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Jon Pyong Ho Funeral Held

10 Jul
Jon Pyong Ho's state awards, titles and commemorative watches displayed at the foot of his casket (Photo: KCTV).

Jon Pyong Ho’s state awards, titles and commemorative watches displayed at the foot of his casket (Photo: KCTV).

Members of Jon Pyong Ho's family attend his funeral at the Sojang Club in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCTV).

Members of Jon Pyong Ho’s family attend his funeral at the Sojang Club in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCTV).

Members of Jon Pyong Ho's national funeral committee on 10 July 2014 in the front row (L-R): Kim Ki Nam (at microphone), Ro Tu Chol; Kang Sok Ju; Pak To Chun; Choe Ryong Hae; Kim Yong Nam; VMar Hwang Pyong So; Gen. Hyon Yong Chol; Gen. Kim Wo'n-hong (Photo: KCTV).

Members of Jon Pyong Ho’s national funeral committee on 10 July 2014 in the front row (L-R): WPK Secretary of Propaganda and Agitation Kim Ki Nam (at microphone); DPRK Vice Premier and State Planning Commission Chairman Ro Tu Chol; WPK Secretary for International Affairs Kang Sok Ju; WPK Secretary for Machine-Building Industry Pak To Chun; WPK Secretary for Workers’ Organizations Choe Ryong Hae; SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam; KPA General Political Department Director VMar Hwang Pyong So; Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Gen. Hyon Yong Chol; and, Minister of State Security Gen. Kim Wo’n-hong (Photo: KCTV).

The state funeral and burial ceremony for the former Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Secretary of Munitions Industry and DPRK National Defense Commission [NDC] Member Gen. Jon Pyong Ho (1926-2014) was held in Pyongyang on 10 July (Thursday).  Attending the funeral were Kim Yong Nam (Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium President), VMar Hwang Pyong So (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department) and other members of Jon’s national funeral committee, along with various officials and functionaries of the WPK, KPA, DPRK Government, the DPRK’s military industrial complex, the Pyongyang City WPK Committee and members of Jon’s family.  The service began with a moment of silence for Jon, who casket was carried out of the Sojang Club as mourning music played.

Jon Pyong Ho's grandson bearing a photo of Jon whilst members of the national funeral committee escort Jon's casket from the Sojang Club in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCNA).

Jon Pyong Ho’s grandson bearing a photo of Jon whilst members of the national funeral committee escort Jon’s casket from the Sojang Club in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCNA).

Burial ceremony of Jon Pyong Ho at the Patriotic Martyrs' Cemetery in Ryongso'ng District in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCNA).

Burial ceremony of Jon Pyong Ho at the Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery in Ryongso’ng District in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCNA).

A floral wreath from Kim Jong Un is brought to the burial service by members of a KPA honor guard (Photo: KCNA).

A floral wreath from Kim Jong Un is brought to the burial service by members of a KPA honor guard (Photo: KCNA).

The funeral cortege departed for the Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery in Ryongso’ng District in Pyongyang.  According to KCNA, the cortege route was lined by DPRK citizen who “expressed deep condolences over the loss of Jon Pyong Ho who devoted himself to the victory of the revolutionary cause of Chuch’e, the revolutionary cause of So’ngun (Military-First) till the last moments of his life, possessed of intense loyalty to the party and the leader.”  At Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery a burial service was held.  Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Gen. Hyon Yong Chol delivered a eulogy.  In his eulogy, according to KCNA, Gen. Hyon remarked that  “the death of such a veteran revolutionary as Jon Pyong Ho is a big loss to the WPK and the Korean people because he passed away at a time when the dignity and might of the DPRK are being fully demonstrated and a bright prospect for the Korean revolution is unfolding thanks to the So’ngun leadership of Marshal Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n).  Though Jon Pyong Ho passed away, the feats he performed for the party and the revolution, the country and its people will last forever.”

Minister of the People's Armed Forces Gen. Hyon Yong Chol delivers a eulogy at a burial ceremony for Jon Pyong Ho on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCTV).

Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Gen. Hyon Yong Chol delivers a eulogy at a burial ceremony for Jon Pyong Ho on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCTV).

Members of Jon Pyong Ho's national funeral committee attending the burial ceremony, in the front row (L-R): WPK Secretary and SPA Chairman Choe T'ae Bok; WPK Secretary for International Affairs Kang Sok Ju; Minister of State Security Gen. Kim Wo'n-hong; Minister of People's Security Gen. Choe Pu Il; WPK Secretary for Cadres' Affairs Kim P'yo'ng-hae; and, WPK Secretary for Planning and Finance Kwak Pom Gi (Photo: KCTV).

Members of Jon Pyong Ho’s national funeral committee attending the burial ceremony, in the front row (L-R): WPK Secretary and SPA Chairman Choe T’ae Bok; WPK Secretary for International Affairs Kang Sok Ju; Minister of State Security Gen. Kim Wo’n-hong; Minister of People’s Security Gen. Choe Pu Il; WPK Secretary for Cadres’ Affairs Kim P’yo’ng-hae; and, WPK Secretary for Planning and Finance Kwak Pom Gi (Photo: KCTV).

Senior officials of the DPRK's military industrial complex attend a burial ceremony for Jon Pyong Ho at Patriotic Martyrs' Cemetery in Ryongso'ng District, Pyongyang, on 10 July 2014.  Among those in attendance is Hong Sung Mu (right) (Photo: KCTV).

Senior officials of the DPRK’s military industrial complex attend a burial ceremony for Jon Pyong Ho at Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery in Ryongso’ng District, Pyongyang, on 10 July 2014. Among those in attendance is Hong Sung Mu (right) (Photo: KCTV).

Following the eulogy Jon’s remains were interred and “bereaved families of the deceased and members of the state funeral committee spread earth on the grave.”  Floral wreaths from Kim Jong Un, the WPK Central Committee, the Party Central Military Commission [CMC], the DPRK National Defense Commission, the SPA Presidium, the DPRK Cabinet, the KPA General Political Department, the KPA General Staff, the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces and other party, government and security institutions were placed in front of Jon’s grave.  The burial service participant then engaged in another moment of silence.

Members of Jon Pyong Ho's family and members of his national funeral committee bow during a graveside service at Patriotic Martyrs' Cemetery in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Members of Jon Pyong Ho’s family and members of his national funeral committee bow during a graveside service at Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Floral wreaths surround Jon Pyong Ho's grave in the Patriotic Martyrs' Cemetery in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Floral wreaths surround Jon Pyong Ho’s grave in the Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Mongolian President Departs the DPRK

31 Oct
Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj shakes hands with DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam prior to departing from Pyongyang airport on 31 October 2013 after a four-day visit to the DPRK (Photo: KCNA)

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj shakes hands with DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam prior to departing from Pyongyang airport on 31 October 2013 after a four-day visit to the DPRK (Photo: KCNA)

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and a senior Mongolian Government delegation departed the DPRK on 31 October (Thursday) after a four day visit.  Attending the farewell ceremony were Kim Yong Nam (Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium President), Pak Ui Chun (DPRK Foreign Minister), Ri Ryong Nam (Minister of Foreign Trade), Col. Gen. O Kum Chol (Vice Chief of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Staff), Son Kwang Ho (Vice Minister of Physical Culture and Sports), Kwak Il Ryong (Vice Minister of Land and Marine Transport), Hong Kyu (DPRK Ambassador to Mongolia), Kim Jin Bom (Chairman of the DPRK-Mongolia Friendship Association and Vice Chairman of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries), other DPRK officials and staff members of the Mongolian Embassy in the DPRK.  According to KCNA when President Elbegdorj and his wife “arrived at the airport, children of the Mongolian embassy presented bouquets to him and his wife” and that Elbegdorj “exchanged farewells with the officials.”

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (L) and his wife Khajidsurengiin Bolormaa (R) wave before departing the DPRK on 31 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (L) and his wife Khajidsurengiin Bolormaa (R) wave before departing the DPRK on 31 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Senior DPRK officials acknowledge President Elbegdorj's departure at Pyongyang Airport on 31 October 2013.  Among those in attendance are Col. Gen. O Kum Chol (4th R), Ri Ryong Nam (3rd R), Pak Ui Chun (2nd R) and Kim Yong Nam (R) (Photo: KCNA).

Senior DPRK officials acknowledge President Elbegdorj’s departure at Pyongyang Airport on 31 October 2013. Among those in attendance are Col. Gen. O Kum Chol (4th R), Ri Ryong Nam (3rd R), Pak Ui Chun (2nd R) and Kim Yong Nam (R) (Photo: KCNA).

Prior to his departure President Elbegdorj toured the Munsu Swimming Complex where he watched a volleyball game between the 25 April Sports Team and Mongolia’s Enacoree Sports Team.  President Elbegdorj also visited Kim Il Sung University on Thursday.  Elbegdorj and members of the Mongolian delegation delivered flowers to the statue of late leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) on the university’s campus.  Elbegdorj also delivered a speech to KIS University faculty and students.  According to KCNA, Elbegdorj said that “he was pleased to visit the university and referred to the politics, economy, history, culture and foreign policy of Mongolia.”  Elbegdorj noted that “President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) visited Mongolia two times” and said “that the relations between the two countries have a long history and tradition. He expressed the belief that the friendly relations between the two countries associated with the wisdom and efforts of the leaders of the elder generation would grow stronger.”

President Elbegdorj presented a gift to Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) on Thursday which was received by SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam.  When Elbegdorj and the Mongolian delegation departed from Pyongyang airport later the same day, he had not met with Kim Jong Un, despite widespread expectations that the DPRK leader would hold his first summit meeting with a foreign head of state since assuming power between 2011 and 2012.  However, neither Mongolia nor the DPRK ever officially claimed that Kim Jong Un would receive Elbegdorj.  In reporting about President Elbegdorj’s arrival in and departure from Pyongyang, KCNA clearly said Elbegdorj and senior Mongolian government officials visited “at the invitation of Kim Yong Nam.”  In reporting about Elbegdorj’s departure from Mongolia to the DPRK on 28 October, a news release from the Office of the President said that he would “hold official meetings and negotiations with the DPRK leaders and other high-level government officials to discuss issues of bilateral relations as well as regional and international matters of mutual concern.”  News.MN reported that President Elbegdorj “will have individual meetings with the North Korean leader and high ranking officials for official talks on mutual relations between Mongolia and DPRK as well as regional and international issues.”  InfoMongolia noted in its 28 October report that Elbegdorj’s visit “was the first head of state to visit since Kim Jong-un took power,” but also reported that Elbegdorj “will meet with high-level officials from the Government and ruling party.”  None of these news items explicitly reported that Elbegdorj and Kim Jong Un would actually meet–the only report from News.MN which referred to “the North Korean leader” did not mention Kim Jong Un.

The perception that an Elbegdorj-Kim summit meeting would be held derived from non-Mongolian and non-DPRK media reports in which anonymous sources claimed that a summit was on the agenda.  A 22 October Kyodo World Service report filed from Ulan Bator claimed that during his visit Elbegdorj was “to discuss bilateral and regional affairs” with Kim Jong Un.  Kyodo cited an unnamed “Mongolian government source.”  On 24 October the Wall Street Journal reported that “North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is set to meet his first head of state since coming to power nearly two years ago when Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj visits Pyongyang next week” and that “the Mongolian Embassy in Seoul confirmed the visit would take place but declined to comment further.”  However the WSJ report was not clear whether the Mongolian Embassy in ROK “confirmed” an Elbegdorj-Kim meeting or simply “confirmed” that Elbegdorj was traveling on an official state visit to the DPRK.  On the day Elbegdorj and the senior Mongolian delegation arrived in Pyongyang, Yonhap reported that Kim Jong Un was “set to hold talks with the visiting Mongolian president this week” and that “we have been informed that First Secretary Kim and the Mongolian president were scheduled to hold talks today or tomorrow.”

Kim Jong Un’s last reported meetings with senior officials of foreign governments, including Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao, occurred in July 2013 when the DPRK marked the anniversary of the Fatherland Liberation (Korean) War armistice.  Prior to that, the last significant interaction Kim Jong Un had with foreign government officials was in December 2012 when he received a senior delegation of the Communist Party of China [CPC] led by CPC Political Bureau Member Li Jianguo.  Kim Jong Un does not appear to be completely allergic to interacting with foreign visitors, having met twice with former National Basketball Association player Dennis Rodman, as well as meeting with the management of Russia’s Orchestra of the 21st Century, top International Weightlifting Federation officials and interacting at several events with foreign diplomats and NGO heads stationed in the DPRK.  Kim Jong Un’s first and only reported meeting with a foreign head of state occurred in September 2011 when Kim Jong Il received and met with Lao President Choummaly Sayasone.

Banquet and Concert Given for Mongolian President

29 Oct
Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and his wife watch a concert given in his honor by the elite Mansudae Art Troupe at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater on 28 October 2013 (Photos: Rodong Sinmun).

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and his wife watch a concert given in his honor by the elite Mansudae Art Troupe at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater on 28 October 2013 (Photos: Rodong Sinmun).

The DPRK Government hosted a banquet and staged a concert in Pyongyang on 28 October (Monday) for Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and senior Mongolian officials on a four-day visit to the country.  The government’s banquet was hosted by the Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang.  Among those in attendance from the DPRK were SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam, Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun, Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam, Minister of Physical Culture and Sports Ri Jong Mu, Chairwoman of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries Kim Jong Suk, Vice Chief of the Korean People’s Army General Staff Col. Gen. O Kum Chol, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Pak Kil Yon, Vice Minister of Land and Marine Transport Kwak Il Ryong, DPRK Ambassador to Mongolia Hong Kyu and Chairman of the DPRK-Mongolia Friendship Association and Vice Chairman of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries Kim Jin Bom.  Among those in attendance from the Mongolian government were President Elbegdorj and his wife, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Luvsanvandan Bold, Mongolian Ambassador to the DPRK Manibadrakh Ganbold, Minister of Industry and Agriculture Khaltmaa Battulga, Secretary-General of the National Security Council Tsagaandari Enkhtuvshin, Chief of the General Staff of the Mongolian Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Tserendejid Byambajav, Vice Minister of Road Transport Khabshai Erjan, Presidential National Security and Foreign Policy Advisor Lundeg Purevsuren, Presidential Advisor for Mass Liaison and Mass Policy Amgalanbaatar Ganbaatar, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Pureb Altangere and officials and staff on the Mongolian Embassy in the DPRK.

Kim Yong Nam spoke on behalf of the DPRK Government.  According to KCNA, Kim said:

This is a significant year marking the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries and the 25th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung’s (Kim Il-so’ng) second visit to Mongolia.

The Mongolian president’s visit to the DPRK marks an important occasion in boosting the traditional relations of friendship and cooperation between the two countries, which were provided and developed by the preceding leaders, as required by the new era. The exchange of delegations at various levels and visits have become brisk in various fields including politics, economy, military affairs and sports and support and cooperation in the international arena have grown stronger than ever before.

We rejoice as our own over the fact that the friendly government and people of Mongolia have achieved the rapid socio-economic development of the country and raised the international position of their country by pursuing an independent and multi-faceted foreign policy under the leadership of the president. And we sincerely hope that everything will go well in Mongolia in the days to come.

We will as ever make all efforts to positively develop the friendly and cooperative relations with Mongolia having a long history and tradition.

Mongolian President  Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj spoke on behalf of the Mongolian Government.  According to KCNA, President Elbegdorj said:

I am pleased that the official talks between the two countries were held in a candid and friendly atmosphere and consensus was reached on all issues discussed at the talks.

All issues agreed upon between the two countries would make a substantial contribution to enriching the bilateral relations of friendship and cooperation in new areas and positively developing them in the mutual interests.

The Mongolian people are pleased that the preceding leaders of state and government of Mongolia and His Excellency Kim Il Sung and His Excellency Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il), great leaders of Korean people, laid the cornerstone of traditional friendly relations between Mongolia and the DPRK and the bilateral cooperation is steadily improving in the fields of politics, economy, culture and humanitarianism.

I am sure that the Korean people will successfully achieve prosperity and progress of the country, their happiness and regional peace and stability in close cooperation with the international community.

I wish the hard-working Korean people greater successes in carrying out the cause of peaceful reunification of the country and its prosperity under the leadership of Marshal Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n), first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, first chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK and supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army.

According to KCNA, “the banquet proceeded in an atmosphere overflowing with friendly sentiments.”

The Mansudae Art Troupe also staged a performance in honor of President Elbegdorj and the Mongolian delegation at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater.  Kim Yong Nam, DPRK officials and Pyongyangites attended the concert.  Songs performed included “Fortune of Korea,” “Our Leader Loved by the People,” “Ardent Desire,” and Mongolian songs “Remember My Mother” and “I Love Mongolia.”  According to KCNA,  “the performers represented the boundless reverence of the army and people for Marshal Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) who is carving out a bright future of Korea.”  After the performance a floral basket to the Mansudae Art Troupe was delivered on President Elbegdorj’s behalf.

Mongolia, DPRK Sign Economic Agreements

29 Oct
Mongolian Minister of Industry and Agriculture Khaltmaa Battulga (L) shakes hands with DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam (R) after signing an economic cooperation agreement at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Mongolian Minister of Industry and Agriculture Khaltmaa Battulga (L) shakes hands with DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam (R) after signing an economic cooperation agreement at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Following a meeting of senior DPRK and Mongolian government officials at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on 28 October (Monday), the two countries signed two economic agreements, along with a technology exchange agreement.  DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam and Mongolian Minister of Industry and Agriculture Khaltmaa Battulga signed a cooperation agreement on industry and agriculture.  Chairwoman of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries Kim Jong Suk and Mongolian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Luvsanvandan Bold signed a cooperation agreement on cultural and sports exchanges and tourism.  DPRK Vice Minister of Land and Marine Transport Kwak Il Ryong and  Mongolian Ambassador to the DPRK Manibadrakh Ganbold signed an agreement on cooperation in the road and transportation sectors.  Jong Song Chang Deputy (vice) General Director of the DPRK General Bureau of Software Industry and Ambassador Ganbold on behalf of theMongolian IT, Post and Telecommunications Bureau signed a 2013 to 2015 technology exchange agreement “in the field of IT.”

DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam and Mongolian Minister of Industry and Agriculture Khaltmaa Battulga sign an economic cooperation agreement in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photos: KCNA screen grabs).

DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam and Mongolian Minister of Industry and Agriculture Khaltmaa Battulga sign an economic cooperation agreement in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photos: KCNA screen grabs).

Chair of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries Kim Jong Suk and Mongolian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Luvsanvandan Bold sign an agreement on sports and cultural exchanges and tourism in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photos: KCNA screen grabs).

Chair of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries Kim Jong Suk and Mongolian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Luvsanvandan Bold sign an agreement on sports and cultural exchanges and tourism in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photos: KCNA screen grabs).

Deputy Director-General of the DPRK General Bureau Software Industry Jong Song Chang and Mongolian Ambassador to the DPRK Manibadrakh Ganbold sign a technology exchange agreement effective from 2013 to 2015 in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photos: KCNA screen grabs).

Deputy Director-General of the DPRK General Bureau Software Industry Jong Song Chang and Mongolian Ambassador to the DPRK Manibadrakh Ganbold sign a technology exchange agreement effective from 2013 to 2015 in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photos: KCNA screen grabs).

Mongolian President Arrives in Pyongyang and Meets with Kim Yong Nam

28 Oct
Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (L) shakes hands with SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam (R) after arrving at Pyongyang Airport on 28 October 2013 for a four-day visit to the DPRK (Photo: KCNA).

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (L) shakes hands with SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam (R) after arrving at Pyongyang Airport on 28 October 2013 for a four-day visit to the DPRK (Photo: KCNA).

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and a delegation of senior Mongolian government officials arrived in Pyongyang on 28 October (Monday) for a four-day visit ending on 31 October.  President Elbegdorj’s visit will commemorate the 65th anniversary of DPRK-Mongolian relations and lead to the expansion of the countries’ bilateral ties.  Greeting Elbegdorj at Pyongyang Airport were Kim Yong Nam (President of the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA]), Pak Ui Chun (Minister of Foreign Affairs), Ri Ryong Nam (Minister of Foreign Trade), Col. Gen. O Kum Chol (Vice Chief of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Staff), Son Kwang Ho (Vice Minister of Physical Culture and Sports), Kwang Il Ryong (Vice Minister of Land and Marine Transport), Hong Kyu (DPRK Ambassador to Mongolia), Kim Jin Bom (Vice Chairman of the Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries and Chairman of the DPRK-Mongolia Friendship Association) and other DPRK officials.  Also greeting President Elbegjorj at the airport was Mongolian Ambassador to the DPRK Manibadrakh Ganbold.

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj reviews an honor guard of the KPA and Worker-Peasant Red Guards (L) and receives a floral bouquet after arriving in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj reviews an honor guard of the KPA and Worker-Peasant Red Guards (L) and receives a floral bouquet after arriving in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Elbegdorj was accompanied by his wife, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Luvsanvandan Bold, Minister of Industry and Agriculture Khaltmaa Battulga, Secretary General of the National Security Council Tsagaandari Enkhtuvshin, Chief of the General Staff of the Mongolian Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Tserendejid Byambajav, Vice Minister of Road Transport Khabshai Erjan,  Presidential National Security and Foreign Policy Advisor Lundeg Purevsuren, Presidential Advisor for Mass Liaison and Mass Policy Amgalanbaatar Ganbaatar,  Secretary of State for the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Pureb Altangerel and other Mongolian government officials.  During the welcoming ceremony for the Mongolian delegation, President Elbegdorj reviewed an honor guard consisting of the KPA’s three service branches and the Worker-Peasant Red Guards.  Representatives of DPRK women workers and children of Mongolian diplomatic staff stationed in the DPRK presented floral bouquets to Elbegdorj and his wife.

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and a senior Mongolian Government delegation (R) meet with Kim Yong Nam and senior DPRK officials at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA)

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and a senior Mongolian Government delegation (R) meet with Kim Yong Nam and senior DPRK officials at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA)

Following the delegation’s arrival, Elbegdorj and senior Mongolian officials met with SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang.  Attending the meeting from the DPRK were Pak Ui Chun, Ri Jong Mu (Minister of Physical Culture and Sports), Kim Jong Suk (Chairwoman of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries), Pak Kil-yo’n (Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs), Kwang Il Ryong, Hong Kyu and other DPRK officials.  According to KCNA, “both sides exchanged views on the issue of boosting the bilateral relations of friendship and other issues of mutual concern” during the meeting and the “talks took place in a friendly atmosphere.”

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).

DPRK, Mongolia Hold 9th Consultative Committee Meeting on Economics, Trade and Science

26 Sep
DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam (1) and Mongolian Minister of Industry and Agriculture Khlatmaa Battulga (2) attend the 9th meeting of the DPRK-Mongolian Consultative Committee on Economy, Trace, Science and Technology at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on 26 September 2013 (Photos: KCNA)

DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam (1) and Mongolian Minister of Industry and Agriculture Khlatmaa Battulga (2) attend the 9th meeting of the DPRK-Mongolian Consultative Committee on Economy, Trace, Science and Technology at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on 26 September 2013 (Photos: KCNA)

The DPRK and Mongolia held their 9th meeting of an intergovernmental committee on economics, trade, science and technology at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang during 25 September  and 26 September (Thursday).  Attending the meetings were DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam (co-chairman on behalf of the DPRK) and Mongolian Minister of Industry and Agriculture Khaltmaa Battulga (co-chairman on behalf of Mongolia), along with a delegation of Mongolian officials led by Battulga and Mongolian Ambassador to the DPRK Manibadrakh Ganbold.  According to KCNA the meeting “reviewed the implementation of the protocol of the 8th meeting and discussed on bilateral cooperation issues in different fields” and  Ri and Battulga signed the meeting’s protocol agreement.

On 25 September (Wednesday), Khaltma Battulga and the Mongolian delegation met with Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium President Kim Yong Nam and DPRK Vice Premier Kang Sok Ju.  The Mongolian delegation also visited Mangyo’ngdae, birthplace and childhood home of late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng), and the delegation toured the Pyongyang Essential Foodstuffs Factory and the Pyongyang Cosmetics Factory.

The 9th meeting of the DPRK-Mongolian Consultative Committee on Economy, Trace, Science and Technology held at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang from 25 to 26 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

The 9th meeting of the DPRK-Mongolian Consultative Committee on Economy, Trace, Science and Technology held at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang from 25 to 26 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Kim Chun Guk Presents Letter of Credence to President of Cyprus

23 Sep
Kim Chunk Guk in Nicosia, Cyprus on 16 September 2013 (Photo: Office of the President of the Republic of Cyprus).

Kim Chunk Guk in Nicosia, Cyprus on 16 September 2013 (Photo: Office of the President of the Republic of Cyprus).

DPRK Ambassador Kim Chun Guk presented his letter of credence to the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades on 16 September.  Ambassador Kim serves as the DPRK Ambassador to Italy and the Republic of Cyprus is one of his six nonresident postings.  Attending the meeting were DPRK officials, Cyprus’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Ioannis Kasoulides, Director of the Office of the President Panayiotis Antoniou and Protocol ChiefNearchos Palas.DPRK state media reported on 23 September (Monday) that during the meeting President Anastasiades “sincerely hoped for fresh success of the DPRK government and people in their efforts for social development, improvement of people’s livelihood and national reunification” and that “the split of the Korean Peninsula imposed on the Koreans against their will causes escalation of tension and confrontation. “

Kim Chun Guk passed along the greetings of DPRK leader Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) and official head of state, Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium President Kim Yong Nam (Kim Yo’ng-nam) to President Anastasiades.  Kim said that “at present, under the wise leadership of H.E. Kim Jong Un, everything is going well in the country. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea maintains its political stability and all Korean people have full confidence in their better future” and summarized recent national political events which he said “demonstrated the true character of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, with all people firmly united around leader Kim Jong Un with one mind.”  Kim said that “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Government has concentrated all its efforts on economic construction and improving the living standards of the people. That’s why it is imperative for us to create a peaceful environment. The Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea remains consistent in its stands to achieve peace, reunification and common prosperity in the Korean peninsula by improving relations between the north and the south. The sincere and constant efforts of the Government have brought new positive changes in the relations between the north and the south at present.”

Kim Chun Guk referred to the recent agreement to reopen the Kaeso’ng Industrial Zone (complex) and to the now aborted agreement on “the reunion of separated families.”  He also said the DPRK proposed interactions with the US to “continue to make all efforts to ease tension and achieve lasting peace and stability in the Korean peninsula in the future too.”  Ambassador Kim remarked that “it is a consistent policy of the Government to develop relations with EU countries, including Cyprus. Cyprus deserves to be highly appreciated due to its efforts devoted to the unity and development of the EU during its term as chair state of the EU in 2012″ and told President Anastasiades that the DPRK supports “your efforts to achieve peace and prosperity of all Cyprus people by realizing unification of the country. Both of our two countries are small and have suffered from the country division for a long time.”  Kim Chun Guk also said “we hope that the friendly and cooperative relations between our two countries would be further developed and expanded in the political, economic and cultural areas. I wish Your Excellency success in your responsible work.”

According to the Republic of Cyprus’ Presidential office, President Anastasiades welcomed Kim Chun Guk to Cyprus and said:

Your presence provides us with a first-rate opportunity to review extensively our bilateral relations and seek ways and means in strengthening them. The signing of bilateral Agreements constitutes the first step in that direction.

Your Excellency: one time too many, the Korean Peninsula has occupied the front pages of the news; most of the times however, not for good reasons. Because of the ordeal the Korean people had to go through in the War of 1950-53 and the enormous losses in human lives they sustained, we believe it is high time for tension and confrontation to give their way to serious talks about cooperation, reconciliation and, why not, reunification.

The division of the Peninsula in 1945, aside from the manifest injustice it created against the Korean people, has left a huge scar to the present day, an indelible mark. It has also created gratuitous tension, provocations and confrontations. North East Asia has no need of those; the rest of world can live without them as well. It is for these reasons we all look forward to the resumption of serious negotiations for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The agreement on the Kaesong industrial complex must be praised for it shows once more the stamina, determination and the willingness of the two governments to work closely for the common good of their citizens. The same applies for another agreement concluded, which deals with a purely humanitarian issue: the reunion of families who have been separated since 1950. In both cases, despite adversity and the many and seemingly insuperable obstacles, hope has never faded. Progress was the result.

Excellency: the re-launching of the negotiations under the aegis of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in the framework of his Good Offices Mission, aiming at a fair, viable and mutually acceptable settlement to the Cyprus question based on the relevant Security Council Resolutions and the principles upon which the EU operates, remains our first priority.

The settlement must serve, above all, the legitimate interests and be for the benefit of the people of Cyprus as a whole and not for any third country. The negotiations must be properly and thoroughly prepared in order to ensure that the aforementioned objectives are jointly and unequivocally shared and that the negotiations will bear fruit. We cannot afford another failure. It is also my firm conviction that the substantive involvement of the European Union in this procedure is desirable.

Mr Ambassador: you can be assured that in the execution of your duties you may rely on the understanding and the cooperation of myself and the government. On my part, I would appreciate your conveying to H.E. Mr Kim Jong-un, First Secretary of the Worker’s Party of Korea, First Chairman of the National Defense Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army, a warm message of friendship and wishes for the well-being and prosperity of the people of his country”.

Central Leadership Visit Residents of U’nha Scientists Street

19 Sep
DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (R) visits a family at the U'nha Scientists' Street in Pyongyang on 18 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (R) visits a family at the U’nha Scientists’ Street in Pyongyang on 18 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

A copy of a December 2012 commemorative photograph (L) of members of the DPRK leadership and personnel involved in the 12 December 2012 launch of the U'nha-3, seen in a resident of the U'nha Scientists' Street (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

A copy of a December 2012 commemorative photograph (L) of members of the DPRK leadership and personnel involved in the 12 December 2012 launch of the U’nha-3, seen in a resident of the U’nha Scientists’ Street (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

DPRK state media reported on 18 September (Wednesday) that members of the DPRK’s central leadership visited the recently constructed U’nha Scientists’ Street in Pyongyang.  Kim Yong Nam (Supreme People’s Assembly President), Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier) and VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army General Political Department) along with DPRK Vice Premiers and Korean Workers’ Party Department Deputy (vice) Directors “congratulated those who gratis had de luxe flats built under the loving care of supreme leader Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) to live in luxury and comfort” and “presented utensils to householders as souvenirs.”  According to KCNA, the DPRK elites learn “about their children and house-keeping and hearing their impressions of the new flats, the officials told them about the devoted efforts made by Kim Jong Un to bring about the present happy event and the great and benevolent policy of attaching importance to science and technology enforced by the Workers’ Party of Korea” and “also told the scientists and technicians to contribute to the prosperity of the country with great successes in the effort to push back the frontiers of science and technology, always bearing deep in mind the great care to be handed down to posterity. “

SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam visits residents of U'nha Scientists' Street in Pyongyang on 18 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam visits residents of U’nha Scientists’ Street in Pyongyang on 18 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

VMar Choe Ryong Hae visits an appartement on U'nha Scientists' Street in Pyongyang on 18 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

VMar Choe Ryong Hae visits an appartement on U’nha Scientists’ Street in Pyongyang on 18 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Yong Nam (1) (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Yong Nam (1) (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Pak Pong Ju (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Pak Pong Ju (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Minister of the People's Armed Forces Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary Kim Ki Nam (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary Kim Ki Nam (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary and SPA Chairman Choe Tae Bok (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary and SPA Chairman Choe Tae Bok (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary Pak To Chun (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary Pak To Chun (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

NDC Vice Chairman VMar Kim Yong Chun (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

NDC Vice Chairman and Director of the KWP Civil Defense Department VMar Kim Yong Chun (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

SPA Presidium Vice President Yang Hyong Sop (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

SPA Presidium Vice President Yang Hyong Sop (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

DPRK Vice Premier Kang Sok Ju (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

DPRK Vice Premier Kang Sok Ju (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Minister of State Security Gen. Kim Won Hong (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Minister of State Security Gen. Kim Won Hong (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary Kim Yang Gon (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Department Kim Yang Gon (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary Kim Yong Il (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary and Director of International Affairs Kim Yong Il (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary Kim P'yo'ng-hae (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary and Director of Cadres’ Affairs Kim P’yo’ng-hae (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary Kwak Pom Gi (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary and Director of Planning and Finance Kwak Pom Gi (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang KWP Committee Mun Kyong Dok (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang KWP Committee Mun Kyong Dok (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

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