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Kim Jong Un Pays Condolences at Jon Pyong Ho’s Wake

9 Jul
Kim Jong Un stands in front of Jon Pyong Ho's casket at the Sojang Club in Pyongyang on 9 July 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un stands in front of Jon Pyong Ho’s casket at the Sojang Club in Pyongyang on 9 July 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) extended his condolences at the wake of former Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Secretary for Munitions Industry and National Defense Commission Member Jon Pyong Ho at Sojang Club in Pyongyang on 9 July (Wednesday).  Accompanying him were Hwang Pyong So (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Pak To Chun (WPK Secretary for Machine-Building Industries; Jon’s successor), Col. Gen. Yun Tong Hyon (Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Jo Chun Ryong (Chairman of the Second Economy Commission), Ju Kyu Chang (Vice Chairman of the Second Economy Commission) and Choe Chun Sik (President of the Second Academy of Natural Sciences).

Kim Jong Un and senior officials of the Korean People's Army and the Workers' Party of Korea pay their respects in front of Jon Pyong Ho's casket in Pyongyang on 9 July 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un and senior officials of the Korean People’s Army and the Workers’ Party of Korea pay their respects in front of Jon Pyong Ho’s casket in Pyongyang on 9 July 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

A floral wreath from KJU was placed in front of Jon’s casket along with floral wreaths from the WPK Central Committee, the WPK Central Military Commission, the DPRK National Defense Commission, the Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium, the DPRK Cabinet, the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces and other government, party and security institutions.  Beside Jon’s casket stood a KPA honor guard.  According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “paid a silent tribute to the memory of the deceased and went round the bier with sorrow for the death of a veteran revolutionary who had devoted himself to the work for glorifying the immortal revolutionary exploits performed by President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) in developing the national defense industry till the last moments of his life.” KJU then met members of Jon Pyong Ho’s family “to express his sympathy with them.”

In attendance with Kim Jong Un were: Lt. Gen. Choe Chun Sik (1); Ju Kyu Chang (2); Jo Chun Ryong (3); Pak To Chun (4); VMar Hwang Pyong So (5); Gen. Ri Yong Gil (6); Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (7);  and, Col. Gen. Yun Tong Hyon (8) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

In attendance with Kim Jong Un were: Lt. Gen. Choe Chun Sik (1); Ju Kyu Chang (2); Jo Chun Ryong (3); Pak To Chun (4); VMar Hwang Pyong So (5); Gen. Ri Yong Gil (6); Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (7); and, Col. Gen. Yun Tong Hyon (8) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Jon Pyong Ho lies in repose at Sojang Club in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Jon Pyong Ho lies in repose at Sojang Club in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un Supervises Missile Drills in West Sea

9 Jul
Kim Jong Un is briefed about a rocket drill by the KPA Strategic Forces (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un is briefed about a rocket drill by the KPA Strategic Forces (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

 

DPRK state media reported on 10 July (Thursday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) attended and supervised a “tactical rocket firing drill” by the Korean People’s Army [KPA] Strategic Force.  Attending the drill with him were VMar Hwang Pyong So (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Col. Gen. Pak Jong Chon (Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff and Director of the Firepower Command Department), Col. Gen. Yun Tong Hyon (Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces) and Hong Yong Chil (Deputy [vice] Director of the WPK Machine-Building Industry Department).  KJU’s last observed appearance was at a national memorial service commemorating the 20th anniversary of the death DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng).

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

According to KCNA the “drill was conducted as a combination of a sudden movement and firepower strike to assess and inspect the actual combat capabilities of the above-said units.”  Prior to the drill KJU was brief on the “firing plan worked out by the Staff of the Strategic Force, the designated flight orbit and the blockade of the targeted waters, etc.” then issued an order for the drill to commence.  According to KCNA the drill “once again fully demonstrated the tactical rockets’ high capability of hitting the targets and combat capability” and it “helped accurately define the order of combat actions and firepower missions of the strike units of the Strategic Force in the western sector of the front in case of emergency and round off the firing methods according to different enemy targets.”

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un “expressed great satisfaction over the fact that the drill was successfully staged in combination with rapid movement as required by a modern warfare” and he “gave important instructions for rounding off the combat preparations of the Strategic Force and applying the Chuch’e-oriented rocket combat methods.”  He said that “we should be prepared for both words and actions. However fair-minded and just we are, we may become a bargaining chip for the strong and our precious history inherited with blood will loose its shine in a moment if we are weak.”  He also “expressed great expectation and conviction that the units of the Strategic Force would as ever further step up the combat readiness of rockets and always keep themselves ready to promptly fire them by undergoing drills under the simulated conditions of an actual battle and thus cope with the reckless confrontation hysteria of the enemies to stifle the DPRK by force at any cost with powerful military deterrent.”

Jon Pyong Ho (1926-2014)

8 Jul
Jon Pyong Ho (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Jon Pyong Ho (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Former Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Secretary and Director of the WPK Munitions Industries Department and Member of the DPRK National Defense Commission Gen. Jon Pyong Ho passed away on 7 July 2014 from a heart attack at the age of 88.  With over five decades working in the DPRK’s munitions industry, Jon was a key figure in the DPRK’s development of ballistic missiles, nuclear weapons and space programs, supervising the country’s nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, test launches of the Taepodong missile in 1998 and 2006 and a 2009 launch of the U’nha-2.  He was instrumental in the establishment of the Second Economy Commission [SEC], which is responsible for the production of conventional arms and weapons of mass destruction [WMDs].  He was a member of the SEC at its inception in 1971 and served as Vice Chairman and Chairman of the SEC.  Jon effectively retired from active involvement in the DPRK’s weapons industries as 2012 and had served as honorary curator of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] Museum of Weapons and Equipment.

Jon will be waked at the Sojang Club in the Pot’onggang District in Pyongyang on 9 July (Wednesday) and his funeral and burial will be held on 10 July (Thursday).

State Funeral Committee for Jon Pyong Ho (Photo: NK Leadership Watch/Rodong Sinmun).

State Funeral Committee for Jon Pyong Ho (Photo: NK Leadership Watch/Rodong Sinmun).

Jon Pyong Ho was a member of a squad of teenaged and twenty-something close protection escorts from 1945 to 1947 for the late DPRK President and founder, Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng), and his wife Kim Jong Suk (Kim Cho’ng-suk).  He knew the late leader Kim Jong Il (1941-2011) and his sister Kim Kyong Hui (Kim Kyo’ng-hu’i) when they were small children.  His official career began at the Kanggye General Tractor Plant, a leading DPRK arms manufacturer in Chagang Province, during the Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War).  During the 1950s and 1960s Jon Pyong Ho held a series of industrial and political management positions at munitions factories under the DPRK Cabinet.  He also held concurrent positions in the WPK Organization Guidance Department where he worked to consolidate Kim Il Sung’s command and control over munitions production.

Until the early 1970s the research, development and production of convention and advanced weapons in the DPRK was dispersed among a series of Cabinet, KPA and WPK factories and research institutes.  Holding the position of deputy (vice) director of the WPK Machine-Building Industry Department and alternate (candidate) membership on the WPK Political Bureau, Jon was instrumental in consolidating these production and research sites under one central authority, the WPK Second Economy Commission (WPK Second Economic Committee).  Jon became a member of Second Economy Commission and served as its Director-General throughout the 1970s.  He was elected a full member of the WPK Central Committee at the 6th Party Congress in October 1980.  In 1982 he was appointed Chairman of the Second Economy Commission and deputy to the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] .  Throughout the 1980s Jon supervised the DPRK’s acquisition of numerous weapons systems, as well as sales to foreign countries.  He was elected WPK Secretary for Munitions Industries and Director of the WPK Munitions Industries Department (Machine-Building Industry) in 1986.  In 1988, he was elected a full member of the WPK Political Bureau.

Jon Pyong Ho's death announcement as published in the 9 July 2014 edition of Rodong Sinmun.

Jon Pyong Ho’s death announcement as published in the 9 July 2014 edition of Rodong Sinmun.

In 1990, Jon Pyong Ho was elected a member of the DPRK National Defense Commission and appointed Director of the WPK Military Policy Inspection Department.  In 1994, as the DPRK prioritized military spending and arms production over the development of the civilian economy, Jon was appointed Director of the WPK Economic Policy Inspection Department.  He was a member of the funeral committee for DPRK President Kim Il Sung in July 1994.  In 1998 he was elected a member of the Party Central Military Commission [CMC].  Jon was also a member of the Three Person Committee, a group of key policymakers involved in macroeconomic planning focused on allocating resources for arms production.  During the 1990s Jon led negotiations and arrangements for the DPRK’s acquisition of centrifuge and enrichment technology and expertise from Pakistan.

In 2010, Jon vacated his positions at the top of the DPRK’s military industrial complex.  At the 3rd Party Conference on 28 September 2010 Jon retained his membership on the WPK Political Bureau, however he was replaced as WPK Secretary, WPK Central Committee Department Director and CMC Member.  In 2010 he assumed the position of Political Director of the DPRK Cabinet and Chief Secretary of the DPRK Cabinet WPK Committee.  In 2011 he was replaced by Pak To Chun as a member of the NDC.  Jon Pyong Ho continued to make occasional public appearances and was a member of the funeral committee organized for Kim Jong Il in December 2011.  In 2012 Jon Pyong Ho retired all of his political positions and was appointed honorary curator of the KPA Museum of Weapons and Equipment.

Jon Pyong Ho was born into a hard scrabble life to an itinerant farming family in Chagang Province in 1926.  He was a diligent student and studied in the DPRK Russia. He completed graduate coursework in mechanical engineering.  Jon was a savvy operator and manager in the DPRK’s political culture and a talented writer.  He was a consensus-builder among his colleagues in the DPRK’s military industrial complex, had a calm demeanor and was reportedly pleasant in both social and professional interactions.  Several of Jon’s children and in-laws work in the party and government.

KCNA’s obituary of Jon Pyong Ho

 

Pyongyang, July 9 (KCNA) — General of the Korean People’s Army Jon Pyong Ho, honorary curator of the KPA Museum of Weapons and Equipment, died of acute myocardial infraction at 19:00 on July 7, Juche 103 (2014) at the age of 88.

Jon was a veteran revolutionary who devoted his all to the victory of the revolutionary cause of Chuch’e true to the So’ngun (Military-First) leadership of the party and the leader.

Born into a poor peasant’s family in Jonchon County of Jagang Province on March 20, 1926, he grew up to be an able official under the loving care of the party and the leader after the liberation of the country and devoted all his life to the defence industry.

From October 1945 he served in the guards company under the loving care of President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and anti-Japanese war hero Kim Jong Suk (Kim Cho’ng-suk). He bravely fought to protect the headquarters of the revolution at the cost of his life from the desperate moves of the enemies inside and outside the country.

Working as a process engineer, department chief and chief engineer of a munitions factory from September 1952 to July 1970, he made a positive contribution to ensuring the munitions production in the wartime and hastening the victory in the Fatherland Liberation War.

He devotedly worked to defend the sovereignty of the country and the gains of the revolution by thoroughly implementing the line of simultaneously developing the economic construction and defense capabilities laid down by the President.

Holding the posts of vice department director, department director and secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea from August 1970 and director of the Political Bureau of the Cabinet and chief secretary of its Party Committee from June 2010 to March 2012, he made a special contribution to turning the KPA into the powerful elite revolutionary army equipped with modern offensive and defensive means and converting the DPRK into a satellite producer and launcher and a nuclear weapons state and devoted himself to carrying out the WPK’s line and policy of economic construction.

Working as honorary curator of the KPA Museum of Weapons and Equipment from May 2012, he devoted all his wisdom and enthusiasm to the work for conveying the undying revolutionary exploits the peerless great persons of Mt. Paektu performed in the field of defence industry to the posterity.

He worked as alternate member, member of the C.C., the WPK and as alternate member and member of the Political Bureau of the C.C., the WPK from November 1970 to April 2012.

He was elected a deputy to the 7th Supreme People’s Assembly and worked as a deputy until the 12th SPA. He worked as a member of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK for a long period.

He was awarded high state orders and citations including two Orders of Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and Order of Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il), the highest orders of the DPRK, the title of Twice Hero of the DPRK and the title of Labor Hero for the distinguished feats he performed for the party and revolution, the country and its people.

An obituary of Jon Pyong Ho was released in the joint name of the Central Committee of the WPK and the National Defence Commission of the DPRK on July 7.

It said that though Jon passed away, the exploits he performed on behalf of the party and revolution and the country and its people will shine long.

The Central Committee of the WPK and the NDC of the DPRK announced that the late Jon would be accorded a state funeral, and formed a funeral committee with supreme leader Kim Jong Un as its chairman and 88 officials including Kim Yong Nam, Pak Pong Ju and Hwang Pyong So as its members.

 

Kim Jong Un Visits Ku’msusan

7 Jul
Kim Jong Un visits the Ku'msusan Palace of the Sun at midnight on 8 July 2014 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the death of his grandfather, late DPRK President and founder Kim Il-so'ng (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un visits the Ku’msusan Palace of the Sun at midnight on 8 July 2014 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the death of his grandfather, late DPRK President and founder Kim Il-so’ng (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the Ku’msusan Memorial Palace of the Sun at midnight KST on 8 July (Tuesday), the 20th anniversary of the death of his grandfather, late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng).  Joining KJU at Ku’msusan were VMar Hwang Pyong So (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Gen. Pyon In Son (Director of the KPA General Staff Operations Bureau and 1st Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff) Col. Gen. So Hong Chan (1st Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Col. Gen. Gen. Pak Yong Sik (Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Lt. Gen. Ryom Chol Song (Deputy Director of the KPA General Political Department), Gen. Jo Kyong Chol (Director of the Military Security Command), Gen. Ri Pyong Chol (Commander of the KPA Air and anti-Air Forces) and Gen. Kim Yong Chol (Director of the Reconnaissance General Bureau and Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff)   KJU’s last observed appearance was his inspection of the Ung Islet Defense Detachment.

An honor guard of the KPA’s three service branches and the Worker-Peasant Red Guard saluted statues of KIS and Kim Jong (Kim Cho’ng-il).  Floral baskets from Kim Jong Un and the KPA were placed in front of the statues.  KJU and the senior KPA officials “paid high tribute to the statues” then proceeded to a chamber containing Kim Il Sung’s preserved remains where they “paid homage to him in the humblest reference,” according to KCNA.  They then visited a room containing KIS’ car, his railway coach, various state titles and honorary degrees and other personal affects.  Kim Jong Un and the senior KPA officials then went to a chamber containing KJI’s remains where they “paid homage to him in the humblest reverence.”  Then then visited rooms exhibiting KJI’s sedan, electric cart, boat and personal railway coach.

 

Visiting Ku'msusan with KJU were: Lt. Gen. Ryom Chol Song (1); Col. Gen. Pak Yong Sik (2); Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (3) VMar Hwang Pyong So (4); Gen. Ri Pyong Chol (5); Gen. Ri Yong Gil (6); Gen. Kim Yong Chol (7); and Gen. Pyon In So (8) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Visiting Ku’msusan with KJU were: Lt. Gen. Ryom Chol Song (1); Col. Gen. Pak Yong Sik (2); Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (3) VMar Hwang Pyong So (4); Gen. Ri Pyong Chol (5); Gen. Ri Yong Gil (6); Gen. Kim Yong Chol (7); and Gen. Pyon In Son (8) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un Inspects Ung Islet Defense Detachment

6 Jul
Kim Jong Un inspects the Ung Islet Defense Detachment (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un inspects the Ung Islet Defense Detachment (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Ung Islet (Photo: Google image).

Ung Islet (Photo: Google image).

DPRK state media reported on 7 July (Monday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) inspected Ung Islet Defense Detachment, located off the coast of South Hamgyo’ng Province.  Attending the inspection with him were VMar Hwang Pyong So (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department) and Col. Gen. Pak Jong Chon (Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff and Director of the KPA Firepower Commanding Department).  KJU’s last observed appearance was his visit to the Songdowon International Children’s Camp.

After being greeted by command staff, KJU’s first stop during his inspection was at a monument commemorating a field inspection by his grandfather, late DPRK founder and president Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng).  KJU “recollected with deep emotion the undying exploits performed by the President and leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) for the development of the defense detachment” and noted that “Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il worked heart and soul for the development of the KPA.”  KJU also underscored “the need for the service personnel of the detachment to turn the Ung Islet into an impregnable fortress and thus glorify for all ages the feats performed by Kim Il Sung  and Kim Jong Il  in commanding the army.”  He watched an artillery exercise and was “greatly satisfied to see them accurately hit the target,” according to KCNA, and “was very pleased to meet the crack shots.”

Artillery training exercise conducted by the Ung Islet Defense Detachment (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Artillery training exercise conducted by the Ung Islet Defense Detachment (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un watches an artillery exercise by the Ung Islet Defense Detachment (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un watches an artillery exercise by the Ung Islet Defense Detachment (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un during an inspection of Ung Islet.  Also seen in attendance is Col. Gen. Pak Jong Chon (center) and VMar Hwang Pyong So (right) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un during an inspection of Ung Islet. Also seen in attendance is Col. Gen. Pak Jong Chon (center) and VMar Hwang Pyong So (right) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un poses for a commemorative photo with service members of the Ung Islet Defense Detachment following an artillery training exercise (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un poses for a commemorative photo with service members of the Ung Islet Defense Detachment following an artillery training exercise (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un instructed a “crack shot” certificate (and inevitably, a  plaque) be award to the artillery piece involved in the exercise and presented “crack shot” medals and badges to the members of the islet defense detachment, 1st platoon of its 1st company.  Then he posed for commemorative photos with the KPA Personnel.  KJU also watched a heavy gymnastics exhibition.  According to KCNA, he “set forth important tasks which would serve as guidelines for rounding off the combat capability of the detachment” and said that “the commanding officers of the detachment should prepare themselves as commanding officers and political cadres of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il style and intensify the political and ideological education among the service personnel to train them as revolutionaries and patriots strong in idea and faith and possessed of versatile knowledge and high cultural attainments.”  KJU also “stressed the need for the detachment to always direct efforts to the anti-U.S. education and class education, regardless of conditions and circumstances, so that the service personnel may make training part of their life and habit with burning hatred towards the enemies” and “gave an instruction to the detachment to turn it into one of crack shots so that it may send the enemies intruding into the waters of the DPRK to the bottom of the sea to the last man once a battle kicks off and thus not allow them to set foot even an inch of its inviolable land.”

Kim Jong Un poses for a commemorative photo with officers, service members and military families stationed on Ung Islet (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un poses for a commemorative photo with officers, service members and military families stationed on Ung Islet (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un then toured the barracks, quarters, bathing facilities, mess and supply stores “to take deep care of the living of their service personnel as their real father would do.”  He was also briefed about supply service to the islet defense detachment and the education of the children of officers and service members stationed on the islet.  He “stressed the need to pay particular attention to the living of the service personnel there and their families” and  “showed deep loving care for the defense detachment.”  KJU ended his inspection by attending a commemorative photo-op with the defense detachment’s personnel and members of their families.

Defense Ministry Commemorates 20th Anniversary of KIS Death

6 Jul
Minister of the People's Armed Forces Gen. Hyon Yong Chol speaks at a KPA event marking the 20th anniversary of Kim Il Sung's death on 6 July 2014 (Photo: KCTV)

Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Gen. Hyon Yong Chol speaks at a KPA event marking the 20th anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s death on 6 July 2014 (Photo: KCTV)

Participants at an event commemorating the 20th anniversary of Kim Il Sung's death, held at the Ministry of the People's Armed Forces in Pyongyang on 6 July 2014 (Photo: KCTV).

Participants at an event commemorating the 20th anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s death, held at the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces in Pyongyang on 6 July 2014 (Photo: KCTV).

The Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces [MPAF], the DPRK’s defense ministry, held a symposium to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the death of the late DPRK founder and president, Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) on 6 July (Sunday).  Attending the event were senior MPAF officials and Korean People’s Army [KPA] officers and service members.  Symposium speakers included Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces)** Col. Gen. Kang P’y’o Yong (Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces) and Lt. Gen. Ryom Chol Song (Deputy Director of the KPA General Political Department).  According to KCNA the speakers remarked that “the greatest of the feats performed by the President is that he fathered the immortal Chuch’e idea to indicate a genuine path for the oppressed Korean people and progressives to carve out their destinies,”  that Kim Il Sung “strengthened the KPA into the army of the party and the leader throughout his life and devoted himself to the development of the army into an invincible revolutionary army strong enough to defeat any formidable enemy at a single stroke” and that he “formed the integral whole of all the service personnel and people who share the same intention and feelings with his warm comradely love.”  The speakers also noted that KIS “set forth the guidelines of revolution and steadfastly adhered to them in the practical struggle to overcome the severe trials and ordeals” and they  “called for strengthening the KPA into the army of the leader and the party true to the leadership of Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n).”

**Note that Hyon Yong Chol has been restored to the rank of General (from Colonel General) since his appointment in early June as Minister of the PAF)

Ministry of the People's Armed Forces complex in Pyongyang (Photo: Google image).

Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces complex in Pyongyang (Photo: Google image).

Kim Jong Un Guides Island Landing Drill

4 Jul
Kim Jong Un watches an island landing drill.  Also seen in attendance are Chief of the KPA General Staff Ri Yong Gill (1) and KPA Navy Commander VAdm Kim Myong Sik (2) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un watches an island landing drill. Also seen in attendance are Chief of the KPA General Staff Ri Yong Gill (1) and KPA Navy Commander VAdm Kim Myong Sik (2) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

 

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 5 July (Saturday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) guided and observed an island landing drill.  Korean People’s Army [KPA] infantry, artillery, naval assets and air craft participated in the landing drill.  In attendance with KJU were VMar Hwang Pyong So (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff) and Gen. Pyon In Son (Director of the KPA General Staff Operations Bureau).  KJU’s last observed appearance was his attendance and supervision of a swimming assessment of KPA Navy command staff.

Kim Jong Un was briefed about the plans for the drill, ordered the drill to begin and the site “looked like an active volcano.”  According to KCNA as he watched the landing drill unfold, Kim Jong Un remarked that “it was possible to deal deadly blows at the enemies through initial strikes if the time for striking was properly fixed and fire was concentrated on them through prompt, accurate and united actions” and  the drill’s participants “were excellent and deserved to be called a-match-for-a-hundred fighters as they underwent intensive training day and night with the extraordinary awareness that a combat drill should be carried out as scheduled.”  KJU also “noted with great satisfaction that the drill was successful as it met the requirements of the Chuch’e-based war method.”

Kim Jong Un reviews plans for an island landing drill conducted by the three service branches of the KPA.  Also in attendance is Col. Gen. Pak Jong Chon, Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un reviews plans for an island landing drill conducted by the three service branches of the KPA. Also in attendance is Col. Gen. Pak Jong Chon, Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un confers with members of the KPA high command during an island landing drill.  Seen in attendance are VMar Hyong Pyong So (1), Director of the KPA General Political Department, Gen. Pyon In Son (2), Director of the KPA General Staff Operations Bureau, and Gen. Ri Yong Gil (3), Chief of the KPA General Staff (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un confers with members of the KPA high command during an island landing drill. Seen in attendance are VMar Hyong Pyong So (1), Director of the KPA General Political Department, Gen. Pyon In Son (2), Director of the KPA General Staff Operations Bureau, and Gen. Ri Yong Gil (3), Chief of the KPA General Staff (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un and senior KPA officials watch an island landing drill (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un and senior KPA officials watch an island landing drill (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un salutes KPA Navy service members from a warship following an island landing drill (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un salutes KPA Navy service members from a warship following an island landing drill (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

He also inspected naval vessels from a KPA Navy warship and “congratulated the participants in the drill on their success.”  He “set forth important tasks which would serve as guidelines for further developing the People’s Army into the ever-victorious revolutionary armed forces.”  According to KCNA he said that “history proves that it is impossible to protect the destiny of the country and its people unless the army is bolstered up,” and underscored “the need to put more spurs to increasing the military strength which means the sovereignty of the country and the nation and the national power.”  KJU called on “the KPA to intensify the training essential for augmenting the military strength” and  “instructed the commanding officers to thoroughly do away with formalistic, ready-made and stylish practices in training and steadily improve forms, contents and methods of training as required by the modern warfare.”  He also “instructed them to frequently organize a similar drill in the future, always bearing in mind training means a battle” and “called on the whole army to defend the sky, land and seas of the socialist homeland as firm as an iron wall, watching every movement of the enemies with vigilance.”

Kim Jong Un recalled that “the inviolable waters on the southwestern front of the country are exposed to frequent threat due to a handful of enemies and there was a dangerous incident in which the shells fired by them dropped in territorial waters of the DPRK some days ago” and said that he “took it very seriously and he was closely watching them.”  KJU also “strongly warned that should the enemies repeat the wrong choice on the wrong day in the hotspot waters, he would make them regret bitterly for their action.”

Hwang Pyong So Meets with Members of Russian MOD Central Military Orchestra

2 Jul
VMar Hwang Pyong So, Director of the KPA General Political Department (right), meets with Lt. Gen. Valery Khalilov in Pyongyang on 2 July 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

VMar Hwang Pyong So, Director of the KPA General Political Department (right), meets with Lt. Gen. Valery Khalilov in Pyongyang on 2 July 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Hwang Pyong So, Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department, met with Lt. General Valery Khalilov, Director of Music of Military Bands Services of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Segei Durgin, head of the Russian Ministry of Defense’s Central Military Orchestra, and the orchestra’s principal musicians in Pyongyang on 2 July (Wednesday).  Also in attendance were Lt. Gen. Ryom Chol Song (Deputy Director of the KPA General Political Department), senior officials of the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces along with the charge d’affaires and defense attache of the Russian Embassy in the DPRK.

VMar Hwang “courteously conveyed the congratulations of KPA Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n), first chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission, to the central military orchestra on giving splendid performances which encouraged the army and people of the DPRK and contributed to the development of the traditional DPRK-Russia friendly relations.”  According to KCNA, Hwang Pyong So quoted Kim Jong Un who has stated that he ” he warmly welcomed the revisit of the central military orchestra to the DPRK, setting store by the ties it had with leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) and  that “he (KJU) was too busy to watch the performance and meet the members of the central military orchestra and personally invited them to spend holiday in Korea, adding all of them or its leading members only might come to it later.”  Hwang also said that Kim Jong Un remarked he ” hoped that the traditional DPRK-Russia friendly relations would develop on a higher level,  stressing that the army and people of the DPRK would make positive efforts to invariably boost the DPRK-Russia friendship with a long-standing tradition as intended by the supreme commander. He hoped that the central military orchestra would as ever perform the role of a bugler in boosting the DPRK-Russia friendship.”

Valery Khalilov “extended his thanks to Kim Jong Un for personally inviting the central military orchestra to visit the DPRK and congratulating it on its successful performances and offering it a warm salute” and said that “the current visit to the DPRK provided the members of the central military orchestra with an opportunity to know well about the high sense of organization and discipline of the service personnel of the KPA and people wisely led by the supreme commander.”  Lt. Gen. Khalilov requested that Hwang “convey the warm regards of all members of the central military orchestra to Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army Kim Jong Un, first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and first chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, who personally invited the central military orchestra to visit the DPRK and took deep care of it so that it might give successful performances.”

KPA General Political Department Director VMar Hwang Pyong So (4th L) poses for a commemorative photo with members of the Central Military Orchestra of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation in Pyongyang on 2 July 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

KPA General Political Department Director VMar Hwang Pyong So (4th L) poses for a commemorative photo with members of the Central Military Orchestra of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation in Pyongyang on 2 July 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

On 2 July, the DPRK National Defense Commission hosted a reception for the Central Military Orchestra.  Attending the reception were VMar Hwang Pyong So, Lt. Gen. Ryom Chol Song, Col. Gen. O Kum Chol (Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff), senior MPAF officials and members and functionaries of the KPA’s military bands.

At the reception, Lt. Gen. Ryom Chol Song and Col. Gen. O Kum Chol delivered speeches in which they remarked that “that the orchestra’s visit to the DPRK marked an important occasion in demonstrating the traditional DPRK-Russia friendship and greatly encouraged the army and the people of the DPRK dynamically advancing toward the final victory under the wise leadership of Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un” and, according to KCNA, they recalled that “Kim Jong Un highly appreciated the successful performances of the orchestra and extended congratulations to it and took such benevolent step as making sure that a meaningful reception was given for it.”

Lt. Gen. Valery Khalilov and the Central Military Orchestra’s conductor Andrei Nisenbaum “extended sincere thanks to Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un for personally inviting it to visit the DPRK and paying deep attention to it during the whole period of its visit to the DPRK..”  They also remarked that during their visit to the country “members of the orchestra came to know well the fact that the DPRK and Russia have the long-standing tradition not only in political and military fields but in the cultural field and it is of weighty significance in boosting the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries to develop military music between the armies of the two countries, they noted.  It is the invariable will of the armies and peoples of the two countries to boost the bilateral traditional relations of friendship” and they underscored “the need for the armies and peoples of the two countries to join hands and make concerted efforts to boost the Russia-DPRK friendly relations in the future, too. “

 

Kim Jong Un Supervises KPAN Swim Test and Inspects Hwa Islet

2 Jul
Kim Jong Un talks with KPA Navy commanding officers prior to an assessment of their swimming abilities (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un talks with KPA Navy commanding officers prior to an assessment of their swimming abilities (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 2 July (Wednesday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) supervised an assessment of the swimming ability of Korean People’s Army [KPA] Navy commanding officers. Attending this event with him were VMar Hwang Pyong So (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Gen. Pyon In Son (Director of the KPA General Staff Operations Bureau) and Col. Gen. Pak Jong Chon (Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff).

According to KCNA the swimming drill was “organized by the order of the supreme commander was conducted in such a way that the commanding officers of the East Sea Fleet and the West Sea Fleet of the KPA Navy simultaneously started in column formations up to the turn-round point at the distance of 5 km and swam back from it.”  Ahead of the drill KJU met the commanding KPAN commanders and  “told them that the assessment of their swimming ability was of weighty importance in rounding off the combat readiness of the navy and remarkably bolstering up the combat capabilities by making the training more intense just as the anti-Japanese guerillas did in Mt. Paektu.”  He said that “the commanding officers should become good fighters if the army is to fight well. . . modern warfare requires the commanding officers to be prepared not only politically and ideologically and in military technique but physically.  The commanding officers are not qualified if they lack physical ability, no matter what good ideological and moral qualities they have and no matter how high military and technological qualifications they are possessed of as they should stand in the van of the combat ranks.  When the commanding officers are fully prepared, they can always lead intensive training of service personnel, shouting ‘Forward, following me!’ not ‘Charge ahead!'”

Kim Jong Un speaks to KPA Navy commanding officers at an assessment of their swimming abilities (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un speaks to KPA Navy commanding officers at an assessment of their swimming abilities (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Commanding officers of units subordinate to the KPA Navy's East Sea and West Sea Fleets participate in an assessment of their swimming abilities (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Commanding officers of units subordinate to the KPA Navy’s East Sea and West Sea Fleets participate in an assessment of their swimming abilities (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un also said “seamen should acquire high ability of swimming” and that “only when the commanding officers of the navy are good at swimming, can they lead the seamen and successfully carry out the naval operation for implementing the strategic plan of the supreme command even in vast expanse of sea.”  According to KCNA, the KPAN commanding officers “renewed their resolution to fully display the might of Kim Jong Un’s Navy in the assessment event, regarding the drill for assessing the swimming ability to be staged before the supreme commander as a battle field without gunfire.”

The swimming drill began and “participants fully demonstrated the swimming ability they have cultivated in their day-to-day training, displaying great persevering strength, will and team spirit.”  Based on KCNA’s report commanding officers of the West Sea Fleet outperformed their counterparts from the East Sea Fleet.  Kim Jong Un provided his assessment and review of the drill.  According to KCNA he “expressed great satisfaction over the successful drill and set forth tasks to be fulfilled to round off the combat readiness and bolster up the combat capabilities of the naval units including the work for making swimming drill a rule and part of life of the seamen so that they may satisfactorily perform their combat missions under any circumstances.”

Kim Jong Un at a field inspection of the Hwa Islet Defense Detachment.  Also in attendance are KPA General Political Department Director Hwang Pyong So (1) and a Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff Col. Gen. Pak Jong Chon (2) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un at a field inspection of the Hwa Islet Defense Detachment. Also in attendance are KPA General Political Department Director Hwang Pyong So (1) and a Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff Col. Gen. Pak Jong Chon (2) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

 

Hwa Islet Defense Detachment (Photo: Google image).

Hwa Islet Defense Detachment (Photo: Google image).

 

Prior to the swimming drill, KJU’s last observed appearance was his field inspection of the defense detachment on Hwa Islet.  Attending the field inspection were VMar Hwang Pyong So and Col. Gen. Pak Jong Chon.  His first stop was to a monument commemorating an October 1999 field inspection by his father, late supreme leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il).  According to KCNA, KJU recalled that “President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) gave dozens of precious instructions as regards the islet defense detachment and Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) always paid deep attention to it” and he “underscored the need to glorify their exploits performed in commanding the army with the shining achievements in rounding off the combat preparations and bolstering up combat capabilities.”

He looked at the trees and forest around the barracks and remarked that the “islet is full of trees. It’s better to call the islet Song Islet instead of Hwa Islet as pine trees have formed thick verdure.”  KJU  “highly praised the detachment for having turned the islet into a thick woodland and greenery and orchard as intended by the party.”  Kim Jong Un then received a briefing on the defense detachment’s mission and operations planning.”  According to KCNA he underscored the “need to wipe out the enemies coming in attack from the sea to the last man” and “indicated new and unique war methods to be applied by the Hwa Islet Defence Detachment for rounding off its combat readiness such as the deployment of strike means and the effective use of the firing positions as required by the modern warfare.”  He also said that the Hwa Islet Defense Detachment “is an advance base in the defense theater” of KPA Large Combined Unit (taeyonhap pudae) #324 “and outpost in the East Sea guarding the gateway to the Party Central Committee.”  He noted that it was “an important task of the defense detachment to turn the islet into an impregnable fortress, unsinkable warship and the present-day Wolmi island.”

Hwa Islet (Photo: Google image).

Hwa Islet (Photo: Google image).

Kim Jong Un observes an artillery exercise of the Hwa Islet Defense Detachment (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un observes an artillery exercise of the Hwa Islet Defense Detachment (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Artillery exercises conducted by the 5th company of the Hwa Islet Defense Detachment (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Artillery exercises conducted by the 5th company of the Hwa Islet Defense Detachment (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un issued instructions that the defense detachment’s command staff “intensify the politico-ideological education among the service personnel to train them as phoenixes, underlining the need to make military training, in particular, part of their life and habit and thus build a-match-for-a hundred combat capabilities so that they may send all the enemies intruding into the territorial waters of the DPRK to the bottom of the sea once a battle starts.”  KJU ordered and supervised an artillery drill and watched the drill “with deep attention the artillery men in firepower service through a pair of binoculars.”  After the artillery drill he remarked that service members “are very good at firing. All of them are crack shots and the commander of the defense detachment has successfully commanded the firing.  The artillery men could hit all targets as they have undergone intensive training, bearing deep in mind the call of the party for waging a dynamic movement for becoming crack shots.”  KJU called the detachment’s 5th company who conducted the drill “Crack Shots Company” and he “extended the thanks of the KPA supreme commander to it.”

Hwa Islet in relation to South Hamgyo'ng Province (Photo: Google image).

Hwa Islet in relation to South Hamgyo’ng Province (Photo: Google image).

Kim Jong Un poses for a commemorative photo with service members and officers of the Hwa Islet Defense Detachment (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un poses for a commemorative photo with service members and officers of the Hwa Islet Defense Detachment (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un attends a commemorative photo-op with Hwa Islet Defense Detachment's service members, officers and their families (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un attends a commemorative photo-op with Hwa Islet Defense Detachment’s service members, officers and their families (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

After the artillery drill, KJU toured the the 3rd company’s quarters, bathing facilities, mess and supply.  According to KCNA he said that “it is very gratifying to hear that the defense detachment serves every service person with more than 360g of soy-based food every day and each mess hall of the companies is providing the service personnel with fish and with sumptuous meals by raising lots of domestic animals such as pigs, ducks and geese.”  He also noted the “companies of the defense detachment are like homes dear to the soldiers and the detachment is like their native village as it provides them with sumptuous meals and warm beds.”  Kim Jong Un praised the Hwa Islet Defense Detachment “for most thoroughly carrying out the party’s military policy like the Ryo Islet Defense Detachment” and  “called on it to make a high-pitched drive for developing stockbreeding, fishery and soybean farming to turn itself into a more proud and richer detachment in the future.”

Kim Jong Un concluded his field inspection by presenting binoculars and an automatic rifle to the 3rd Company and attended a commemorative photo-op with officers, service members and their families.  He expressed “expectation and belief that the service personnel would remain true to the party’s Military-First (So’ngun) revolutionary leadership.

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