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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).

Pyon In Son Head of Operations Bureau?

16 Sep
KPA Colonel General (L) attending to Kim Jong Un at the 9 September 2013 WPRG parade and Col. Gen. Pyon In Son (R) (Photos:  KCTV screengrab, KCNA).

KPA Colonel General (L) attending to Kim Jong Un at the 9 September 2013 WPRG parade and Col. Gen. Pyon In Son (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrab, KCNA).

Has Col. Gen. Pyon In Son been appointed director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA]  General Staff Operations Bureau [GSOB] ?

Film footage of the military parade and demonstration on the 65th anniversary of the country’s foundation on 9 September 2013 shows a KPA officer who resembles Col. Gen. Pyon briefing Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) during the Worker-Peasant Red Guards’ parade.  Since the Kim Jong Il era, one of the Operations Bureau director’s ceremonial functions is to brief the KPA Supreme Commander during a military or reserve unit parade, or military exercise.  If Col. Gen. Pyon was briefing Kim Jong Un during the WPRG parade then he has replaced previous GSOB director Ri Yong Gil.  Ri was recently promoted to four-star general and appointed Chief of the KPA General Staff, replacing Gen. Kim Kyok Sik.

KPA Colonel General (top) attending to Kim Jong Un at the 9 September 2013 WPRG parade and Col. Gen. Pyon In Son (bottom) (Photos:  KCTV screengrab, Xinhua, KCNA-Yonhap).

KPA Colonel General (top) attending to Kim Jong Un at the 9 September 2013 WPRG parade and Col. Gen. Pyon In Son (bottom) (Photos: KCTV screengrab, Xinhua, KCNA-Yonhap).

Directors of the General Staff Operations Bureau at previous military parades. 1. General Kim Myong Guk in Octoner 2010; 2. Gen Choe Pu il In April 2012; 3. Gen. Ri Yong Gil in July 2013 (Photos: CCTV, KCTV screengrabs).

Directors of the General Staff Operations Bureau at previous military parades. 1. General Kim Myong Guk in Octoner 2010; 2. Gen Choe Pu il In April 2012; 3. Gen. Ri Yong Gil in July 2013 (Photos: CCTV, KCTV screengrabs).

The KPA General Staff (Photo: NK Leadership Watch).

The KPA General Staff (Photo: NK Leadership Watch).

The directorate of the  GSOB is one of the most powerful positions in the DPRK’s national security community.  The GSOB is responsible for the daily operational management and administration of the KPA’s conventional forces.  It interfaces with all KPA corps-level units to implement DPRK military planning, strategy and operations plans, as well as assessing combat readiness.  It also formulates and implements military training for all KPA conventional units, the Pyongyang Defense Command and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces.  During a war or national crisis, command and control over KPA forces passes from the core leadership directly to the Operations Bureau.

Pyon In Son’s last reported position, as of July 2013, was  Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces,.  From August 2011 until April 2013, Col. Gen. Pyon served as commanding officer of the IV Army Corps.  From about 2007 to 2011 he served as Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces.  He led a KPA delegation on an official visit to China in October 2010.  Prior to his appointment at the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces, Pyon was commanding officer of the VII Army Corps in South Hamgyo’ng Province.  Col. Gen. Pyon has patronage links to VMar Kim Yong Chun, Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission and current Director of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Civil Defense Department.

If Pyon has been appointed director of the GSOB then it indicates that Kim Jong Un applies a similar criteria in selecting the GSOB chief as his father, having selected someone with a career both in military administration (such as at MPAF or the General Staff) and field command experience and holding the rank of Colonel General.  Being former commander of the IV Army Corps, Pyon’s possible appointment to the GSOB would also mean another new member of the KPA’s high command whose immediate past field experience was at one of the four frontline (1st echelon) corps units.  These are the KPA ground force units stationed in areas along the inter-Korean border, the Military Demarcation Line and the North Limit Line.   Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Jang Jong Nam (appointed in May 2013) commanded the I Army Corps and Ri Yong Gil (appointed Chief of the General Staff in August 2013 and GSOB director in February 2012) commanded the V Army Corps.

Kim Jong Un Commands Maneuvers of KPA Warship and Publishes Lecture On So’ngun Revolution

25 Aug
Kim Jong Un (3rd L) issues instructions during a field inspection of a newly commissioned KPA Navy warship (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (3rd L) issues instructions during a field inspection of a newly commissioned KPA Navy warship (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 24 August (Saturday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) commanded the maneuvers of a recently commissioned Korean People’s Army [KPA] warship.  He was accompanied by Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Organization Guidance Department Senior Deputy [1st Vice] Director Yun Tong Hyon, KPA Supreme Command staff member Lt. Gen. Pak Jong Chon, KPA Navy Commander Vice Admiral Kim Myong Sik, KPA Air and anti-Air Commander Gen. Ri Pyong Chol, KWP Organization Guidance Department Deputy Director Hwang Pyong So and KWP Deputy Department Directors Hong Yong Chil and Kim Pyong Ho.  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to the KPA Science and Technology Exhibition Hall.

Kim Jong Un toured the new warship and was briefed about its combat equipment, its speed and displacement.  According to KCNA he “highly praised the KPA and relevant field for successfully building the vessel by their own efforts on the basis of latest military science and technology” and said that “the vessel is one of the warships in the 21st century as it is able to automatically control all the combat activities including navigation and firing and simultaneously strike different targets.”  Kim Jong Un then commanded the warship’s maneuvers and “was greatly satisfied to see the high maneuverability and striking capability of the warship.”  According to KCNA he underscored ” the need to make many multi-functional, well-equipped warships and steadily improve the combat capability of the navy” and “set forth important tasks to further strengthen the navy as required by the modern war in the 21st century.”

An image of current DPRK leader Kim Jong Un (L) and his father late leader Kim Jong Il (R) inspected Kaeso'n Fun Fair in central Pyongyang in December 2011.  The image appeared in DPRK state media on 25 August 2013, 53rd anniversary of the beginning of So'ngun (military-first) Revolutionary Leadership (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

An image of current DPRK leader Kim Jong Un (L) and his father late leader Kim Jong Il (R) inspected Kaeso’n Fun Fair in central Pyongyang in December 2011. The image appeared in DPRK state media on 25 August 2013, 53rd anniversary of the beginning of So’ngun (military-first) Revolutionary Leadership (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

On 25 August (Sunday) Kim Jong Un published a lecture in the KWP daily newspaper Rodong Sinmun and in the KPA’s newspaper Joson Inmingun.

“Let Us Add Eternal Brilliance to Comrade Kim Jong Il’s Great Idea and Achievement of the Military-First (So’ngun) Revoluton”

by Kim Jong Un, 25 August 2013

With deep respect for the great Comrade Kim Jong Il and firm confidence in the victory of the revolution, our service personnel and people greet the 53rd anniversary of the start of his leadership of the So’ngun revolution.

The Day of So’ngun, when General Kim Jong Il started his leadership of the So’ngun revolution, is, together with the day of the founding of the KPA (Korean People’s Army), a historic day when an important milestone was set up for the history of building up our revolutionary armed forces and the history of our country. As there was this significant day, a historic turn could be brought about in developing our revolutionary armed forces and implementing the cause of the Juche revolution, and the history and traditions of our sacred So’ngun revolution that had been pioneered and developed by force of arms, achieving victory, could be carried forward continuously.

So’ngun is a proud tradition of the Korean revolution which was pioneered by Comrade Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and led by him and Comrade Kim Jong Il and the banner of victory and glory.

The great Generalissimos blazed the trail of the So’ngun revolution for the first time in history, thus creating a new history of So’ngun and ushering in the era of So’ngun.

Having clarified in his early days the truth of the revolutionary struggle that one can emerge victorious against an armed enemy only when one fights him with arms and advanced the idea and line of attaching importance to arms, to military affairs, the great Comrade Kim Il Sung regarded building armed forces as a fundamental problem in the revolution, directed primary efforts to organizing and developing the armed ranks and achieved the historic cause of national liberation with the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army as the main force.

By relying on the arms of the revolution, he wisely led two revolutionary wars, two stages of social revolution and socialist construction, and thus built on this land socialism of our style centred on the masses of the people and demonstrated the dignity and honour of the country.

Comrade Kim Jong Il, who was faithful to Comrade Kim Il Sung’s ideas and cause, led our revolution along the glorious road of victory, braving the severe trials and adversities of history by dint of his unique leadership of the So’ngun revolution.

His visit to Seoul Ryu Kyong Su (Yu Kyo’ng-su) Guards 105th Tank Division of the KPA on August 25, 1960 was a historic event that proclaimed his succession of the cause of the So’ngun revolution and the start of his So’ngun-based leadership.

Songun was the General’s revolutionary idea, his practice in the revolution, his political ideal and his political mode.

During the long period spanning more than half a century from the day when he started his leadership of the So’ngun revolution, the great General visited one KPA unit after another, strengthening the army to be an invincible revolutionary army, and victoriously led the revolution and construction by force of So’ngun.

Regarding the strengthening of the KPA as the most important of affairs in the So’ngun revolution, he raised the KPA as the buttress, the main force, of our revolution and achieved the historic victory in the grim anti-imperialist, anti-US showdown in defence of the country’s security and socialism by training the KPA to be the army of the leader boundlessly faithful to the cause of the WPK (Workers’ Party of Korea; KWP), to be an invincible revolutionary army. He defined the spirit of defending the leader unto death, the spirit of implementing his instructions at any cost and the self-sacrificing spirit displayed by the service personnel as a revolutionary spirit symbolic and representative of the So’ngun era, as the revolutionary soldier spirit, and led all the service personnel and people to live and struggle in that spirit, thus ensuring that a great turn and changes were brought about in all sectors of the revolution and construction.

In order to consolidate the successes of his So’ngun-based leadership and administer Songun politics in a comprehensive way, he saw to it that the First Session of the Tenth Supreme People’s Assembly [held on 5 September 1998] of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea adopted the Socialist Constitution that embodies the idea and principles of the So’ngun revolution and established a new state administration structure, whose backbone is the National Defence Commission, and led all state affairs to be conducted on the principle of giving precedence to military affairs.

The history of his leadership of the So’ngun revolution is an unprecedented history of thoroughgoing anti-imperialist independence, a history of infinite patriotic devotion; it is also a history of ennobling trust and affection, filled with absolute trust in and maternal affection for the service personnel and people.

As there was the General’s leadership of the So’ngun revolution, our revolution could win victory after victory surmounting all manner of vicissitudes of history; as there was the General’s super-intense forced march of patriotic devotion, our service personnel and people could work historic miracles unknown to mankind.

So’ngun was, indeed, our General’s immutable revolutionary creed, which he cherished and applied all his life, and a great revolutionary practice, during which he adorned the history of the country with brilliant victories and imperishable achievements.

In the course of leading the unprecedented So’ngun revolution, the General formulated and developed the idea of the So’ngun revolution, and thus created a guiding principle and ever-victorious banner our people and the revolutionary peoples of the world should adhere to in accomplishing the cause of independence.

The idea of the So’ngun revolution is an idea of giving importance and precedence to military affairs in implementing the masses’ cause of independence, the socialist cause, and pushing ahead with the overall revolution and construction with the revolutionary army as the core force.

With its starting point being the Chuch’e-based revolutionary principle that the victory of the revolutionary cause is decided by arms of the revolution, the idea gives scientific and practical answers to the key questions arising in winning victory in the revolution.

It clarifies the revolutionary theory on building up the arms of the revolution, the revolutionary army, strengthening the driving force of the revolution with the revolutionary army as the core and, by relying on it, advancing the revolution and construction victoriously.

Its most important requirement is that the army should be developed into the army of the Party and the leader, into an invincible revolutionary army capable of defeating any formidable enemy, with importance being attached to military affairs and primary efforts directed to building up the army.

In order for the masses to carve out their destiny and accomplish the cause of socialism amid sharp confrontation with the imperialists and constant danger of war, they must, before anything else, firmly hold up and strengthen the arms of the revolution. It is a serious lesson taught by the history of the world socialist movement that when the arms of the revolution are weak or waver, they can defend neither the destiny of the masses nor socialism.

That one must consolidate the driving force of the revolution with the revolutionary army as the main force and propel the revolutionary struggle and construction work by relying on its leading role is a new revolutionary theory elucidated by the So’ngun idea.

The revolution is a do-or-die struggle of deciding who prevails over whom between the revolutionary forces and the counterrevolutionary forces, so the destiny of the revolution depends on how the driving force of the revolution is strengthened and how its role is enhanced.

Among the social groups that form the revolutionary forces in a socialist society, whose masters are the masses, the group that is the strongest in the revolutionary sense, organized aspect, discipline and fighting capabilities is the revolutionary army under the guidance of the leader. The revolutionary army, for its revolutionary idea, great spiritual strength and revolutionary temperament, is capable of leading the overall society and propelling the revolutionary struggle and construction work. If the revolutionary army stands in the van and all the people struggle with the revolutionary spirit and temperament of the army by forming an integrated whole with the service personnel, their power is incomparably great.

By the idea of the So’ngun revolution, a new road, a road to victory, was opened for successfully advancing the masses’ cause of independence, the socialist cause, by consolidating the driving force of the revolution and enhancing its role.

The General’s idea of the So’ngun revolution throws a fresh light on the political theory that So’ngun politics is the most powerful mode of politics and the basic mode of socialist politics.

Ideas and ideals are translated into practice by politics, which is a factor that decides the destiny of the masses and the rise and fall of a country and nation.

The great General elucidated for the first time in history that socialist politics for fully realizing the independent demands and interests of the masses should be So’ngun politics that gives importance and precedence to military affairs, and formulated So’ngun politics as the basic mode of socialist politics.

As he said, So’ngun politics is a mode of socialist politics that raises military affairs as the most important of all state affairs and defends the country, revolution and socialism and accelerates the overall socialist construction with the KPA as the core, as the main force. It is a mode of independent politics that fully embodies the fundamentals and principles of the So’ngun idea.

Formulation of So’ngun politics as the basic mode of socialist politics has brought about a fundamental change in the history of mankind’s politics and the history of socialist politics and presented a treasured sword with which to successfully realize the ideals and principles of socialism.

The General’s So’ngun idea is a revolutionary idea and theory which embodies a thoroughgoing anti-imperialist, independent stand and the spirit of ennobling love of the country, nation and people and which is based on an iron faith and willpower.

So’ngun, a new term in our era, was coined reflecting the unshakeable faith, willpower and great pluck of Comrade Kim Jong Il who, taking full responsibility for the destiny and future of the country and people amid long-drawn-out, sharp confrontation with an imperialist power, solved all problems in our own way and in conformity with the demands and interests of our people and nation. As we have the idea of the So’ngun revolution, a great idea of Comrade Kim Jong Il, we have been able to defend the dignity of the country, independence of the people and gains of socialism with credit and open the way for the prosperity of the country and rosy future of the nation by our own strength, that is, by force of arms.

As an idea enriched and developed in the course of the practical struggle to apply the Chuch’e idea, the So’ngun idea is a scientific revolutionary theory which makes it possible to satisfy the requirements of the Chuch’e idea in a perfect and comprehensive way.

The formulation and development of the idea and theory of the So’ngun revolution by the great Comrade Kim Jong Il further enriched the ideological and theoretical treasure-house of our revolution and greatly increased the appeal and vitality of the Chuch’e idea.

The Juche idea is the roots of the So’ngun idea and the latter is a brilliant embodiment of the former.

Thanks to the So’ngun idea, the Chuch’e idea could be splendidly applied to the revolutionary practice, shining more brightly as a great guiding ideology which guarantees the victorious advance and accomplishment of the masses’ cause of independence.

The General performed undying exploits for the country and revolution, for the times and history with his outstanding leadership of the So’ngun revolution.

He safeguarded with honour the Chuch’e-oriented socialism, which Comrade Kim Il Sung established, and assured the solid continuity of the revolutionary cause of Chuch’e, the revolutionary cause of Songun, by dint of his leadership of the So’ngun revolution.

The Chuch’e-oriented socialism is a precious gain of our revolution Comrade Kim Il Sung achieved devoting his life, and it is our people’s lifeblood and the cradle of their true life and happiness. The 90s of the last century, when the reckless anti-DPRK moves of the allied forces of the US and other imperialists to check the victorious advance of our revolution and stamp out our socialism went to extremes, was a period of the severest ordeals for our revolution. When our army and people were at the crossroads whether they would remain an independent people and guards to become victors or be reduced to the imperialists’ colonial slaves again, Comrade Kim Jong Il determinedly held up the banner of So’ngun, and defended the Chuch’e-oriented socialism with honour and achieved brilliant victories. This was a miracle of history which only our General could bring about.

By dint of his leadership of the So’ngun revolution he laid a firm foundation for the prosperity of the country and the accomplishment of the revolutionary cause of Chuch’e and provided a sure guarantee for victory.

The most important guarantee for victory in the revolution is to strengthen the party, the General Staff of the revolution, and solidify the driving force of the revolution by uniting the service personnel and people around it.

A fundamental principle which the great General consistently adhered to in the building of our Party was to build it into the party of the leader. He defined imbuing the entire Party with Kimilsungism as the ultimate objective of its building and wisely led the effort for firmly establishing a monolithic ideological system and a monolithic leadership system across the Party. As a result, our Party could be developed into a revolutionary party which is unfailingly faithful to the ideology and guidance of its leader and possessed of a strong sense of organization and discipline and into an ever-victorious party with solid mass and military bases, and could discharge its mission and role as the guiding force in implementing the cause of the So’ngun revolution. The General held up single-hearted unity as the greatest foundation of the revolution and perfectly realized the single-hearted unity of the Party, army and people centred on the leader, thus strengthening the driving force of the So’ngun revolution remarkably.

By strengthening the KPA to be an invincible army and consolidating the military capabilities of the country to the maximum with the KPA as the core, he provided a sure military guarantee for the victory of the cause of the Chuch’e revolution.

Under his energetic guidance, the KPA developed into a vanguard detachment which regards defending the leader unto death as its lifeblood and takes the lead in implementing the orders of its Supreme Commander at all costs, and into a trailblazer in the struggle to accomplish the cause of the So’ngun revolution. A forceful drive was waged to make the defence industry Juche-oriented, modern and informatized, enabling us to produce any sophisticated military equipment as we wish by relying on our own effort and technology. Thanks to the General’s outstanding leadership of the So’ngun revolution, the KPA could be developed into an invincible revolutionary army, ours could become a country which can make and launch artificial satellites and a nuclear state, fully demonstrating its dignity as the powerful Mt. Paektu (Paektusan) nation, and we could reliably defend the dignity of the country and the sovereignty of the nation, frustrating the imperialist moves of aggression and challenges at every step.

The great General laid firm material and technological foundations for the building of a thriving socialist country.

Under his leadership a grand plan for building a prosperous country was unfolded during the days of the Arduous March and forced march, when our revolution was undergoing grim trials, and a hot wind of creating fresh miracles and innovations swept across the country. Fierce flames of the industrial revolution in the new century flared up ushering in the era of the knowledge economy, monumental structures symbolic of the era were built in all parts of the country and model works representative of So’ngun culture were created in large numbers. What our service personnel and people created in the So’ngun era under his guidance constitutes a valuable asset for the prosperity of Kim Il Sung’s nation and Kim Jong Il’s Korea.

The great General effected a fresh turn in the struggle for the independent reunification of the country and firmly defended global peace and security on the strength of his leadership of the So’ngun revolution. He ushered in the June 15 era of reunification by our nation itself, provided a precious asset for the reunification of the country and the common prosperity of the nation and safeguarded peace in Asia and the rest of the world by smashing the imperialists’ uninterrupted schemes to unleash a war.

The great exploits Comrade Kim Jong Il performed for the country and revolution, for the times and history for more than half a century by dint of his tireless leadership of the So’ngun revolution will shine for ever along with the triumphant advance of our revolutionary cause.

We should faithfully carry forward his great idea and achievements of the So’ngun revolution and add eternal brilliance to them.

The idea of the So’ngun revolution is a great guideline of our revolution and his So’ngun-based leadership exploits are a motive force for victory.

It is the unshakeable faith and unbreakable will of our Party, army and people to carry forward and accomplish the revolutionary cause of Chuch’e, invariably holding aloft the banner of So’ngun.

We should follow to the end the road of So’ngun, the road of independence and the road of socialism that the great General traversed throughout his life, translate his instructions into brilliant realities and accomplish the revolutionary cause of Chuch’e, the revolutionary cause of So’ngun, with credit.

All officials, Party members and other working people should firmly arm themselves with the General’s idea of the So’ngun revolution, deeply study his great So’ngun leadership achievements and thoroughly apply and add lustre to them in the revolutionary struggle and construction work.

The line of giving importance to arms, to military affairs, should be implemented to the letter for the strengthening of the defence capabilities of the country to be steel-strong.

The KPA should be prepared more firmly into an army strong in ideology and faith, a powerful Mt. Paektu (Paektusan) revolutionary army.

Leadership of the Party is the lifeline of the KPA, and its might is inconceivable separated from the leadership of the Party. The general direction ahead of the KPA is one, that is, to advance straight forward with guns levelled in the very direction our Party indicates. Our arms must serve as an ever-lasting cornerstone that ensures a sure guarantee for the Party and its cause.

The officers and men of the KPA should burn their hearts with a single idea, a single determination, to support only the Party and the leader and safeguard them unto death, whatever ordeals may crop up and however the situation may change. They should equip themselves firmly with the revolutionary ideas of our Party and cherish a steadfast faith that they will defend to the end the red flag of the revolution, the Chuch’e flag of the Party, at the cost of their lives.

They should make their training more intensive, as the anti-Japanese guerrillas did on Mt. Paektu, so as to prepare themselves into a-match-for-a-hundred combatants possessed of Kim Il Sung’s and Kim Jong Il’s military strategy and tactics, heroic combat spirit and actual war capability, establish rigid discipline in their units and assume the perfect appearance of a regular army.

Military posts and barracks should be laid out as if they were the service personnel’s native houses, and satisfactory material and cultural living conditions provided so that they can lead a good service life.

While discharging their basic duty of defending the country, the service personnel should make breakthroughs in several sectors and major projects of socialist construction, and never feel contented in doing things for the people but always take the lead in this regard.

A great effort should be channeled into developing the defence industry. The sector of the defence industry should concentrate its efforts on making a bigger stride in building our country into an invincible military power, and thus produce more and better-quality military hardware of our own style that are precise, light, unmanned and intelligent.

The Worker-Peasant Red Guards should enhance their combat capabilities through intensive combat and political training and reliably defend their respective provinces, counties and villages in time of emergency.

All the sectors of socialist construction should bring about a great leap forward and great innovations.

We should radically improve the people’s standard of living by giving a spur to the building of an economic giant, holding aloft our Party’s line of simultaneously promoting the two fronts (economic development and the upbuilding of nuclear forces).

We should make innovations in the sectors of agriculture and light industry, major thrust areas in building an economic giant, and promote construction of dwelling houses, so as to ensure that the people lead an affluent and happy life.

We should concentrate our efforts on the priority sectors of the national economy, the basic industry sectors, to ensure that the existing self-supporting foundations pay off, and vigorously push ahead with the effort for modernizing them and normalizing their production. We should direct a strenuous effort to the electric-power and coal-mining industries in particular, and develop all sectors of the national economy with metallurgical and chemical industries as twin pillars.

By rapidly developing science and technology and educating all the people to be well versed in science and technology, we should raise the level of putting the national economy on a modern and CNC (computer numerical control)  basis and perfect the economic structure of the country in keeping with the requirements of the era of the knowledge economy.

We should accelerate the construction of a cultured socialist nation. It is important to make all the members of society become artists and enjoyers of socialist culture and bring about a fresh turn in all the sectors of cultural construction. By doing so, we should translate into reality the people’s desire for a wholesome and cultured way of life.

In order to bring about a decisive turn in the construction of a thriving socialist country, the militant functions and role of Party organizations should be further heightened.

Party organizations are the vanguard organizations of the So’ngun revolution, and the Party’s ideology and leadership are implemented through them. They should regard it as the main line of Party work to establish the monolithic leadership system of the Party, and ensure that all officials, Party members and other working people support the leader’s ideas and leadership with loyalty and conduct all types of work in line with the Party’s ideas and intentions.

In the current general offensive, Party organizations should give fullest play to the spiritual strength of officials, Party members and other working people. The mother of miracle is the spiritual strength of the masses, and the key to ushering in a new heyday in the building of a thriving nation is to motivate their hearts.

Party organizations should scrupulously educate officials, Party members and other working people to learn the greatness of the General’s idea and achievements of the So’ngun revolution and exalt their brilliance. They should intensify the frontline-style political work among the masses so that officials, Party members and other working people make it an element of their living to learn from the spirit of the service personnel of defending the leader and carrying out his instructions unto death and their fighting spirit, and make strenuous efforts to create the Masik Pass (Masikryo’ng) speed by displaying Kim Jong Il’s patriotism.

The service personnel and people should propel the grand socialist construction on the strength of joint operation.

Joint operation between them is a powerful struggling mode of the service personnel and people in waging an unyielding offensive with one mind and purpose. The commanding personnel of the KPA and leading civilian officials should scrupulously organize and command the joint operations and enlist their spiritual strength and all means to perform unfailingly and in time the revolutionary tasks assigned to their respective units.

True to the instructions and lofty will of the great Generalissimos, we should make proactive efforts to open a new phase of national reunification, prevent aggression and war and defend global peace and security.

The idea and cause of our So’ngun revolution are invincible.

As the great Chuch’e idea and the So’ngun revolutionary idea illuminate the road ahead of us and there are the wise leadership of the Party, the single-hearted unity of all the service personnel and people and the invincible KPA, the victory of the revolutionary cause of Juche and the revolutionary cause of So’ngun is definite.

As in the past, so in the future, we will achieve only victory for ever, upholding the great banner of So’ngun.

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