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Kim Jong Un Visits Masik Pass Ski Resort Construction

2 Nov
Kim Jong Un tours the construction of the Masik Pass Ski Resort in Kangwo'ng Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un tours the construction of the Masik Pass Ski Resort in Kangwo’ng Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 2 November (Saturday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the construction of the Masik Pass Ski Resort.  Attending the visit were VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Lt. Gen. Ryom Chol Song, Hwang Pyong So, Kim Tong Hwa, Hyong Yong Chil, Ma Won Chun and Maj. Gen. Jo Nam Jin.  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to a KPA Navy Cemetery.

Returing for his  third trip to Masik Passk Ski Resort since construction began, Kim Jong Un’s first stop was at the hotel where he  “wassatisfied to see the hotel built to match the mountainous scenery and natural environment as required by the design ratified by the Party” and “appreciated the hotel as a flawless structure and model building as it fully meets the requirements of the Party’s idea of architectural beauty which calls for designing and constructing all construction objects according to their features and purposes.”  At a sitting area, he praised “the soldier-builders for building well the resting places as intended by the Party” and, according to KCNA, he “instructed them to build all resting places to be impeccable so that the visitors to the ski resort may not only train their physical bodies but have a pleasant rest.”

View of the construction of the Masik Pass Ski Resort in Kangwo'n Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of the construction of the Masik Pass Ski Resort in Kangwo’n Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un and senior Korean Workers' Party and Korean People's Army officials tour Masik Pass Ski Resort in Kangwo'n Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un and senior Korean Workers’ Party and Korean People’s Army officials tour Masik Pass Ski Resort in Kangwo’n Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un toured the ski trails and said “it is nice to see the skiing courses constructed by builders as required by the construction method and the turf planted with good care.” He also said that “the construction of the ski resort conceived and initiated by the Party is near its completion” and “that this is entirely ascribable to the merits of the soldier-builders and a shining fruition of their heroic feats.”  According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un remarked that “he was quite right when he assigned the project for building the ski resort to the Korean People’s Army and it carried out a great nature-remaking project and the new watchword the  ‘speed on Masik Pass’ is shining more brilliantly thanks to the KPA” and “that the WPK is proud and honored to have such army.”

Referring to the KPA’s contribution in the development of the country’s sports economy Kim Jong Un said that the “the KPA has done a lot of work for the people this year including the construction of Munsu Water Park and Mirim Riding Club and “that when the ski resort on Masik Pass is completed, more cheerful laughter of people will be heard from the area of Masik Pass.”  He also said that “all participants in the construction are patriots and the feats performed by them would go down in the history of building a rich and powerful country” and “indicated tasks to be fulfilled for building the ski resort as the world’s best one and ways to do so.”

Mirim Riding Club Opened

27 Oct
VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Director of the KPA General Political Department, speaks at a ceremony opening the Mirim Riding Club in east Pyongyang on 25 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA screen grab).

VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Director of the KPA General Political Department, speaks at a ceremony opening the Mirim Riding Club in east Pyongyang on 25 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA screen grab).

The Mirim Riding Club in east Pyongyang (formerly known as the Equestrian Company of Korean People’s Army [KPA] Unit #534) was formally opened at a ceremony on 25 October (Friday).  Attending the ceremony were Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Kim Ki Nam (Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary), Mun Kyong Dok (Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang KWP Committee), “commanding officers of the units which took part in the construction, officials of ministries and national institutions, soldier-builders, people from all walks of life, youth and students, the chief of the Pyongyang mission of the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front and overseas Koreans” along with “diplomatic envoys of foreign countries, representatives of international bodies, military attaches and their spouses, staff members of foreign embassies here and other foreign guests.”

1. Ceremony opening the Mirim Riding Club on 25 October 2013; 2. A ceremonial tape is cut to open the equestrian club; 3. Foreign diplomats and NGO representatives attend the ceremony (Photos: KCNA).

1. Ceremony opening the Mirim Riding Club on 25 October 2013; 2. A ceremonial tape is cut to open the equestrian club; 3. Foreign diplomats and NGO representatives attend the ceremony (Photos: KCNA).

VMar Choe Ryong Hae delivered a speech at the ceremony in which he said that ” that the club is a product of the energetic leadership provided by Marshal Kim Jong Un with devoted service for the people and the heroic efforts of the service personnel and people of the DPRK who are immensely loyal to the cause of the party.”  Senior officials held a ceremonial tape which was cut by people representing the KPA, workers and the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League.  After the tape was cut, the riding club was formally opened and ceremony participants toured the premises.  According to KCNA “the club is a comprehensive and modern riding service center conducive to the physical training of people including school youth and children” and is “equipped with all conditions and environment necessary for riding and education such as riding courses, riding training halls, room for dissemination of riding knowledge, rest house, veterinary hospital and breeding research institute.”

4. Members of the DPRK central leadership tour the equestrian club; 5. Indoor horse arena at Mirim Riding Club (Photos: KCNA).

4. Members of the DPRK central leadership tour the equestrian club; 5. Indoor horse arena at Mirim Riding Club (Photos: KCNA).

Munsu Water Park Opens

16 Oct
View of opening ceremony opening the Munsu Water Park in east Pyongyang on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of opening ceremony opening the Munsu Water Park in east Pyongyang on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The Munsu Water Park, a water amusement park in east Pyongyang that has been under construction since February 2013, opened with a ceremony on 15 October (Tuesday).  Ceremony participants included Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier), Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Kim Ki Nam (Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary), Mun Kyong Dok (Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang KWP Committee), Ro Tu Chol (DPRK Vice Premier and Chairman of the State Planning Commission), “officials of the party, armed forces and power organs, working people’s organizations, ministries and national institutions, soldier-builders, people from all walks of life, school youth and children, the chief of the Pyongyang Mission of the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front and overseas Koreans” along with “diplomatic envoys of various countries, representatives of international bodies and military attaches with their wives, staff members of foreign embassies here and foreign guests staying in the DPRK.”

A plaster statue of late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il created by the Mansudae Art Studio in the lobby of an indoor swimming pool at Munsu Water Park in east Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

A plaster statue of late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il created by the Mansudae Art Studio in the lobby of an indoor swimming pool at Munsu Water Park in east Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Senor DPRK officials hold a ceremonial red ribbon being cut by representatives of Pyongyang's population during a ceremony opening the Munsu Water Park in east Pyongyang on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Senor DPRK officials hold a ceremonial red ribbon being cut by representatives of Pyongyang’s population during a ceremony opening the Munsu Water Park in east Pyongyang on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Overview of the Munsu Water Park in east Pyongyang during its opening ceremony on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Overview of the Munsu Water Park in east Pyongyang during its opening ceremony on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Pak Pong Ju delivered a speech formally opening the Munsu Water Park.  According to KCNA, Pak said “the water park is the edifice built thanks to KPA service personnel’s spirit of devotedly carrying out any project and their fighting traits as they are ready to flatten even a high mountain at a go in hearty response to the order of the supreme commander” and “stressed the need for officials and employees of the water park to serve the people in the spirit of devoted service to them and take good care of all facilities so as to glorify forever Kim Jong Un’s (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) leadership exploits and make sure that the party’s warm love for the people reaches the working people and school youth and children.”  A ceremonial ribbon was cut by representatives of students, children, Pyongyang citizens, the Korean People’s Army [KPA] units who constructed the swimming complex and Mun Kyong Dok.  According to KCNA, “people from all walks of life and school youth and children participating in the ceremony were deeply admired to go round different places of the Munsu Water Park successfully built as a leisure complex for the people to be proud of before the world.”

The Munsu Water Park (which has previously been identified as the Munsu Wading Pool and the Munsu Swimming Complex during its construction) is the third large construction project in Pyongyang to open this week.  On 13 October (Sunday) KWP Secretary and Supreme People’s Assembly Chairman Choe Tae Bok (Choe T’ae-pok) presided over two separate ceremonies which opened the Okryu (Ongyu) Children’s Hospital and Ryugyo’ng Dental Hospital.

Kim Jong Un Attends Two Concerts

16 Oct
Kim Jong Un (C) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (L) applauds during a performance by Russia's Orchestra of the 21st Century, given to mark the 65th anniversary of DPRK-Russia relations at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater on 15 October 2013.  Also seen in attendance is KWP Secretary Kim Ki Nam (R) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (C) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (L) applauds during a performance by Russia’s Orchestra of the 21st Century, given to mark the 65th anniversary of DPRK-Russia relations at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater on 15 October 2013. Also seen in attendance is KWP Secretary Kim Ki Nam (R) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) attended a pair of concerts on 15 October (Tuesday). One concert was given by Russia’s Orchestra of the 21st Century at the East Pyongyang Grand theater and the other was given by the Moranbong Band and Merited State Chorus (a.k.a. Merited State Choir).  Attending the concert of the Orchestra of the 21st Century were Kim Jong Un’s wife Ri Sol Ju (Ri So’l-chu), Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary Kim Ki Nam “creators and artistes of the art organizations of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces [KPISF] and art education institutions, teachers, students and other citizens in Pyongyang” and officials of the Russian Federation’s Embassy in Pyongyang.  Attending the concert of the Moranbong Band and State Merited Chorus were Director of the KPA General Political Department VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Kim Ki Nam, Orchestra of the 21st Century Chief Conductor Pavel Ovsyannikov and the Orchestra’s manager Natalia Ivanovna Semyonova.  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to Munsu Water Park.

Kim Jong Un (R) talks with Manager of the Orchestra of the 21st Century Natalia Ivanovna Semyonova (L) and the orchestra's lead conductor Paval Ovsyannikov (C) at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (R) talks with Manager of the Orchestra of the 21st Century Natalia Ivanovna Semyonova (L) and the orchestra’s lead conductor Paval Ovsyannikov (C) at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The Russian-based Orchestra of the 21st Century performing in a concert marking the 65th anniversary of DPRK-Russia relations at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The Russian-based Orchestra of the 21st Century performing in a concert marking the 65th anniversary of DPRK-Russia relations at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Prior to the start of the Orchestra of the 21st Century concert, given to mark the 65th anniversary of DPRK-Russia relations, Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol Ju greeted the orchestra’s management and recalled that his father, late leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) “watched the performance of the orchestra several times” and Kim Jong Un “appreciated the performing activities conducted by the orchestra, contributing to the development of the bilateral friendly relations.”  The orchestra performed songs from the opera Ruslan and Ludmilla, “Flying in the Sky over Russia,” “Forward towards Stars,” “Ardent Desire,” “Song of Comradeship” and other songs.  According to KCNA, “the artistes made a truthful artistic representation of the warm love of the Russian people for the country and their traditional custom and national emotion.”  After the concert Kim Jong Un congratulated the orchestra members and “met with the leading members of the orchestra and expressed thanks to them for presenting a splendid performance to the delight of the Korean people.”

Kim Jong Un (2nd L) attends a concert by the Moranbong Band and the Merited State Chorus in Pyongyang on 15 October 2013.  Also seen in attendance is Pavel Ovsyannikov (L) of the Orchestra of the 21st Century, Natalia Ivanovna Semyonova (2nd R) of the Orchestra of the 21st Century and VMar Choe Ryong Have (R) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (2nd L) attends a concert by the Moranbong Band and the Merited State Chorus in Pyongyang on 15 October 2013. Also seen in attendance is Pavel Ovsyannikov (L) of the Orchestra of the 21st Century, Natalia Ivanovna Semyonova (2nd R) of the Orchestra of the 21st Century and VMar Choe Ryong Have (R) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The joint concert by the Moranbong Band and State Merited Chorus began with “We Sing of the Party” and included “Ode to the Motherland,” “Mother Party Which Protected My Destiny,” “Our Future is Bright,” “Let’s Defend Socialism,” “His Great Name Is the Banner of Victory,” “Long Live the Workers’ Party of Korea” and other sons.  According to KCNA, “the audience was mesmerized by the performance” and  Kim Jong Un congratulated members of the two DPRK performance troupes.  After the concert Kim Jong Un met with the lead conducted or Orchestra of the 21st Century Pavel Ovsyannikov and the orchestra’s manager Natalia Ivonova Semyonova.  According to KCNA, Ovsyannikov “expressed sincere thanks to Kim Jong Un, saying that he invited the orchestra to watch the joint performance given by the Moranbong Band and the State Merited Chorus after appreciating the performance of his orchestra” and he “said in an excited tone that the joint performance was the performance of the highest level and a really splendid one full of dynamism, vigor and stamina.”  Kim Jong Un “expressed belief and expectation that artistes of the two countries would conduct joint performances and a lot of exchanges to contribute to enriching the mankind’s treasure house of culture and arts.”

Kim Jong Un (R) talks with Natalia Ivanovna Semyonova and Pavel Ovsyannikov after a performance by the Moranbong Band and the Merited Chorus in Pyongyang on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (R) talks with Natalia Ivanovna Semyonova and Pavel Ovsyannikov after a performance by the Moranbong Band and the Merited Chorus in Pyongyang on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The Moranbong Band performs in Pyongyang on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The Moranbong Band performs in Pyongyang on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un Visits Construction of Okryu Children’s Hospital

6 Oct
Kim Jong Un (3rd L) tours the construction of the Okryu Children's Hospital in east Pyongyang.  Also seen in attendance is Jang Song Taek (2nd L), NDC Vice Chairman and KWP Administration Department Director, and Ma Wo'n-ch'un (4th L), deputy director of the KWP Finance and Accounting Department (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (2nd R) tours the construction of the Okryu Children’s Hospital in east Pyongyang. Also seen in attendance is Jang Song Taek (2nd L), NDC Vice Chairman and KWP Administration Department Director, and Ma Wo’n-ch’un (R), deputy director of the KWP Finance and Accounting Department (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 5 October (Saturday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the construction of the Okryu Children’s Hospital in Pyongyang.  He was accompanied by Jang Song Taek (Vice Chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission and Director of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Administration Department), Pak Chun Hong (KWP Department Deputy Director), Ma Won Chun (Deputy Director of the KWP Finance and Accounting Department) and Ho Hwan Chol (KWP Department Deputy Director).  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to the construction of an apartment complex for the faculty of Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) University.

He toured the hospital’s patient rooms, medical departments and service facilities “with satisfaction.”  According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “took measures to fully ensure the conditions of the room of intensive treatment and indicated concrete ways for putting the operation rooms on a sterilized and dust-free basis” and on the construction of the hospital he “expressed great satisfaction over the fact that a hospital to be proud of before the world has been built as it was excellently designed under the guidance of the party, an able unit undertook its project and it was finished with good building materials.”  He also said “the hospital has also taken on splendid looks as a specialized one like the recently built Breast Tumour Institute of the Pyongyang Maternity Hospital and Dental Hospital” and that “it is a hospital demonstrating the validity of the public health policy of the WPK and the advantages of the socialist healthcare system in the country.”  Kim Jong Un named it the Okryu (Ongnyu) Children’s Hospital “as it is situated in the area of Munsu where the clean water of the River Taedong flows.”

Construction of the Okryu Children's Hospital in east Pyongyang in June 2013 (top) and in Rodong Sinmun in October 2013 (Photos: Google image, Rodong Sinmun).

Construction of the Okryu Children’s Hospital in east Pyongyang in June 2013 (top) and in Rodong Sinmun in October 2013 (Photos: Google image, Rodong Sinmun).

The cover of the 6 October 2013 edition of Rodong Sinmun showing Kim Jong Un's visit (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The cover of the 6 October 2013 edition of Rodong Sinmun showing Kim Jong Un’s visit (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK Premier Visits PY Autumn International Trade Fair

25 Sep
DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju tours the 9th Pyongyang Autumn International Trade Fair at the Three Revolutions Exhibition in Pyongyang on 24 September 2013.  The trade fair will run until 26 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju tours the 9th Pyongyang Autumn International Trade Fair at the Three Revolutions Exhibition in Pyongyang on 24 September 2013. The trade fair will run until 26 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju toured the 9th Pyongyang Autumn International Trade Fair on 24 September (Tuesday).  According to KCNA, Pak looked at “CNC [computer numerical control] lathes, automobiles, tractors, a variety of tiles and other goods produced by technicians and workers of the DPRK and exhibits presented by different countries and regions” and he “underscored the need to produce more goods of world competitive edge and popular among people.”  Pak also “stressed that the trade fair would serve as a good opportunity for promoting friendship and unity among countries and expanding wide-ranging and many-sided economic trade dealings, introduction of goods and exchange of science and technology.”

Director of the Korean International Exhibition Corporation Pak Ung Sik (L) and DPRK Vice Minister of Foreign Trade So Kil Bok (R) speaks at the trade fair's opening ceremony in Pyongyang on 23 September 2013 (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Director of the Korean International Exhibition Corporation Pak Ung Sik (L) and DPRK Vice Minister of Foreign Trade So Kil Bok (R) speak at the trade fair’s opening ceremony in Pyongyang on 23 September 2013 (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

DPRK Vice Premier Kang Sok Ju (1) and Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam (2) visit a company booth at the 9th Pyongyang Autumn International Trade Fair on 23 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA screengrab).

DPRK Vice Premier Kang Sok Ju (1) and Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam (2) visit a company booth at the 9th Pyongyang Autumn International Trade Fair on 23 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA screengrab).

Juana Navarrete Mendoza of the Cuban chemical and pharmaceutical company LABIOFAM is interviewed by DPRK state media at the 9th Pyongyang Autumn International Trade Fair (Photo: KCNA).

Juana Navarrete Mendoza of the Cuban chemical and pharmaceutical company LABIOFAM is interviewed by DPRK state media at the 9th Pyongyang Autumn International Trade Fair (Photo: KCNA).

Images of the opening day of the 9th Pyongyang Autumn International Trade Fair at the Three Revolutions Exhibition on 23 September 2013 (Photos: KCNA).

Images of the opening day of the 9th Pyongyang Autumn International Trade Fair at the Three Revolutions Exhibition on 23 September 2013 (Photos: KCNA).

The trade fair began on 23 September (Monday) with an opening ceremony.  Attending the ceremony were DPRK Vice Premier Kang Sok Ju, Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam, Vice Chairman of the Pyongyang Municipal (city) People’s Committee Kim Song Dok, DPRK Chamber of Commerce Chief and Commercial Office Director Ri Hak Gwon along with “delegations of foreign countries and regions, diplomatic envoys of different countries here and their embassy officials” and participants in the trade fairs (North Korea Tech provided a list of companies and countries represented in its report on the trade fair’s opening).  Director of the Korean International Exhibition Corporation Pak Ung Sik and Vice Minister of Foreign Trade So Kil Bok delivered speeches in which they said “the trade fair will offer a good occasion in promoting friendship and unity and boosting broad and multi-faceted economic trade, introducing goods and conducting scientific and technological exchange among countries” and “expressed their will to steadily expand and develop bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the fields of the economy and trade with foreign countries and regions on the principle of equality and mutual benefit.”

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.

Ceremony Opens U’nha Scientists’ Street in Pyongyang

12 Sep
DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju delivers a speech at a ceremony opening the U'nha Scientists' Street residential area in Pyongyang on 11 September 2013.  Also seen in attendance are Minister of the People's Armed Forces Gen. Jang Jong Nam (2nd R) and Director of the KPA General Political Department VMar Choe Ryong Hae (R) (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju delivers a speech at a ceremony opening the U’nha Scientists’ Street residential area in Pyongyang on 11 September 2013. Also seen in attendance are Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Gen. Jang Jong Nam (2nd R) and Director of the KPA General Political Department VMar Choe Ryong Hae (R) (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

A ceremony opening the U’nha Scientists’ Street, a residential area in Pyongyang for research scientists and technicians, was held on 11 September (Wednesday).  Attending the ceremony were Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), along with “other senior officials of the party, state and army, officials concerned and service personnel of the Korean People’s Army and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces, and officials and builders and those scientists and technicians who are to live in the new flats.”  Mun Kyong Dok, Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Committee, and Pak Pong Ju spoke at the ceremony.

According to KCNA in his speech, Pak “emphasized the need to regard it as main objective of construction to build dwelling houses and rest houses for personnel in the fields of science and education in the future as intended by Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) and implement the party’s idea of attaching importance to science and technology” and “called upon the officials and workers in charge of the management and the operation of those apartment houses, public buildings and welfare service facilities in the street to manage and operate all buildings and facilities in a responsible manner by embodying Kim Jong Il’s (Kim Cho’ng-il) patriotism to make sure that the party’s love for people reaches the scientists and technicians before anyone else.”  Pak also “called upon those scientists and technicians to achieve more fresh successes in their scientific researches to repay with more latest scientific successes the love and trust of Kim Jong Un, who provided modern dwelling houses and highly civilized and happy living conditions to them.”

Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang KWP Committee Mun Kyong Dok C) speaks during the ceremony opening the U'nha Scientists' Street.  Also seen in attendance are Minister of People's Security Choe Pu Il (L) and President of the Second Academy of Natural Sciences Choe Chun Sik (R) (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang KWP Committee Mun Kyong Dok C) speaks during the ceremony opening the U’nha Scientists’ Street. Also seen in attendance are Minister of People’s Security Choe Pu Il (L) and President of the Second Academy of Natural Sciences Choe Chun Sik (R) (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

KPISF and KPA construction personnel, along with new residents, attend the U'nha Scientists' Street grand opening in Pyongyang on 11 September 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs).

KPISF and KPA construction personnel, along with new residents, attend the U’nha Scientists’ Street grand opening in Pyongyang on 11 September 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs).

Senior officials of the DPRK leadership attend the ceremony including KWP Secretaries Kim Ki Nam (4th R), Choe Tae Bok (3rd R), Pak To Chun 2nd R) and SPA Presidium Vice President Yang Hyong Sop (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs).

Senior officials of the DPRK leadership attend the ceremony including KWP Secretaries Kim Ki Nam (4th R), Choe Tae Bok (3rd R), Pak To Chun 2nd R) and SPA Presidium Vice President Yang Hyong Sop (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs).

Pak Pong Ju cuts a ceremonial tape opening the U'nha Scientists Stree in Pyongyang (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Pak Pong Ju cuts a ceremonial tape opening the U’nha Scientists Stree in Pyongyang (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

After the speeches, Pak Pong Ju cut a ceremonial red ribbon  and ceremony participants toured the U’nha Scientists’ Street.

Yonhap noted that among the members of the DPRK central leadership attending the ceremony was Choe Chun Sik, President of the Second Academy of Natural Sciences.  Choe toured the scientists’ residential area with Kim Jong Un the previous day, and had last been prominently seen attending various celebratory and commemorative events following the DPRK’s launch of the U’nha-3 in December 2012.  At the opening ceremony, Choe was seen attired in a KPA dress uniform with the rank of Lt. General (sangjang) on the shoulder boards.  Also attending the ceremony was KWP Secretary Pak To Chun, a key leading manager of the DPRK weapons industry and Choe Chun Sik’s nominal boss.

Choe Chun Sik (annotated), President of the Second Academy of Natural Sciences, visits the scientists street with Kim Jong Un (L) and attends the opening ceremony (Photos: Rodong Sinmun, KCTV screengrab).

Choe Chun Sik (annotated), President of the Second Academy of Natural Sciences, visits the scientists street with Kim Jong Un (L) and attends the opening ceremony (Photos: Rodong Sinmun, KCTV screengrab).

Pak Pong Ju, VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Gen. Jang Jong Nam, Pak To Chun and Kim Ki Nam tour an apartment in the U'nha Scientists' Street in Pyongyang (Photos: KCTV screengrabs).

Pak Pong Ju, VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Gen. Jang Jong Nam, Pak To Chun and Kim Ki Nam tour an apartment in the U’nha Scientists’ Street in Pyongyang (Photos: KCTV screengrabs).

 

Mun Kyong Dok, Kim Ki Nam, Gen. Jang Jong Nam, Yang Hyong Sop and Pak Pong Ju tour a classroom in the U'nha Scientists Street in Pyongyang (Photos: KCTV screengrabs).

Mun Kyong Dok, Kim Ki Nam, Gen. Jang Jong Nam, Yang Hyong Sop and Pak Pong Ju tour a classroom in the U’nha Scientists Street in Pyongyang (Photos: KCTV screengrabs).

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.

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