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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.

Kim Jong Un Supervises Missile Test Firings (updated and revised June 29)

29 Jun
Kim Jong Un at a rocket drill by the KPA Strategic Rocket Forces on or around 29 June 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un at a rocket drill by the KPA Strategic Rocket Forces on or around 29 June 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 29 June (Sunday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) attended and supervised the tactical missile firing drill conducted by the Korean People’s Army [KPA] Strategic Rocket Forces.  Attending the test firing of the two short-range Scud missiles was VMar Hwang Pyong So (Director of the KPA General Political Department).  At the drill site KJU was joined by Commander of the KPA Strategic Rocket Force Col. Gen. Kim Rak Gyom and other senior command staff of the SRF.  KJU’s last observed appearance was his visit to the recently constructed Kalma Foodstuffs Factory.

After receiving a briefing on the rocket drill, Kim Jong Un ordered that the drill commence.  KCNA reported that the drill “smoothly conducted on the basis of a scientific calculation of the whole course of the rocket firing and the scrupulous security check and search for flight orbit and targeted waters” and “had no slight impact not only on the regional peace and security but on international navigation order and ecological environment.”  After the drill, KJU “expressed great satisfaction over the successful firing of tactical rockets” and participated in a commemorative photo-op with KPA service member and officer participants in the drill.

Kim Jong Un observes a "tactical rocket firing" drill of the KPA Strategic Rocket Force on 29 June 2014 near Wo'nsan, Kangwo'n Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un observes a “tactical rocket firing” drill of the KPA Strategic Rocket Force on 29 June 2014 near Wo’nsan, Kangwo’n Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un talks with KPA Strategic Rocket Force commander Col. Gen. Kim Rak Gyom and the SRF's vice commander (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un talks with KPA Strategic Rocket Force commander Col. Gen. Kim Rak Gyom (R) and the SRF’s vice commander (C) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

(Photos: Rodong Sinmun).

(Photos: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un poses for a commemorative photo with participants in the KPA Strategic Rocket Force's 29 June 2014 drill that used two short-range Scud missiles (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un poses for a commemorative photo with participants in the KPA Strategic Rocket Force’s 29 June 2014 drill that used two short-range Scud missiles (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un poses for a commemorative photo with service members and officers of the KPA Strategic Rocket Force after their participation in a drill on 29 June 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un poses for a commemorative photo with service members and officers of the KPA Strategic Rocket Force after their participation in a drill on 29 June 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un said that “the peaceful environment dearest to the DPRK people can neither be provided by someone nor can be bartered for anything” and  “that as durable peace can be protected only when one is so strong that nobody dares provoke one and it can be guaranteed by one’s own strength, it is necessary to put the biggest spurs to bolstering up the self-defensive deterrent of the KPA in every way to protect the security and peace of the country and firmly defend the gains of the revolution.”  He “underscored the need to round off the combat readiness of the strategic force so that no aggressors may recklessly dare threaten and infringe upon the cause, sovereignty and vital rights of the DPRK and to further develop and perfect Chuch’e-oriented rocket science and technology and firing methods.”  Kim Jong Un also “expressed great expectation and belief that the service personnel of the strategic force would keep themselves fully ready to fire the highly effective ballistic rockets any moment on high alert as required by the prevailing situation and the developing revolution and thus foil the reckless acts of the U.S. imperialists and their followers who are steeped in evil repugnancy and pursue inveterate hostile policy toward the DPRK and provide a firm guarantee for the building of a thriving socialist nation.”

The test firing of the Scuds (or “ballistic rockets”) was observed around 5:00 KST on 29 June, the DPRK test fired two short-range Scuds, again from a site near Wo’nsan.

Kim Jong Un observes a missile test flight on or around 26 June 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un observes a missile test flight on or around 26 June 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

On 27 June (Friday) that KJU attended the test firing of tactical guided missiles.  Attending this test firing with him were VMar Hwang Pyong So, Gen. Pyon In Son (Director of the KPA General Staff Operations Bureau), Col. Gen. Pak Jong Chon (Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff) and Hong Yong Chil (Deputy [vice] Director of the Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Machine-Building Industry Department).  KJU’s last observed appearance at that time was a visit to the construction of the Pyongyang Baby Home and Orphanage.

After being briefed on on the “the tactical and technological information of the newly developed guided missiles” Kim Jong ordered that the test firing commence. KCNA reported that the “test-fire proved that the tactical guided weapons didn’t have an inch of deviation in their scientific and technological performance” and that the test was “another shining success made by scientists in the field of national defense and workers in the field of munitions industry in their efforts to implement the WPK’s policy of manufacturing high-precision, lighter, automatic and intelligent weapons and equipment.”  The missile test “helped the KPA get the master key to putting all strike means including short-, medium- and long-range guided weapons on ultra-precision basis of the world level and opened a bright prospect for maximizing their striking accuracy and power.”  The “test-fire at a time when the U.S. and the south Korean puppet regime and all other allied forces are going extremely reckless in the moves to isolate and stifle the DPRK and unleash a war of aggression marked a significant event in bolstering up the defense capability for self-defense” and “greatly encourages the service personnel and people of the DPRK.”

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un speaks to KPA and WPK munitions industry officials after a missile test flight held on or around 26 June 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un speaks to KPA and WPK munitions industry officials after a missile test flight held on or around 26 June 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “expressed great satisfaction over the results of the test-fire” and remarked that “officials and workers in the fields of national defense science and munitions industry would manufacture more ultra-precision tactical guided weapons capable of taking the decisive initiative in any operation and battle of the modern warfare through accurate preemptive strikes, always bearing in mind the expectations of the party and the people.”  KJU also “advanced new tasks to be fulfilled by the field of national defense science and technology.”

The test firing of the missiles was first observed at around 17:00 KST on 26 June (Thursday).  An unnamed official of the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff [JCS] speculated to Yonhap that “their range is some 190 kilometers, and we are now looking into exactly what type of rockets North Korea fired” and noted that the KPA’s KN-09 300 mm MRL has “a similar range.”  The JCS official also said the “300-millimeter launcher is known to have an up to 160 kilometer range” and that “as of now, it is yet to be confirmed if the North enhanced its capacity.”

 

Kim Jong Un visits the January 18 General Machinery Plant in South P'yo'ngan Province in May 2014.  Also in attendance is Hong Yong Chil (1) a leading party official in the development and production of missiles and WMDs (Photo: KCTV).

Kim Jong Un visits the January 18 General Machinery Plant in South P’yo’ngan Province in May 2014. Also in attendance is Hong Yong Chil (1) a leading party official in the development and production of missiles and WMDs (Photo: KCTV).

The January 18 General Machinery Plant is a leading producer of missile engines.  The plant was tasked by the central leadership in May 2014 to boost its production of missile engines for the DPRK's short- and  medium-range missiles (Photo: Google image).

The January 18 General Machinery Plant is a leading producer of missile engines. The plant was tasked by the central leadership in May 2014 to boost its production of missile engines for the DPRK’s short- and medium-range missiles (Photo: Google image).

This latest pair of missile tests is probably linked to a missile production policy initiated by Kim Jong Un in May 2014.  According to both DPRK and ROK sources, KJU ordered an increase in the production of short- and medium-range missiles.  On 14 May, DPRK state media reported that Kim Jong Un visited the January 18 General Machinery Plant in South P’yo’ngan Province.  During his visit he said that the “plant should put the production processes on a CNC and unmanned basis in order to boost the production of highly efficient machine products needed by various fields of the national economy and achieve successes in the work for developing new varieties of products” and he “set the goals to be attained by the plant in the near future and promised with loving care to solve all the problems arising in updating it including the provision of all latest equipment needed for it.”  He also opined that the plant is “the eldest brother-like plant and a heart-like plant in developing the nation’s machine-building industry and the Party attaches great importance to this plant.I came here today to turn the plant into a model one, a pivotal and core one representing the machine plants of our country.”

Pak Thae Song (Pak T'ae-so'ng), circled, deputy director of the WPK Organization Guidance Department, attends Kim Jong Un's May 2014 visit to the January 18 General Machinery Plant (Photo: KCTV).

Pak Thae Song (Pak T’ae-so’ng), circled, deputy director of the WPK Organization Guidance Department, attends Kim Jong Un’s May 2014 visit to the January 18 General Machinery Plant (Photo: KCTV).

The plan to renovate and upgrade the January 18 General Machinery Plant is a key aspect of KJU’s missile production policy because it will manufacture missile engines for the DPRK’s eventual new inventory of short- and medium-range missiles.  Additional missile production is also expected to be carried out at other industrial facilities in South P’yo’ngan Province.  Underscoring the importance of South P’yo’ngan Province in DPRK missile production, Kim Jong Un has tapped one of his close aides to monitor the progress of manufacturing as well as the renovation of the January 18 General Machinery Plant.  In late May, WPK Organization Guidance Department deputy [vice] director Pak Thae Song (Pak T’ae-so’ng) was appointed Chief Secretary of the South P’yo’ngan WPK Provincial Committee.  In this position, Pak will ensure that relevant factory managers and functionaries in South P’yo’gan comply with KJU’s instructions on missile production.

Pak Tae Song attends a KJU visit to a lake near Anju, South P'yo'ngan Province in January 2014 (Photo: NK Leadership Watch file photo).

Pak Tae Song attends a KJU visit to a lake near Anju, South P’yo’ngan Province in January 2014. Pak was appointed the party’s regional boss in the province in May (Photo: NK Leadership Watch file photo).

 

 

 

 

Kim Jong Un Observes and Guides KPA Company Commanders Shooting Competition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KPA Holds Loyalty Rally After Company Commanders Meeting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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).

Kim Jong Un Visits Ku’msusan

10 Oct
Kim Jong Un and senior KPA officials visit Ku'msusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang on 10 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un and senior KPA officials visit Ku’msusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang on 10 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the Ku’msusan (Memorial) Palace of the Sun at midnight on 10 October (Thursday), the 68th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP].  Visiting Ku’msusan with him were VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), along with senior KPA officials, commanders of KPA service branches and corps units, and members of the KPA’s KWP Committee.  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was at a commemorative photo session with members of the Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) University faculty who were moving into a new apartment complex.

Kim Jong Un and the members of the KPA’s high command first visited a hall containing statues of his grandfather, late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung, and his father, late leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il).  Floral baskets from Kim Jong Un and the KPA were placed in front of the statues.  The group went to a chamber where Kim Il Sung’s remains permanently lie in state.  According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “together with other visitors paid homage to him in the humblest reverence.”  They then visited an exhibition of awards, titles, honorary degrees Kim Il Sung received as well as Kim Il Sung’s personal railway coach and car.  The group then visited the chamber where Kim Jong Il’s personal remains lie permanently in state and “paid homage to him in the humblest reverence.”  Kim Jong Un and the senior military leaders then visited an exhibition containing awards, state titles and honorary degrees that Kim Jong Il received and an exhibition of Kim Jong Il’s personal railway coach, an electric cart, his boat and his black Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan.

The Ku’msusan visit on the party’s anniversary was the first observed occasion in DPRK state media at which Gen. Ri Yong Gil was identified as Chief of the KPA General Staff.  Interestingly, on a party-centered occasion, the coterie that accompanied Kim Jong Un on his latest visit to Ku’msusan consisted only of senior KPA officials.  While some members of the KPA’s high command are members of the Party Central Committee or the Party Central Military Commission and with the exception of VMar Choe Ryong Hae (KWP Secretary of Military Affairs), no members of the KWP Secretariat or any KWP Central Committee Department Directors were reported to be in attendance.

View of the statue hall at Ku'msusan Palace of the Sun on 10 October 2013, the 68th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean Workers' Party (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of the statue hall at Ku’msusan Palace of the Sun on 10 October 2013, the 68th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean Workers’ Party (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

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