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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).

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.”

Kim Jong Un Meets with Syrian Delegation

25 Jul
Kim Jong Un (C) poses for a commemorative photograph with Assistant General Secretary of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party Abdullah al-Ahmar in Pyongyang on 24 July 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (C) poses for a commemorative photograph with Assistant General Secretary of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party Abdullah al-Ahmar in Pyongyang on 24 July 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) met with Syrian Ba’ath Arab Socialist Party Assistant General-Secretary Abdullah al-Ahmar and other members of a Syrian delegation on 24 July (Wednesday).  Attending the meeting with Kim Jong Un were Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary and Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department Kim Ki Nam, KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Kim Yang Gon and 1st Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Kye Gwan.  The Syrian delegation arrived in Pyongyang earlier on 24 July and were received at Pyongyang Sunan Airport by KWP Secretary and Director of International Affairs Kim Yong Il, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Hyong Jun and Haissam Saad, interim charge d’ affaires of the Syrian Embassy in the DPRK.  The delegation is one of many foreign delegations and groups visiting the DPRK to participate in events commemorating the 60th anniversary of the victory/armistice of the Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War).  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to the construction of a children’s hospital and dental hospital in Pyongyang.

According to KCNA, al-Ahmar “offered warmest congratulations to Marshal Kim Jong Un and the friendly Korean people on behalf of President Bashar Al-Assad and the Syrian people on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the victory in the Fatherland Liberation War and expressed best wishes for Kim Jong Un’s good health and happiness and for the Korean people’s success in the efforts to build a thriving nation” and he “expressed belief that the relations of friendship and cooperation that exist between the Syrian Arab Republic and the DPRK would continue growing strong in the interests of the two peoples.”  Kim Jong Un “warmly welcomed the delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic which made a long trip to come to the DPRK for taking part in the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the victory in the Fatherland Liberation War and extended a militant salute to President Bashar Al-Assad and the Syrian people.”  According to KCNA Kim Jong Un said “he was pleased to meet” al-Ahmar who had met with late DPRK founder and President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) on several occasions.  Kim Jong Un “noted it is a great encouragement to the Korean people that the party and government of Syria dispatched the delegation to the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the victory in the war.”  Kim Jong Un also “exchanged with the guests views on the issue of boosting the bilateral relations and other issues of mutual concern including the regional situation.”

Kim Jong Un’s meeting with Syrians “proceeded in a friendly and amicable atmosphere.”  After the DPRK-Syrian interaction, Abdullah al-Ahmar presented a gift to Kim Jong Un, who “expressed deep thanks.”

Kim Jong Un and senior DPRK officials meet with a  Syrian delegation in Pyongyang on 24 July 2013.  The Syrian delegation arrived earlier in the day to participate in events commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of active hostilities of the Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un and senior DPRK officials meet with a Syrian delegation in Pyongyang on 24 July 2013. The Syrian delegation arrived earlier in the day to participate in events commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of active hostilities of the Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

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.”

Chinese Vice President Attends Anniversary Reception at DPRK Embassy in Beijing

14 Jun
DPRK Embassy in Beijing (Photo: Google image)

DPRK Embassy in Beijing (Photo: Google image)

DPRK state media reported that the DPRK Embassy in Beijing hosted a reception commemorating the 30th anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s “maiden visit” to China in 1983.  Attending the reception from the Chinese government were Vice President Li Yuanchao, Deputy Director of the Communist Party of China’s International Liaison Department Liu Jieyi and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin.  DPRK Ambassador to China Ji Jae Ryong and embassy personnel attended on behalf of the DPRK.  In his anniversary speech, according to KCNA, Ji Jae Ryong remarked “that the maiden visit to China by Kim Jong Il was a historic event which greatly contributed to putting on a new high stage the traditional DPRK-China friendship which was provided and cultivated by President Kim Il Sung together with Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai and other leaders of the elder generation of China and stood all tests of history and to ensuring the peace and security in Northeast Asia and the rest of the world and advancing the human cause of independence against imperialism” and that “Kim Jong Un is paying deep attention to boosting the DPRK-China friendly relations true to the noble intention of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.”  Ji also said “we will as ever make joint efforts with Chinese comrades to steadily boost the traditional DPRK-China friendship.”

Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao (L) and DPRK Ambassador to the PRC Ji Jae Ryong (R) spoke at an anniversary reception commemorating Kim Jong Il's 1983 visit to China held at the DPRK Embassy to China on 13 June 2013 (Photos: Xinhua and Yonhap)

Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao (L) and DPRK Ambassador to the PRC Ji Jae Ryong (R) spoke at an anniversary reception commemorating Kim Jong Il’s 1983 visit to China held at the DPRK Embassy to China on 13 June 2013 (Photos: Xinhua and Yonhap)

According to KCNA, Li Yuanchao said in his speech that “Kim Jong Il worked heart and soul to develop the Korean revolution and construction and the traditional Sino-DPRK friendly relations and made important contributions” and “First Secretary Kim Jong Un in his recent personal letter sent to General Secretary Xi Jinping underlined the need to carry forward and develop the traditional Sino-DPRK friendly relations.”  Li also said “the Chinese party and government set great store by the Sino-DPRK friendly relations and the new collective leadership of the Communist Party of China will together with the party and government of the DPRK respect and trust each other and conduct friendly exchange and cooperation in the spirit of inheriting the tradition, facing up to the future, building good-neighborly friendship and strengthening cooperation and thus promote the development of the Sino-DPRK friendly relations and defend the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.”

The reception in Beijing followed a similar anniversary event hosted by the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Central Committee at the Koryo Hotel in Pyongyang on 4 June.  The Pyongyang reception commemorating the 30th anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s visit to China was attended by PRC Ambassador to the DPRK Liu Hongcai, PRC Embassy personnel and Chinese nationals and students working in the DPRK.  KWP Secretary and Director of the International Affairs Department [IAD] Kim Yong Il attended the reception on behalf of the DPRK, and was joined by officials from the IAD, the DPRK Foreign Ministry and the National Defense Commission.

Chinese Ambassador to the DPRK Liu Hongcai (L) and KWP International Affairs Secretary Kim Yong Il (R) spoke at an anniversary event commemorating Kim Jong Il's 1983 visit to China, held at the Koryo Hotel in Pyongyang on 4 June 2013 (Photos: PRC Embassy in the DPRK, NKLW file photo).

Chinese Ambassador to the DPRK Liu Hongcai (L) and KWP International Affairs Secretary Kim Yong Il (R) spoke at an anniversary event commemorating Kim Jong Il’s 1983 visit to China, held at the Koryo Hotel in Pyongyang on 4 June 2013 (Photos: PRC Embassy in the DPRK, NKLW file photo).

In his speech Kim Yong Il said “Kim Jong Il’s visit to China in June 1983 marked a historic event of weighty significance in boosting the traditional DPRK-China friendship generation after generation” and “recalled that senior officials of the party and state of China enthusiastically welcomed Kim Jong Il, who paid a maiden visit to their country as most important state guest and accorded him cordial hospitality with all sincerity.”  Kim Yong Il also remarked that “Kim Jong Il, setting greatest store by the DPRK-China friendship provided by President Kim Il Sung, exerted great efforts to make the deeply rooted friendship flourish and develop.  It is the noble duty and obligation of the present generation to steadily boost the precious DPRK-China friendship associated with great efforts of the leaders of the elder generation of the two parties and countries.  The recent visit paid by a special envoy of Comrade Kim Jong Un to China marked an important occasion in steadily boosting the DPRK-China friendly relations, wealth common to the peoples of the two countries, as required by the new times.”  According to KCNA, Kim also said that “tt is the unshakable political stand of the WPK and the government of the DPRK to steadily develop the DPRK-China friendship, he said, stressing that the WPK would in the future, too, to boost with vitality and dynamism the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries.”

Chinese Ambassador to the DPRK Liu Hongcai, according to KCNA, said “General Secretary Kim Jong Il visited China several times to forge close relations with Chinese party and state leaders and worked heart and soul to boost the Sino-DPRK friendly and cooperative relations” and that “China and the DPRK are the friendly neighbors linked by the same mountain and rivers, he said, stressing that it is the consistent stand of the Chinese party and government to steadily develop the Sino-DPRK friendly relations.”  Liu also said “the Chinese side deems it important to invariably develop the Sino-DPRK friendly relations on a strategic height and from a long-term viewpoint” and Liu “underscored the need to further value the Sino-DPRK friendship, the precious common treasure of the two peoples, and carry forward and develop it generation after generation.”  Liu “recalled that the special envoy of First Secretary of Kim Jong Un visited China and met with General Secretary Xi Jinping and other leading officials of China and had an in-depth and candid exchange of views on issues of common concern” and said “the relations between the two countries at present have entered a new historic phase. . .underlining the need to promote common development on the principles of mutual respect, mutual benefit and co-prosperity and thus bring welfare to the two peoples.”

The two events commemorating the anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s visit to China in 1983 appear to be part of a reconciliation process between the DPRK and China.  The Beijing reception was attended by PRC Vice President Li Yuanchao, who visited the DPRK Embassy on a condolence call after Kim Jong Il’s death in December 2011 and who lead a CPC delegation on an official visit to the DPRK in June 2011, during which he met with the late DPRK leader.  Also attending the Beijing anniversary event were Liu Jieyi, who escorted VMar Choe Ryong Hae during his visit to Beijing in May 2013, and Liu Zhenmin, who had previously participated in several senior DPRK-PRC interactions.

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