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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.

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.”

Kim Jong Un Visits Shipyard and KPA Navy Cemetery

2 Nov
Kim Jong Un (C) tours a shipyard managed Chu So'ng-ho (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (C) tours a shipyard managed Chu So’ng-ho (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 1 November (Friday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited a shipyard and the Korean People’s Army [KPA] Navy Unit #790 Martyrs’ Cemetery.  At the latter visit DPRK state media disclosed that the crew of a submarine chaser was killed “while performing their combat duties in mid-October.”  Based on images released of the memorial stones, the KPA Navy crew died on or around 13 October 2013.  Yonhap,citing an unnamed source, reported that the crew were killed in action during a training exercise near Wo’nsan on the DPRK’s east coast.  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his attendance at live fire exercises with participants in the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors.

Kim Jong Un first visited a shipyard under the management of Ju Song Ho.  Attending the visit was VMar Choe Ryong Have (Director of the KPA General Political Department).  He toured a sheet metal shop and assembly facilities.  According to KCNA he “was greatly satisfied to learn that the officials, workers and technicians of the shipyard were waging a dynamic drive to build modern ships” and said that “there is no goal out of reach as long as there are proud and brave workers who heartily respond to the Party’s idea of pushing back the frontiers of the latest science and technology and make devoted efforts to translate it into reality.”  Kim Jong Un also said that “thanks to the wise leadership of Generalissimos Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) solid shipbuilding bases were established in the country” and he noted that “this is a powerful demonstration of the might of the self-supporting national economy.”  He “underlined the need to make sustained efforts to build modern ships at the shipyard” and noted “that the development of the shipbuilding industry is of very weighty importance in the country as it is surrounded by sea on three sides.”  Kim Jong Un remarked that “it is necessary to develop the shipbuilding technology, put the production process on a scientific and modern basis and ensure the best quality of all parts as the shipbuilding industry is one of the important criteria showing the nation’s level of the development of science and technology and industry” and stressed that “in order to build modern ships the relevant units should produce necessary equipment and raw and other materials qualitatively and supply them in good time.”  He issued instructions on production and development to the shipyard’s managers and expressed “his expectation and belief that its workers would creditably perform their honorable mission and duty.”

Annotated on this grave stone is the date (13 October 2013) that members of a KPA Navy crew were killed.  According to ROK sources, the crew was killed during a training exercise off the coast of Wo'nsan, Kangwo'n Province on the DPRK's east coast (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Annotated on this grave stone is the date (13 October 2013) that members of a KPA Navy crew were killed. According to ROK sources, the crew was killed during a training exercise off the coast of Wo’nsan, Kangwo’n Province on the DPRK’s east coast (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un brings a bunch of flowers to a memorial at a cemetery for KPA Navy officers and service members killed in action in October 2012 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un brings a bunch of flowers to a memorial at a cemetery for KPA Navy officers and service members killed in action in October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un’s next visit was to the martyrs’ cemetery of KPA Navy Unit #790, constructed in memory of KPA service members and officers killed in action aboard a submarine chase on 13 October 2013.  Attending the vista were VMar Choe Ryong Have, Lt. Gen. Ryom Chol Song, VAdm Kim Myong Sik (Commander of the KPA Navy), Pak Thae Sy, Jo Nam Jin, Hwang Pyong So (Deputy Director of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Organization Guidance Department), Kim Tong Hwa, Hong Yong Chil (Deputy Director of the KWP Machine-Building Industry Department) and Ma Won Chun (Deputy Director of the KWP Finance and Accounting Department).  According to KCNA after the naval accident, Kim Jong Un instructed that the unit’s members’ remains be recovered and directly supervised the cemetery’s construction hence “the above-said commanding officers and sailors thus came to enjoy immortality thanks to his profound loving care.”  Upon arrival, Kim Jong Un along with senior KWP and KPA officials in attendance placed flowers in front of a memorial and observed a moment of silence.

Kim Jong Un and senior KWP and KPA officials view the graves in a KPA Navy cemetery constructed for personnel killed in action on a submarine chaser in October 2012 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un and senior KWP and KPA officials view the graves in a KPA Navy cemetery constructed for personnel killed in action on a submarine chaser in October 2012 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

A burial mound and memorial stones in the recently constructed KPA Navy Cemetery (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

A burial mound and memorial stones in the recently constructed KPA Navy Cemetery (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

He toured the cemetery.  Whilst looking at images on the grave markers he said “that he felt as if they had risen up to greet him” and that the cemetery is located in a very good place as it is near from where the unit is stationed.”  He also said “that sailors of the unit have now become able to sail for performing their combat duties as requested by the fallen fighters after bidding farewell to them” and “that he felt much relieved after having a burial ceremony for them.”  According to KCNA Kim Jong Un “noted that he could hardly go to sleep, when thinking they died at so young ages, though the defense of the country is accompanied by sacrifices,” said “he felt heartbreaking when thinking of the fallen fighters who served in the navy, their hearts burning with the dream and hope to perform feats with great ambition and their parents grieved at their deaths and their wives who had waited for their return from voyage” and “what bitter sorrow they might feel as he felt so painful.”

After his tour of the cemetery he said  “that there should be the name of the owner of each grave” and that “he would like to be that owner and asked officials to carve his name on the grave stones. I will feel relieved a bit only when my name is carved on them.”  Kim Jong Un also said that “the martyrs are his comrades-in-arms and comrades” and “stressed that although they died before realizing the lifetime desires of the great Generalissimos under the leadership of the supreme commander, they showed all service personnel how a soldier should carry out the order of the country through their heroic deaths.”  He remarked that “the revolutionary spirit of the martyrs who readily dedicated their precious lives to defending the country’s sea will always live on” and said “not only the sailors of the unit but all the service personnel of the KPA should learn from the exploits and noble spiritual world of the martyrs who firmly defended their posts till the last moments of their lives and carried out the combat order at the cost of their lives. “

DPRK Premier Tours KPA Breeding Farm Construction

2 Nov
DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju tours KPA Breeding Farm #621 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju tours KPA Breeding Farm #621 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 1 November (Friday) that Premier Pak Pong Ju toured the construction of the second phase of Korean People’s Army [KPA] Breeding Station #621  He toured the first phase of the breeding farm’s construction “carried out at the personal initiative of supreme leader Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) and under his energetic leadership” and Pak was briefed about the facility’s breeding of livestock and its construction.  He held a meeting with local managers and employees which “confirmed the construction projects to be undertaken at various stages to attain the goal of the 2nd phase construction as intended by the Workers’ Party of Korea and discussed measures for ensuring the supply of necessary materials and equipment.”  According to KCNA, Pak Pong Ju said that “the construction of a center for breeding domestic animals of good stock is making rapid progress at a time when the Sep’o tableland is turning into a large-scale livestock base” and he called “on the relevant units to creditably fulfill their responsibility and role.”

Back-to-Back DPRK Delegations Visit Europe

2 Nov
DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kung Sok Ung (R) shakes hands with Peter van Tuijl (L) in The Hague on 20 October 2013 (Photo: Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict).

DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kung Sok Ung (R) shakes hands with Peter van Tuijl (L) in The Hague on 20 October 2013 (Photo: Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict).

DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kung Sok Ung and delegation of the DPRK Foreign Ministry returned to the DPRK on 2 November (Saturday) after a 17-day visit to European countries.  Many of Kung and the delegation’s appearances in Europe were not publicized.  Kung visited The Hague during 18 to 20 October.  During his stay in Holland he met with officials from the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict, including the executive director of its global secretariat Peter van Tuijl.  From 24 to 27 October Kung Sok Ung visited Spain, where the DPRK recently opened an embassy.  On 25 October Kung met with Spain’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Gonzalo de Benito, Director-General of North America, Asia and the Pacific Ernesto de Zulueta and Spain’s Ambassador to the DPRK and ROK Luis Arias.  According to the Spanish government, Kung and other DPRK officials “declared its interest in increasing bilateral relations and in exploring future routes to collaboration in all spheres.”  Spanish officials declared their strong position against nuclear proliferation and the need for Pyongyang to contribute to peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and the East Asia region, complying with its international obligations” and  “encouraged the DPRK to continue taking tangible steps, following on from the reopening of the Kaeso’ng industrial complex, towards reducing the tension between the two Korean countries.”  Spanish officials also told Kung that they hoped meeting with him would contribute to “supports the international community’s efforts to achieve peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.”

On the same day Kung Sok Ung returned to the DPRK, a delegation of the Korean Workers’ Party led by KWP International Affairs Department Deputy Director Ri Yong Chol departed Pyongyang to attend a meeting of communist parties in Portugal and to visit France.

Kim Jong Un Observes and Guides KPA Company Commanders Shooting Competition

30 Oct
Kim Jong Un (C) speaks during a practical shooting competition of particpants in the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors.  Also seen in attendance are VMar Choe Ryong Hae (L), Director of the KPA General Political Department, and Gen. Ri Yong Gil (R), Chief of the KPA General Staff (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (C) speaks during a practical shooting competition of particpants in the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors. Also seen in attendance are VMar Choe Ryong Hae (L), Director of the KPA General Political Department, and Gen. Ri Yong Gil (R), Chief of the KPA General Staff (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 29 October (Tuesday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) attended and guided a shooting contest of participants in the 4th Meeting of Korean People’s Army [KPA] Company Commanders and Political Instructors.  Also in attendance were VMar Choe Ryong Have (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces) along with other senior KPA officials and commanding officers.  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his attendance at a concert of the Merited State Choir and Moranbong Band.

Upon arrival, Kim Jong Un said that he “was very pleased to meet again the company commanders and political instructors whom he wished to see every day” and he noted “that the KPA is holding the shooting contest unprecedented in the history of army building with all company commanders and political instructors of the whole army attending.”  He also said that “servicepersons cannot satisfactorily fulfill their combat duties when they are not good at shooting even if they are prepared well politico-ideologically and physically” and “that only when company commanders and political instructors become good marksmen, can they train their soldiers to be crack shots never missing targets.”  According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un said “this shooting contest was organized to make the torch of the movement for becoming crack shots and master gunners rage more furiously in the whole army.”

View of the leadership platform at a shooting competition of participants in the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of the leadership platform at a shooting competition of participants in the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of attendees and participants in a shooting competition of KPA company commanders and political instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of attendees and participants in a shooting competition of KPA company commanders and political instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Overview of the venue of a practical shooting competition of participants in the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Overview of the venue of a practical shooting competition of participants in the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View from the leadership platform of a practical shooting competition of participants in the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View from the leadership platform of a practical shooting competition of participants in the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

KPA company commanders and political instructors, selected from the national meeting, took part in the contest with “the method of deciding on standing of services of the army, army corps level and that of individuals according to the points they gained by hitting targets in the given distance and within the given time.”  KPA Unit #233 and KPA Unit #604 placed first in the shooting competition, the KPA Navy, KPA Unit #287 and KPA Unit #318 placed second and KPA Unit #549 and KPA Unit #569 placed third.  In individual competitions political instructor Ri Yong Chol of KPA Unit #380, political instructor Kang Un Chol  and company commander Pak In Sok of KPA Unit #604 placed first in individual competitions, company commander Ri Sang Chol of KPA Unit #380 placed second, political instructor Jon Yong Gol of KPA Unit #313, company commander Ri Kwang Hyok of KPA Unit #233, company commander Sung Myong Sim of KPA Unit #549, company commander Kim Kwang Hyon of KPA Unit #593 and company commander Han Ok Ju of KPA Unit #287 placed third.  Prizes were awarded during a post-compeition ceremony.

According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un remarked that “this shooting contest offered the company commanders and political instructors an opportunity to keenly realize that only when they become crack shots themselves, can they train all soldiers to be crack shots and master gunners” and he indicated “tasks to be carried out to intensify shooting drills and ways to do so.”

Kim Jong Un speaks during the shooting competition (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un speaks during the shooting competition (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of leadership platform as Kim Jong Un speaks at practical shooting competition of KPA company commanders and political instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of leadership platform as Kim Jong Un speaks at practical shooting competition of KPA company commanders and political instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un speaks during the shooting competition (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un speaks during the shooting competition (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

KPA Holds Loyalty Rally After Company Commanders Meeting

28 Oct
VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Director of the KPA General Political Department , speaks at a rally of KPA officers and service members at Ku'msusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photos: KCNA).

VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Director of the KPA General Political Department , speaks at a rally of KPA officers and service members at Ku’msusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photos: KCNA).

The Korean People’s Army [KPA] staged a loyalty rally at Ku’msusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang on 28 October (Monday) to “pay high tribute to President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) and thoroughly implement the important tasks set forth by Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) in his historic speech made at the 4th meeting of company commanders and political instructors of the Korean People’s Army.”  Attending the rally were KPA officers and service members, along with VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Col. Gen. Kim Chang Sop (Director of the Ministry of State Security Political Bureau), senior KPA officials and KPA commanding officers.

Rally of KPA officers and service members to honor late leaders Kim Il-so'ng and Kim Cho'ng-il and pledge loyalty to Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photos: KCNA).

Rally of KPA officers and service members to honor late leaders Kim Il-so’ng and Kim Cho’ng-il and pledge loyalty to Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photos: KCNA).

VMar Choe Ryong Hae delivered a speech in which, according to KCNA, he “vowed to turn all companies of the KPA into elite combat units devotedly defending the supreme commander” and said that “all service personnel of the KPA are watching with vigilance the reckless moves of the enemies to stifle the DPRK militarily and all companies will go into action at a breath and blow up all the bases for aggression with merciless deadly strikes if the supreme commander issues an order.”  Choe’s remarks were followed by speeches from KPA company commanders and political instructors.  Ham Yong Bong, a company commander, “pledged to train soldiers in simulated conditions of a real war, prepare them to be a-match-for-a-hundred fighters and make his company a tiger company blowing up bases for aggression before any other companies once a fight breaks out.”  KPA Navy political instructor Pak Hyon Su said “that all the sailors would become human torpedoes and send aggressors to the bottom of sea if they intrude into the inviolable territorial waters of the DPRK even a bit.”  KPA Air and anti-Air Command company commander Ri Chol Ho “declared that airmen would keep themselves highly alerted and intensify flight training as required by the prevailing situation and wipe out enemies with Korean style powerful strike means once the supreme commander issues an order.”

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