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4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors Held

27 Oct
Kim Jong Un speaks during the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors held in Pyongyang on 22 and 23 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un speaks during the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors held in Pyongyang on 22 and 23 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The 4th Meeting of Korean People’s Army [KPA] Company Commanders and Political Instructors convened during 22 and 23 October in Pyongyang.  Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) attended both days of the meeting and delivered three speeches.  Also in attendance were 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), Gen. Kim Won Hong (Minister of State Security), Gen. Choe Pu Il (Minister of People’s Security), Col. Gen. Kim Chang Sop (Director of the Ministry of State Security Political Bureau), along with senior KPA officials, KPA commanding officers and KPA company commanders and political instructors.

In his opening speech to the meeting, Kim Jong Un said that “when all the participants strengthen companies, cell and basic combat unit of the People’s Army, to repay the party’s trust and expectation, the might of the powerful revolutionary army of Mt. Paektu will be highly displayed, and expressed the conviction that the on-going meeting will serve as a historical landmark in arousing the whole army to strengthening companies, before declaring the meeting open.”  VMar Choe Ryong Hae delivered the meeting’s official report.   According to KCNA, VMar Choe said in his report:

President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) defined company as the cell of revolutionary armed forces and basic combat unit at a time when he formed the first armed ranks of Chuch’e-type in the forest of Mt. Paektu and brought up the fourth company of the 7th regiment of the anti-Japanese guerrillas as an exemplary company, thus setting a brilliant example in strengthening companies.

Kim Il Sung convened the meeting of company commanders and political instructors for the first time in the army-building history on October 11, Juche 62 (1973), attended the meeting and unfolded important guidelines in strengthening companies, an epoch-making event which effected a drastic turn in strengthening KPA companies.

Leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) put forth the original idea that strengthening company is a key link and a starting point in strengthening the whole army, brightly indicated orientation and ways for companies to follow at each stage and in each period of developing revolution and worked heart and soul for strengthening companies politically and militarily.

The Chuch’e-oriented idea of the great Generalissimos on strengthening companies and feats they performed by doing so are being successfully carried forward onto a higher stage thanks to the wise guidance of Marshal Kim Jong Un.

Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un formulated Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism as the guiding idea of the WPK and energetically led the work to model the whole army on Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism in all aspects with companies as a base, thus opening up a heyday for strengthening the revolutionary armed forces.

Kim Jong Un brought up service personnel to be a-match-for-a hundred brave and stalwart fighters and provided energetic guidance to turn all companies into steel-strong militant ranks having strong discipline and assuming the perfect appearance as the regular armed forces by scrupulously managing the companies.

A fundamental turn took place in the ideological and moral traits of the company commanders and political instructors and in their work style and many successes were achieved in the efforts to consolidate the companies through the struggle to firmly preserve and glorify the idea of strengthening the companies set forth by the peerlessly great persons of Mt. Paektu and their feats.

VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Director of the KPA General Political Department and Vice Chairman of the Party Central Military Commission delivers a report on the first day of the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commander and Political Instructors in Pyongyang on 22 October 2013 (Photo: KCTV still).

VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Director of the KPA General Political Department and Vice Chairman of the Party Central Military Commission delivers a report on the first day of the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commander and Political Instructors in Pyongyang on 22 October 2013 (Photo: KCTV still).

Overview of the venue of the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Overview of the venue of the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Choe Ryong Hae also “called for making sustained great efforts to bolster up the companies in order to accelerate the process of modeling the whole army on Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism on a new higher stage and thus develop the KPA into an invincible revolutionary Mt. Paektu (Paektusan) army.”  KPA company commanders and political instructors delivers also made speeches during the meeting.  According to KCNA, the meeting speakers said “that all the companies of the KPA grew to be the ranks of human bullets and bombs devotedly defending the leader as they share the intention, love and destiny with the supreme commander under his energetic leadership and deep loving care” and “that they would turn all the companies into the ones of human bullets and bombs devotedly protecting the leader and defending the country full of faith and confidence that they are sure to emerge victorious as they are led by the supreme commander.”  Kim Jong Un listened to “all the speeches made by company commanders and political instructors at the meeting” and “invited the commander and former political instructor of the  Persimmon Tree (Kamnamu) company there to have a photo taken with them.”

Meeting speakers at the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors held in Pyongyang on 22 and 23 October 2013 (Photos: KCTV stills).

Meeting speakers at the 4th Meeting of KPA Company Commanders and Political Instructors held in Pyongyang on 22 and 23 October 2013 (Photos: KCTV stills).

Kim Jong Un also delivered an “historic speech” in which he appreciated “the successes made in the work of the companies” and lauded “those company commanders and political instructors who rendered devoted service for them.”  He also “set forth the tasks to be carried out to develop all companies into elite revolutionary ones devotedly defending the WPK Central Committee and the ways to do so” and “underscored need for them to firmly unite around the Party Central Committee to take the lead in overcoming difficulties and trials and fully prepare all the company soldiers politically and ideologically and in military technique.”  Kim Jong Un “called for establishing strong discipline in the companies, boosting their appearance as regular units, decisively raising the level of company commanding ability and improving the living conditions and environment of the soldiers” and noted “that the meeting helped him find out jewel-like patriots and unassuming commanders and political instructors who dedicated themselves to strengthening their companies.”  According to KCNA he said “in an excited tone that the Party Central Committee decided to highly praise them.”

VMar Choe Ryong Hae read a proclamation which awarded the title of Labor Hero, the Hammer and Sickle gold medal and Order of National Flag 1st Class to KPA company commander Kim Sang Il, KPA political instructor Pak Son Gi, company commander Kim Kwang Gum, Capt. Min Kwang Hae and company commander Sa Song Guk for performing “distinguished feats in bolstering up the KPA by strengthening companies into vanguard devotedly defending the leader, a-match-for-a hundred combat ranks and turning them into homes dear to soldiers, true to the last instructions of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il and the leadership of the party.”

Kim Jong Un delivered the meeting’s closing speech.  According to KCNA he said “the meeting would go down in the history of the Chuch’e-based army building as it provided a landmark for the development of the powerful revolutionary Mt. Paektu (Paektusan) army with the strengthening of companies as a starting point under the uplifted banner of modeling the whole army on Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism” and “declared the meeting closed, expressing belief that all participants in the meeting would augment the might of the People’s Army in every way, united close around the party, and thus perform their duty in carrying out the revolutionary cause of Military-First (So’ngun).

General Staff Statement Says KPA “Ready to Promptly Launch Operations Any Time”

8 Oct
KPA General Staff (NK Leadership Watch graphic)

KPA General Staff (NK Leadership Watch graphic)

The Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Staff issued a statement on 7 October (Monday) which said that the KPA’s “the units of all services and army corps level of the KPA received an emergency order from its supreme command on October 5 (Saturday) to reexamine the operation plans already ratified by it and keep themselves fully ready to promptly launch operations any time” in response to ongoing joint US-ROK maritime exercises under way in the East Sea (Sea of Japan).  The General Staff described the routine exercises, scheduled from 30 September to 13 October involve the aircraft carrier USS George Washington Carrier Strike Group and include anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare drills, air defense exercises and education and cultural exchanges.  The KPA General Staff also said that the US “should bear in mind that the more frequently and the deeper its imperialist aggression forces’ nuclear strike means including the nuclear carrier enter the air above the vicinity of the Korean Peninsula and waters off it, the more unpredictable disasters their actions will cause” and that the “U.S. should bear in mind that the Korean people and army are highly alerted to promptly and confidently cope and foil blatant provocations of any hostile forces in the world with its own powerful military muscle.”

According to KCNA, the spokesman for the KPA General Staff statement said:

The situation on the Korean Peninsula is now getting strained again though the tension had been defused thanks to the patient efforts on the part of the DPRK.

This is entirely attributable to the persistent anti-DPRK military confrontation of the U.S. and Japanese aggressors and south Korean puppet forces.

As already reported, the nuclear-powered carrier strike group of the navy of the U.S. imperialist aggression forces entered Pusan Port again at dawn of October 4. It participated in the DPRK-targeted joint naval maneuvers which had been under way secretly in the East Sea of Korea since September 30.

This strike group is made up of the U.S. super-large nuclear-powered carrier George Washington with at least 100 nuclear bombs aboard, many guided-missile destroyers, cruisers, submarines and escort warships, etc.

It is reported that the strike group will get involved in the DPRK-targeted large-scale joint naval strike maneuvers in the South Sea of Korea from Tuesday together with warship groups of the Japanese aggression forces and south Korean puppet navy.

Now the U.S. imperialists are openly advertising that the drills to be staged with the aircraft carrier task force as an axis are a planned military offensive to pressurize the DPRK in a bid to deter its possible “provocations” including nuclear test and missile launch and lead it to “changes” desired by them.

This clearly proves that the remarks of such high-ranking officials of the U.S. Obama administration as the secretary of State that the U.S. neither pursues a hostile policy towards the DPRK nor has the will to attack it are sheer lies.

The gravity of the situation is that all these military moves are timed to coincide with the adoption of the “tailored deterrence strategy” presupposing a preemptive strike at the DPRK between the master and its servant.

In this connection, the units of all services and army corps level of the KPA received an emergency order from its supreme command on October 5 to reexamine the operation plans already ratified by it and keep themselves fully ready to promptly launch operations any time, watching with high vigilance every move of the U.S. and Japanese aggressors and the puppet forces.

The U.S. should bear in mind that the more frequently and the deeper its imperialist aggression forces’ nuclear strike means including the nuclear carrier enter the air above the vicinity of the Korean Peninsula and waters off it, the more unpredictable disasters their actions will cause.

The U.S. will be wholly accountable for the unexpected horrible disaster to be met by its imperialist aggression forces’ nuclear strike means as it is deploying them regardless of the time.

In this regard the DPRK invariably holds that if the U.S. administration stands for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and is interested in the peace and security in the region, the U.S., not the DPRK, should make a decision to move first.

Because it is none other than the U.S. which adopted an extremely hostile policy toward the DPRK, spawned the nuclear issue on the peninsula and has posed a constant nuclear threat to it.

The U.S. should bear in mind that the Korean people and army are highly alerted to promptly and confidently cope and foil blatant provocations of any hostile forces in the world with its own powerful military muscle.

The same day (5 October) that the General Staff states that “the units of all services and army corps level of the KPA received an emergency order from its supreme command on October 5 to reexamine the operation plans already ratified by it and keep themselves fully ready to promptly launch operations any time,” an editorial denouncing the joint US-ROK military exercises was published in Rodong Sinmun which said, in part:

The maneuvers to provoke a war of northward aggression by the US imperialists and South Korean puppet warmongers are heading toward a reckless stage. As reported, the South Korean puppets are attempting to bring in the US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier “George Washington” and perpetrate a joint maritime exercise in the East Sea of Korea. The fact that a US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is crawling into South Korea at an acute juncture when North-South relations lie between dialogue or confrontation is an issue that should not be overlooked with indifference. For warmongers at home and abroad to deploy a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in a large-scale joint maritime exercise opposing us is very dangerous, reckless behavior aimed at destroying the atmosphere of dialogue and peace and once again driving the situation toward the worst confrontational phase, as well as a direct challenge and overt military threat to our peaceful efforts.

Although the puppets have clamored that this war exercise is an “annual” event and “preparation against provocation,” there is no one who will heed such cheap wordplay. The very fact that a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, which is equipped with all types of cutting-edge firepower equipment such as scores of latest fighter jets and missiles and commands 20 ships — including a nuclear submarine, cruiser, and destroyer — is a serious military provocation and a prelude to a war of northward aggression. Moreover, given the fact that the USS “George Washington” is a war monster that gained notoriety in the hotspots of the world in the past, the situation is very grave.

The United States and the puppet warmongers have already carried out a nuclear strike exercise targeting us while continuously introducing nuclear strategic bombers in the airspace above South Korea during the “U’lchi Freedom Guardian” joint military exercises held last August. Following this, they are frantically attempting to conduct joint maritime exercises by once again bringing in a nuclear-powered nuclear aircraft carrier. This clearly shows what reckless stage the war provocation attempt of northward aggression by warmongers at home and abroad has reached.

There are three differences between the General Staff’s 7 October statement and the 5 October Rodong editorial.  The General Staff’s statement refers to an “an emergency order from its supreme command” and it says that KPA service branches and corps units are “fully ready to promptly launch operations.”  The statement also directly alludes to US Secretary of State John Kerry’s remark on 2 October that “We are prepared to have a peaceful relationship with North Korea. We are not engaged in regime change. We are prepared to sign a non-aggression agreement — providing North Korea decides to denuclearize and to engage in legitimate negotiations to achieve that end.”  The KPA General Staff’s statement follows up another 7 October statement of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (f.k.a. the Committee for the Reunification of the Fatherland) reacting to the US-ROK policy of “bilateral strategy for tailored deterrence” announced at the 45th Security Consultative Meeting held between US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and ROK Minister of National Defense Kim Kwan-jin in Seoul on 2 October:

The U.S. is trying to ignite a nuclear war while talking about “sign of the use of nuclear weapons” by the DPRK on the Korean Peninsula, the statement noted, and went on:

The military confab for aggression has created a touch-and-go situation in which an accidental case or a misjudgment may lead to a nuclear war.

It is illogical for the Park Geun Hye regime to cry out for “dismantlement of nuclear weapons” and “denuclearization” of the DPRK while openly revealing its scheme for a nuclear war against the DPRK in league with the U.S.

The U.S. and the puppet regime are trying hard to put political and military pressure on the DPRK, deter the DPRK’s offensive for dialogue and peace and escalate the tensions through frantic nuclear war provocation moves and thus attain without fail their aggression purposes. This only heightens the indignation of the army and people of the DPRK.

Should the U.S. and the puppet forces opt for the provocation of a nuclear war against the DPRK, defying its warnings, it will resolutely counter them.

The U.S. imperialists and the puppet forces should not run amuck, clearly aware of the spirit of the army and people of the DPRK to annihilate enemies.

The General Staff’s statement also builds on a lengthy statement released by the National Defense Commission [NDC] Policy Department on 4 October (Friday) which contained only generic references to the ROK “conspir(ing) outsiders under the pretext of leading the DPRK to ‘change.’”  Unlike the the General Staff’s statement, the NDC Policy Department’s statement was a catalogue of the DPRK’s grievances against the ROK including the Park Administration’s approach to inter-Korean relations, a speech made by ROK President Park Geun-hye and ROK military parade that included the Hyunmoo-2 short-range ballistic and the Spike anti-tanks missiles.  The NDC Policy Department statement was paired with one on 5 October (Saturday) from the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea.  This appears to be a publicity tactic by the DPRK’s image makers in which a statement issued from a key security organization is released with a statement from a key civilian organization.  In releasing the KPA General Staff’s statement, the process was reversed; the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea statement was the lead-in for that of the General Staff.  This may be a matter of balancing the institutional affiliation of the DPRK’s message bearers.  It could indicate a certain degree of solidarity (and policy agreement) among senior DPRK military and civilian policymakers on the country’s interactions and relations with the ROK.

DPRK National Defense Commission (Photo: NK Leadership Watch Graphic)

DPRK National Defense Commission (Photo: NK Leadership Watch Graphic)

This was the first statement released by the KPA General Staff since April 2013, a period in which inter-Korean relations were tense and security on the Korean Peninsula was fragile.  In April the KPA General Staff issued two statements, one on 4 April which objected to the B-52 bomber’s participation in joint US-ROK military exercises and another on 12 April which denied DPRK involvement in cyberattacks on ROK institutions.

The statement also marked the first significant public activity by the General Staff since the August 2013 appointment of Gen. Ri Yong Gil as chief.  Gen. Ri, former commander of the hardline forward-deployed V Army Corps, attended a 29 March 2013 meeting chaired by DPRK leader Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) at which “he signed the plan on technical preparations of strategic rockets of the KPA, ordering them to be standby for fire so that they may strike any time the U.S. mainland, its military bases in the operational theaters in the Pacific, including Hawaii and Guam, and those in south Korea.”  Also attending the meeting was Gen. Kim Yong Chol, Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff and Director of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, who manages the NDC Policy Department.

Kim Kye Gwan Meets with PRC State Councilor

18 Sep
Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi (R) meets with Kim Kye Gwan, first vice foreign minister of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 17, 2013. (Xinhua/Zhang Duo)

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi (R) meets with Kim Kye Gwan, first vice foreign minister of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 17, 2013. (Xinhua/Zhang Duo)

Chinese media reported that DPRK 1st Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Kye Gwan met with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi on 17 September (Tuesday).  During the meeting, according to Xinhua, Yang told Kim that “the China-DPRK relationship is at a crucial stage that connects the past and the future. Both sides should keep up with the times, grasp opportunities and tackle challenges to advance the healthy, stable development of bilateral ties” and  that “the six-party talks are an effective mechanism for realizing denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and maintaining peace and stability of the peninsula and Northeast Asia, as well as an important platform for relevant parties to improve relations.”  Yang also said that “China hopes relevant parties make concerted efforts to strive for an early resumption of the six-party talks.”  Kim Kye Gwan said that “the DPRK-China friendship should carry on, and bilateral ties should be strengthened” and “the six-party talks are an important platform for achieving denuclearization of the peninsula. DPRK supports China’s effort to restart the talks and is willing to keep in-depth communication with China.”  

Kim Kye Gwan is the surprise guest at a one-day conference (or workshop) Retrospects and Outlooks: A Decade of the Six-Party Talks organized by the Chinese Government to mark the tenth anniversary of the Six Party Talks and the eighth anniversary of the 19 September 2005 Joint Statement.  Accompanying Kim to China for the conference were Ri Yong Ho, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Choe Son Hui, a deputy department directors at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  During his address at the conference Kim said the DPRK is “ready to enter the six-party talks without preconditions” and said that “preconditions” stipulated by the US and ROK “are in violation of the spirit of the Sept. 19 Joint Statement” and “attaching preconditions to our offer of dialogue would cause mistrust.”  Kim also said that “denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula is a dying wish of our late leaders and our country’s policy goal” and “we support the six-party talks, and we are willing to resume dialogue under the framework of the six-party talks, including a small-scale dialogue.”   PRC Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the conference that “no one should attempt to bring chaos to this region or pursue selfish interests” and “recently, there have been positive changes on the Korean Peninsula. . .The situation has moved from a high degree of tensions to relative relaxation, and from strong and serious confrontation to the restart of talks.  The situation on the peninsula is still fragile and uncertain.  Therefore, the parties should properly handle and approach the situation, exercise restraint, avoid provocative measures against each other in order to maintain the current momentum of relaxation.”

DPRK Documentary Film Shows Kim Jong Il Inspecting Nodong, KN-08 Missiles

28 Aug
Late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il stands close to a TEL carrying a version of the Nodong medium-rang ballistic missile during a guidance visit that appears to be from the early 2000s.  The image is from a documentary film aired  by DPRK state media to mark the 53rd anniversary of Military-First (So'ngun) Revolutionary Leadership (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il stands close to a TEL carrying a version of the Nodong medium-rang ballistic missile during a guidance visit that appears to be from the early 2000s. The image is from a documentary film aired by DPRK state media to mark the 53rd anniversary of Military-First (So’ngun) Revolutionary Leadership (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

To mark the 53rd anniversary of Military-First (So’ngun) Revolutionary Leadership, DPRK state media aired another installment of the documentary film series General Kim Jong Il’s Matchless Patriotic  Defense of the Country.  The film splices together a variety of footage of Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) conducting field inspections of Korean People’s Army [KPA] units, KPA economic activity and arms and munitions factories.  During scenes of his visits to arms factories, Kim Jong Il is shown touring an unknown weapons production facility  during the early 2000s.  In the scene KJI is shown standing next to a Nodong medium-range ballistic missile on a TEL (transporter-erector-launcher).  Footage from the same visit also shows what is possibly the fabled KN-08 road mobile intercontinental ballistic missile.  It is not clear where this visit occurred, although possibilities include one of the machine factories in Jagang (Chagang) Province, a building at the Sanum-dong Research Facility in northern Pyongyang, the Tae-sung Machine Factory outside Namp’o or some other factory  under the Second Economy Commission (Second Economic Committee) or the Second Academy of Natural Sciences.

Transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) carrying a version of the Nodong medium-range ballistic missile (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) carrying a version of the Nodong medium-range ballistic missile (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Nose cone of a Nodong medium-rang ballistic missile (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Nose cone of a Nodong medium-rang ballistic missile (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

View of what is possibly the KN-08 road mobile intercontinental ballistic missile on what appears to be the WS51200 TEL (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

View of what appears to be the KN-08 road mobile intercontinental ballistic missile on a TEL (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

View of another mobile ballistic missile at what appears to be an arms factory or development facility (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

View of another mobile ballistic missile at what appears to be an arms factory or development facility (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Expanded Meeting of the Party Central Military Commission Held

27 Aug
Kim Jong Un presides over an expanded Party Central Military Commission meeting (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un presides over an expanded Party Central Military Commission meeting (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 25 August (Sunday) that an expanded meeting of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Central Military Commission [CMC] was held.  The meeting’s venue and date was not publicized.  Attending the meeting were CMC Members, members of the executive board of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] KWP Committee, commanding officers of the KPA’s service branches and KPA corps commanders.  According to KCNA, the meeting “discussed and decided upon practical issues of bolstering up the combat capability of the revolutionary armed forces and increasing the defence capability of the country in every way as required by prevailing situation and the present conditions of the People’s Army.”  Also discussed during the meeting was an “organizational matter” which most likely refers to personnel changes (appointments and dismissals) on the CMC.  At the end of the CMC meeting, according to KCNA, Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) “made an important concluding speech which would serve as guidelines for firmly protecting the sovereignty and security of the country and promoting the cause of the Military-First (So’ngun) revolution of the party.”

Kim Jong Un speaks at an expanded Party Central Military Commission meeting (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un speaks at an expanded Party Central Military Commission meeting (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Overview of the expanded Party Central Military Commission meeting in August 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Overview of the expanded Party Central Military Commission meeting in August 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Graphic of current members of the Party Central Military Commission (Photo: Michael Madden/NK Leadership Watch).

Graphic of current members of the Party Central Military Commission (Photo: Michael Madden/NK Leadership Watch).

The last expanded CMC meeting was held in early February 2013.  This CMC meeting, along with a meeting of the KWP Political Bureau held on 12 February 2013, affirmed the DPRK central leadership’s decision to conduct a third experimental nuclear detonation, which occurred on 12 February at the test site in P’unggye-ri, Kilju County, North Hamgyo’ng Province.  According to a 22 August report in Dong-a Ilbo, which cited “informed sources on North Korea,” command of military operations during war or a national crisis have been transferred from the DPRK National Defense Commission to the CMC.  The news report also claimed that the decision to declare a war, or national crisis, was subject to a collective decision of the CMC, the NDC and KPA Supreme Command; previously the Supreme Command had sole authority to declare a war.  According to Dong-a Ilbo, “experts judge that this change is meant to promote the formality of the organizations of supreme authority making collective decision through consultations.”

DPRK state media reported on 25 August (Sunday) that Kim Jong Un attended a banquet hosted by the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces to mark the 53rd anniversary of the Military-First (So’ngun) Revolutionary Leadership.  The banquet was attended by members of the CMC, the NDC, senior KPA officials and KPA service branch and corps unit commanders.  VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Director of the KPA General Political Department delivered a speech.  VMar Choe referred to Kim Jong Un having published a treatise on Military-First leadership in the 25 August 2013 editions of Rodong Sinmun and Joson Inmingun.  According to KCNA Choe also said:

Kim Jong Un dedicated his everything to bolstering up the military capability by making endless trips to forefront posts and units including the Kkachilbong post on Mt. Oso’ng, saying the road of Songun covered by the great Generalissimos all their lives is the journeys to be made by him. Thanks to his energetic Songun leadership, the country greeted the golden days of the army building and great events took place on this land one after another, striking the world people with admiration.

Our army and people will build a reunified, prosperous and the strongest country and a land of bliss for people where loud shouts of hurrah for the WPK will ring out on this land at an early date by intensifying the drive for displaying the “Speed on Masik Pass” on all fronts for the building of a thriving nation.

During the banquet, attendees toasted to the health of Kim Jong Un, described as representing “the destiny, future and ever-victorious banner of the great Mt. Paektu (Paektusan) power.”

KPA General Staff Says It “Will Take Powerful Practical Military Countermeasures”

3 Apr
Gen. Hyon Yong Chol, Chief of the KPA General Staff (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Gen. Hyon Yong Chol, Chief of the KPA General Staff (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Graphic of the control channels of the KPA General Staff.  Some of what DPRK state media calls "strategic rocket" units reside at the corps level, but are commanded by the KPA Strategic Rocket Force Command (Graphic by Michael Madden/NK Leadership Watch)

Graphic of the control channels of the KPA General Staff. Some of what DPRK state media calls “strategic rocket” units reside at the corps level, but are commanded by the KPA Strategic Rocket Force Command. The green line indicates dual command between the NDC and CMC (Graphic by Michael Madden/NK Leadership Watch)

DPRK state media released a statement (tamhwa) on 4 April (Thursday) from a spokesman from the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Staff which said the “”the towering resentment of the DPRK’s army and people has reached an irrepressible phase as they are all out in the all-out action to defend the sovereignty and prevent a nuclear war of the U.S.” and that “no one can say a war will break out in Korea or not and whether it will break out today or tomorrow.”  The KPA General Staff also announced that it is “in charge of all operations will take powerful practical military counteractions in succession as the KPA Supreme Command had already solemnly declared internally and externally.”

According to the KCNA, the KPA General Staff’s spokesman statement said:

A touch-and-go situation is prevailing on the Korean Peninsula.

U.S. formation of B-52s based on Guam flew into the sky above South Korea all of a sudden to stage a drill under the simulated conditions of a nuclear strike at the DPRK and formations of F-22s took off from Japan proper and Okinawa and were deployed in the Osan air force base in south Korea to watch for a chance to make a surprise strike.

B-2s flew into the air over waters of the West Sea of Korea from the U.S. mainland and nuclear- powered guided missile submarines and guided missile destroyers of the U.S. Navy which had been operating in waters of the Western Pacific are busy sailing in the West and East Seas of Korea.

It was reported that super-large nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and its group will enter the waters off the Korean Peninsula soon after leaving waters of the Indian Ocean or the western coast of the U.S. mainland.

South Korea and waters around it are turning into places for display of various types of nuclear strike means of the U.S. imperialist aggressor forces and a dangerous hotbed of a nuclear war in the true sense of the word.

The U.S. high-handed hostile policy toward the DPRK aimed to encroach upon its sovereignty and the dignity of its supreme leadership and bring down its social system is being implemented through actual military actions without hesitation.

Days and months have passed on this land amid the constant danger of war but never had the whole Korean Peninsula been exposed to such danger of a nuclear war as today.

Under this situation the towering resentment of the DPRK’s army and people has reached an irrepressible phase as they are all out in the all-out action to defend the sovereignty and prevent a nuclear war of the U.S.

In view of the prevailing situation the world people who love justice and value conscience are unanimously becoming critical of the U.S. and its followers for their disgraceful behavior of prodding the UN Security Council into adopting “resolutions on sanctions” against the DPRK and vocal expressing concern over the situation on the peninsula.

The moment of explosion is approaching fast.

No one can say a war will break out in Korea or not and whether it will break out today or tomorrow.

The responsibility for this grave situation entirely rests with the U.S. Administration and military warmongers keen to encroach upon the DPRK’s sovereignty and bring down its dignified social system with brigandish logic.

In view of this situation, the KPA General Staff in charge of all operations will take powerful practical military counteractions in succession as the KPA Supreme Command had already solemnly declared internally and externally.

We have already sent a strong message to the present puppet authorities and military of South Korea following in the footsteps of traitor Lee Myung Bak so that they may understand our position.

As a matter of fact, puppet military gangsters such as Kim Kwan Jin are human rejects not worth becoming targets of the DPRK’s revolutionary armed forces.

We formally inform the White House and Pentagon that the ever-escalating U.S. hostile policy toward the DPRK and its reckless nuclear threat will be smashed by the strong will of all the united service personnel and people and cutting-edge smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear strike means of the DPRK and that the merciless operation of its revolutionary armed forces in this regard has been finally examined and ratified.

The U.S. had better ponder over the prevailing grave situation.

 

 

 

CMC Meetings Shown in DPRK Documentary on Kim Jong Un’s Military Activities

18 Mar

On 5 March DPRK state media released a documentary film which compiled film footage of Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) inspecting Korean People’s Army [KPA] units, observing training exercises and visiting construction projects utilizing KPA personnel from his accession in January 2012 to live fire exercises in 2013.  Loosely translated as Unleashing a New Heyday of the Formidable Forces of Mt. Paektu, the 80 minute film consists mainly of footage that has previously appeared in short documentaries about KJU’s activities.  Aside from a few new, brief scenes of KJU talking with note taking senior officials, the films includes footage of the expanded meeting of the Korean Workers’ Party Central Military Commission [CMC] meeting held late in the afternoon on 3 February 2013.  The meeting was a key event preceding the DPRK’s third nuclear test on 12 February 2013.  The CMC meeting ended with Kim Jong Un, assisted by Chief of the KPA General Staff Hyon Yong Chol, giving meeting participants handguns in presentation boxes.  

External establishing shot showing the KWP flag over the KWP #1 Office Building in Pyongyang (L);  The 3 February 2013 expanded CMC meeting (C); Kim Jong Un chairing the meeting (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

External establishing shot showing the KWP flag over the KWP #1 Office Building in Pyongyang (L); The 3 February 2013 expanded CMC meeting (C); Kim Jong Un chairing the meeting (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un chairing the 3 February 2013 expanded CMC meeting (top) and 3rd generation KPA commanders and officials (middle and bottom) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un chairing the 3 February 2013 expanded CMC meeting (top) and 3rd generation KPA commanders and officials (middle and bottom) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC Members attended the 3 February 2013 meeting (L-R) Jang Song Taek; Pak To Chun; VMar Kim Yong Chun; Gen. Kim Won Hong; and Gen. Ri Myong Su (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC Members attended the 3 February 2013 meeting (L-R) Jang Song Taek; Pak To Chun; VMar Kim Yong Chun; Gen. Kim Won Hong; and Gen. Ri Myong Su (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC Members and senior officials attending the 3 February 2013 meeting.  In this image are VMar Kim Jong Gak (front row, R), Ju Kyu Chang (front row, 2nd R), Gen. Yun Jong Rin (front row, 3rd R) and Gen. Pak Jae Gyong (2nd row, R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC Members and senior officials attending the 3 February 2013 meeting. In this image are VMar Kim Jong Gak (front row, R), Ju Kyu Chang (front row, 2nd R), Gen. Yun Jong Rin (front row, 3rd R) and Gen. Pak Jae Gyong (2nd row, R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members applaud during the meeting.  Among those in the front row in this image are Jang Song Taek (L), Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (2nd L), Pak To Chun (3rd L) and VMar Kim Yong Chun (4th L) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members applaud during the meeting. Among those in the front row in this image are Jang Song Taek (L), Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (2nd L), Pak To Chun (3rd L) and VMar Kim Yong Chun (4th L) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Presentation boxes (L) containing an autographed message from Kim Jong Un (C) of handguns (R) presented to meeting participants (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Presentation boxes (L) containing an autographed message from Kim Jong Un (C) of handguns (R) presented to meeting participants (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Presentation ceremony of handguns at the end of the 3 February 2013 expanded CMC meetings.  Among those presented with these guns were: VMar Choe Ryong Hae (1.), Jang Song Taek (2.), Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (3.), Pak To Chun (4.), VMar Kim Yong Chun (5.), VMar Hyon Chol Hae (6.), Gen. Kim Won Hong (7.) and Gen. Kim Yong Chol (8.) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Presentation ceremony of handguns at the end of the 3 February 2013 expanded CMC meetings. Among those presented with these guns were: VMar Choe Ryong Hae (1.), Jang Song Taek (2.), Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (3.), Pak To Chun (4.), VMar Kim Yong Chun (5.), VMar Hyon Chol Hae (6.), Gen. Kim Won Hong (7.) and Gen. Kim Yong Chol (8.) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Over view of presentation ceremony at the end of the expanded CMC meeting (L) Gen. Hyon Yong Chol handing a presentation box to Kim Jong Un (C) and meeting participants applauding at the conclusion of the meeting (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Over view of presentation ceremony at the end of the expanded CMC meeting (L) Gen. Hyon Yong Chol handing a presentation box to Kim Jong Un (C) and meeting participants applauding at the conclusion of the meeting (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

The film also included footage of another expanded meeting of the Party Central Military Commission, held between February and March 2012.  This would have been a key event preceding the 13 April 2012 launch of the U’nha-3 rocket, which crashed shortly after it was launched.  Unlike the February 2013 CMC meeting, KWP civilian officials are attired in KPA dress uniforms.  Based on the protocol from the February ’13 meeting, it is likely then-Chief of the KPA General Staff, VMar Ri Yong Ho, participated in the handgun presentation ceremony at the meeting’s conclusion, however VMar Ri is not shown in this film.

Overview of expanded CMC meeting held in February or March 2012 (L), Kim Jong Un chairing the meeting (C) and a view of CMC members and meeting participants (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Overview of expanded CMC meeting held in February or March 2012 (L), Kim Jong Un chairing the meeting (C) and a view of CMC members and meeting participants (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members attending the 2012 meeting.  In the front row are Ju Kyu Chang (L), Choe Ryong Hae (2nd L) Pak To Chun (3rd L) and Kim Jong Gak (4th L) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members attending the 2012 meeting. In the front row are Ju Kyu Chang (L), Choe Ryong Hae (2nd L) Pak To Chun (3rd L) and Kim Jong Gak (4th L) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members standing at the 2012 meeting: Choe Ryong Hae (L), Pak To Chun (C) and Kim Jong Gak (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members standing at the 2012 meeting: Choe Ryong Hae (L), Pak To Chun (C) and Kim Jong Gak (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members stand during the meeting in 2012.  In the front row are: Gen. Kim Kyong Ok (L), Gen. Kim Won Hong (2nd L), Gen. Jong Myong Do (3rd L) and Gen. Ri Pyong Chol (4th L) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members stand during the meeting in 2012. In the front row are: Gen. Kim Kyong Ok (L), Gen. Kim Won Hong (2nd L), Gen. Jong Myong Do (3rd L) and Gen. Ri Pyong Chol (4th L) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members stand during the 2012 meeting.  In the front row in this image are VMar Kim Yong Chun (R), Jang Song Taek (2nd R), VMar Kim Jong Gak (3rd R), Pak To Chun (4th R), Choe Ryong Hae (5th R) and Ju Kyu Chang (6th R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members stand during the 2012 meeting. In the front row in this image are VMar Kim Yong Chun (R), Jang Song Taek (2nd R), VMar Kim Jong Gak (3rd R), Pak To Chun (4th R), Choe Ryong Hae (5th R) and Ju Kyu Chang (6th R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members and senior security officials stand during the 2012 meeting.  In this image in the front row are: Gen. Ri Myong Su (L) Hyon Chol Hae (2nd L),  Choe Kyong Song (3rd L), and Gen. Yun Jong Rin (4th L) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members and senior security officials stand during the 2012 meeting. In this image in the front row are: Gen. Ri Myong Su (L) Hyon Chol Hae (2nd L), Choe Kyong Song (3rd L), and Gen. Yun Jong Rin (4th L) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Overview of an expanded Party Central Military Commission meeting held in February or March 2012 with images of Kim Jong Un speaking, and 3rd generation KPA commanders and security officials (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Overview of an expanded Party Central Military Commission meeting held in February or March 2012 with images of Kim Jong Un speaking, and 3rd generation KPA commanders and security officials (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Presentation box of a handgun (L) presented to participants at the 2012 CMC meeting.  The grip contains KJU's autograph (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Presentation box of a handgun (L) presented to participants at the 2012 CMC meeting. The grip contains KJU’s autograph (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Presentation ceremony of handguns at the end of an expanded CMC meeting held in early 2012.  Among those presented with handguns are: VMar Kim Yong Chun (1.), Jang Song Taek (2.), VMar Kim Jong Gak (3.), Choe Ryong Hae (4.), Ju Kyu Chang (5.), Kim Kyong Ok (6.), Gen. Kim Won Hong (7.) and Gen. Jong Myong Do (8.) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Presentation ceremony of handguns at the end of an expanded CMC meeting held in early 2012. Among those presented with handguns are: VMar Kim Yong Chun (1.), Jang Song Taek (2.), VMar Kim Jong Gak (3.), Choe Ryong Hae (4.), Ju Kyu Chang (5.), Kim Kyong Ok (6.), Gen. Kim Won Hong (7.) and Gen. Jong Myong Do (8.) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Presented with handguns at the conclusion of the expanded CMC meeting in early 2012 were: Gen. Ri Pyong Chol (1.), Gen. Choe Pu Il (2.), Gen. Yun Jong Rin (3.), Gen. Ri Myong Su (4.), Col. Gen. Jo Kyong Chol (5.), Gen. Pak Jae Gyong (6.), Lt. Gen. Pak Jong Chon (7.) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Presented with handguns at the conclusion of the expanded CMC meeting in early 2012 were: Gen. Ri Pyong Chol (1.), Gen. Choe Pu Il (2.), Gen. Yun Jong Rin (3.), Gen. Ri Myong Su (4.), Col. Gen. Jo Kyong Chol (5.), Gen. Pak Jae Gyong (6.), Lt. Gen. Pak Jong Chon (7.) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un (L) concludes an expanded meeting of the Party Central Military Commission (R) held in early 2012 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un (L) concludes an expanded meeting of the Party Central Military Commission (R) held in early 2012 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

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