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Former DPRK Courts’ Boss Kim Pyong Ryul Dies

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

Kim Pyong Ryul (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

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

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

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

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

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).

Kim Jong Un Visits Construction of KISU Faculty Housing

29 Sep
Kim Jong Un tours the construction of apartment housing for faculty members of Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un tours the construction of apartment housing for faculty members of Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 28 September (Saturday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the construction of two apartment towers for the faculty of Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) University [KISU].  He was accompanied by Choe T’ae Bok (Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary and Chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA]), Ma Won Chun (KWP Department Deputy Director), T’ae Hyong Chol (President of KISU and Secretary-General of the SPA Presidium) and Kim T’ae Hi (Chief Secretary of the KISU KWP Committee).  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance public appearance was his visit to May Day Stadium.

According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un toured the premises around the apartment towers and visited several of the units.  According to KCNA, he “was satisfied to see the exterior of the apartment houses peculiarly decorated with color tiles and hard glass” and said the apartments were ” properly fitted with furniture according to the design he had already ratified, the floors are covered with quality material and the colors and patterns of the wallpapers gave the feeling of comfort.”  Kim Jong Un “promised to provide every household with a TV set and more sets of varieties of tableware as he had said” and “told officials to fix a bookshelf to the wall of the study in front the table so that teachers and researchers may study and prepare their teaching plans in their houses without any inconvenience and a round mirror to the wall of the corridor to their convenience.”  He toured a common area and said it “has been successfully built so that teachers and researchers may have stroll, reading and amusement games and their children may play to their satisfaction.”  During a stop at one the apartment towers’ verandas he “was pleased that the apartment houses are located in a good place and their appearance made the Ryonghung Crossroads look nicer.”  According to KCNA he said that “there is nothing to spare for teachers and researchers of the university who train scientific talents who will be responsible for the future of the country in the age of knowledge-based economy, age of campaign of brains”  and “expressed expectation and conviction that educators of Kim Il Sung University would achieve bigger successes in the education of younger generation and training of talents true to the party’s intention.”

View of apartment towers under construction in Pyongyang for faculty members of Kim Il Sung University (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of apartment towers under construction in Pyongyang for faculty members of Kim Il Sung University (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

2013-09-29-01-03

View of a dining room in an apartment unit for KISU faculty members (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

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View of a study in an appartement unit for faculty members of Kim Il Sung University (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

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View of a bedroom in an apartment unit for KISU faculty members (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

2013-09-29-01-06

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Han Kwang Sang Affirmed as KWP Department Director

25 Sep
Han Kwang Sang (annotated) attends Kim Jong Un's recent visit to the Ryugyo'ng Dental Hospital (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Han Kwang Sang (annotated) attends Kim Jong Un’s recent visit to the Ryugyo’ng Dental Hospital (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media has identified central party finance and accounting cadre Han Kwang Sang as a Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Department Director.  In a 23 September (Monday) report about Kim Jong Un’s (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visit to the construction of the Ryugyo’ng Dental Hospital in Pyongyang, Han was identified as “department director of the Central Committee of the WPK [KWP].”  KCNA did not disclose what department Han is directing, but it is highly likely he is serving as head of the KWP Finance and Accounting Department where has served as senior deputy (1st vice) director since 2010.  In late June an unnamed ROK Government source told Yonhap that Han had been appointed department director in May 2012.

The KWP Finance and Accounting Department manages the finances of the party and those of the Kim Family.  It also manages logistics and supplies for departments, offices, sections, etc., in the KWP Central Committee (i.e. the central party) and is responsible for the payroll and the distribution of benefits and perks to central party employees.  Staff of the Finance and Accounting Department also work as domestic, technical and logistical staff at residential compounds for the Kim Family and other DPRK elites, and the department is also responsible for supplying furniture, building materials, appliances and foodstuffs to the DPRK’s VIP compounds.  The Finance and Accounting Department owns a series of hotels, restaurants, factories and shops (both within the country and located abroad) which generate revenues for the party.  The department has taken a leading role in the development, opening and management of new restaurants, shopping centers and factories in and around Pyongyang since 2009.  According to Kyodo News Office #38, which had been subordinate to the Finance and Accounting Department, was consolidated into a larger entity called “the Moranbong Bureau,” under the DPRK Cabinet.  If this report is accurate then Han Kwang Sang had a leading role in the consolidation. The department links directly with the Guard Command and Kim Jong Un’s executive office in the National Defense Commission.  It is unclear what role the department, or Han Kang Sang, has in the rumored establishment of a powerful KWP Department of Economy.

Graphic of key organizations in the KWP Finance and Accounting Department (Photo: NK Leadership Watch)

Graphic of key organizations in the KWP Finance and Accounting Department (Photo: NK Leadership Watch)

Han’s Call Order in DPRK state media

Between April 2012 and May 2012 the order in which Han Kwang Sang’s name was listed in KCNA reports and called in state radio and television broadcasts appeared with other central party department directors and was listed or called ahead of senior deputy and deputy directors.  At Kim Jong Un’s field inspection of Korean People’s Army [KPA] Unit # 655 in April 2012 Han Kwang Sang was listed between Kim Kyong Ok (Senor Deputy Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department) and Ri Jae Il (Senor Deputy Director of the KWP Propaganda and Agitation Department).  When Han next appeared in state media at Kim Jong Un’s May 2012 visit to the Central Zoo, he was listed after Kim Yang Gon (KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Department) and ahead of Ri Jae Il.  In August 2012, in a news item on Kim Jong Un’s visit to Haemaji Restaurant, Han Kwang Sang was listed after Han Kwang Bok (Director of the KWP Science and Education Department) and before Kim Kyong Ok.  At a visit later the same day, Han was listed between Paek Se Pong, Chairman of the Second Economy Commission [Second Economic Committee] which is equivalent to KWP Department Director, and Han Kwang Bok.

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”.

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).

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