3) attends the men’s premier league football finals for the Mangyongdae Prize at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang on 29 April 2013. Also watching the game with are Jang Song Taek (1), Ri Sol Ju (2) and Choe Tae Bok) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol Su later attended the  men’s football (soccer) finals for the Mangyo’ngdae Prize National Sports Festival at Kim Il Sung Stadium.  Also in attendance at the football game were VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Jang Song Taek, Gen. Hyon Yong Chol, Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Kim Ki Nam (Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary and Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department), Choe Tae Bok (KWP Secretary and SPA Chairman), Kim Yang Gon (KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Department), Kim Yong Il (KWP Secretary and Director of the International Affairs Department), Kim P’yo’ng-hae (KWP Secretary and Director of Cadres’ Affairs), Kwak Pom Gi (KWP Secretary and Director of the Planning and Finance Department), Mun Kyong Dok (Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang City [municipal] KWP Committee), Ju Kyu Chang (Director of the KWP Machine-Building Industry Department), Col. Gen. Choe Pu Il (Minister of the People’s Security), Kim Tong Il (Deputy [vice] Director of the KWP Workers’ Organizations Department) and “members of the State Physical Culture and Sports Guidance Commission, officials of the party and armed forces organs, ministries and national institutions, those in the sports field, sportspersons, fans and Pyongyangites.”

The men's football premier league finals for the Mangyongdae Prize between the Rimyongsu Sports Group and the Amnokgang Sports Group at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang on 29 April 2013.  The Rimyongsu Team beat the Amnokgang Team 2-1.  (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

The men’s football premier league finals for the Mangyongdae Prize between the Rimyongsu Sports Group and the Amnokgang Sports Group at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang on 29 April 2013. The Rimyongsu Team beat the Amnokgang Team 2-1. (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

The match was played between two of the DPRK’s premier league teams, Rimyongsu and Amnokgang.  KCNA reported the two teams “advanced into the finals after proving successful at the men’s premier soccer league matches. They played good games, displaying high technique they have cultivated in day-to-day trainings” and that “Rimyongsu Team took the initiative from the beginning according to its tactics and made hot attacks.”  Rimyongsu led Amnokgang 2-0 in the first half and went onto win the game 2-1.  At the end of the match, Kim Jong Un “congratulated the footballers of both teams on playing a good match, expressing great satisfaction with their high technique.”

Kim Jong Un (1) greets DPRK athletes who received gold medals or placed in the top of their categories at international competitions held between February and April 2013.  Also in attendance at the event held at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang on 29 April 2013 are DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (2), Minister of the People's Armed Forces Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (3), and Minister of People's Security Col. Gen. Choe Pu Il (4) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un (1) greets DPRK athletes who received gold medals or placed in the top of their categories at international competitions held between February and April 2013. Also in attendance at the event held at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang on 29 April 2013 are DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (2), Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (3), and Minister of People’s Security Col. Gen. Choe Pu Il (4) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

KJU also met with DPRK athletes who successfully participated in recent international competitions including long-distance runner Kim Kum Ok (who placed first in the 14th Asian Marathon Championship held in Hong Kong on 25 February 2013), wrestler Yang Kyong Il (who placed second in the men’s 55 kg freestyle at the 2013 Asian Wrestling Championship), gymnast Ri Se Gwang (who placed first in the vault event at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Series in Doha in March 2013), wrestler Hwang Ryong Hak (who placed first in the men’s 60 kg freestyle at the 2013 Asian Wrestling Championships), Pak Yong Mi (who placed first in the women’s 48 kg freestyle at the 2013 Asian Wrestling Championships), judoka Hong Kuk Hyon (who placed first in the women’s 73 kg weight class at the Asian Judo Championships of 2013 in Bangkok in April 2013), weightlifter Ri Su Hyon (who won three gold medals in the women’s 44 kg competition at the 2013 International Weightlifting Federation’s Youth World Championships in Tashkent in April 2013), Kwon Yong Gwang (who won three gold medals in the men’s 62 kg competition at 2013 IWF Youth World Championships in Tashkent) and weightlifter Pak Jong Ju (who came in second overall and won two medals in the men’s 50 kg competition at the IWF Youth World Championships in Tashkent), along with “a coach and physical culture and sports guidance officials.”

Kim Jong Un shook hands with the DPRK athletes and, according to KCNA, “highly praised them for proving successful at the recent international games and instilling the conviction of victory and optimism into the service personnel and people of the DPRK dynamically pushing forward the building of a thriving socialist nation despite harsh sanctions and strong pressure of the enemies.”  KJU also “expressed his belief that sports persons and coaches would undergo more intensive trainings to consolidate the successes achieved and fully demonstrate the honor of the country with gold medals at international games.”  Also attending KJU’s meet-and-greet were DPRK Cabinet Premier Pak Pong Ju, VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Jang Song Taek, Gen. Hyon Yong Chol, Gen. Kim Kyok Sik, Kim Ki Nam, Choe Tae Bok, Kim Yang Gon, Kim Yong Il, Kim P’yo’ng-hae, Kwak Pom Gi, Mun Kyong Dok, Col. Gen. Choe Pu Il and members of the State Physical Culture and Sports Guidance Commission.

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