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Han Kwang Sang Affirmed as KWP Department Director

25 Sep
Han Kwang Sang (annotated) attends Kim Jong Un's recent visit to the Ryugyo'ng Dental Hospital (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Han Kwang Sang (annotated) attends Kim Jong Un’s recent visit to the Ryugyo’ng Dental Hospital (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media has identified central party finance and accounting cadre Han Kwang Sang as a Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Department Director.  In a 23 September (Monday) report about Kim Jong Un’s (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visit to the construction of the Ryugyo’ng Dental Hospital in Pyongyang, Han was identified as “department director of the Central Committee of the WPK [KWP].”  KCNA did not disclose what department Han is directing, but it is highly likely he is serving as head of the KWP Finance and Accounting Department where has served as senior deputy (1st vice) director since 2010.  In late June an unnamed ROK Government source told Yonhap that Han had been appointed department director in May 2012.

The KWP Finance and Accounting Department manages the finances of the party and those of the Kim Family.  It also manages logistics and supplies for departments, offices, sections, etc., in the KWP Central Committee (i.e. the central party) and is responsible for the payroll and the distribution of benefits and perks to central party employees.  Staff of the Finance and Accounting Department also work as domestic, technical and logistical staff at residential compounds for the Kim Family and other DPRK elites, and the department is also responsible for supplying furniture, building materials, appliances and foodstuffs to the DPRK’s VIP compounds.  The Finance and Accounting Department owns a series of hotels, restaurants, factories and shops (both within the country and located abroad) which generate revenues for the party.  The department has taken a leading role in the development, opening and management of new restaurants, shopping centers and factories in and around Pyongyang since 2009.  According to Kyodo News Office #38, which had been subordinate to the Finance and Accounting Department, was consolidated into a larger entity called “the Moranbong Bureau,” under the DPRK Cabinet.  If this report is accurate then Han Kwang Sang had a leading role in the consolidation. The department links directly with the Guard Command and Kim Jong Un’s executive office in the National Defense Commission.  It is unclear what role the department, or Han Kang Sang, has in the rumored establishment of a powerful KWP Department of Economy.

Graphic of key organizations in the KWP Finance and Accounting Department (Photo: NK Leadership Watch)

Graphic of key organizations in the KWP Finance and Accounting Department (Photo: NK Leadership Watch)

Han’s Call Order in DPRK state media

Between April 2012 and May 2012 the order in which Han Kwang Sang’s name was listed in KCNA reports and called in state radio and television broadcasts appeared with other central party department directors and was listed or called ahead of senior deputy and deputy directors.  At Kim Jong Un’s field inspection of Korean People’s Army [KPA] Unit # 655 in April 2012 Han Kwang Sang was listed between Kim Kyong Ok (Senor Deputy Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department) and Ri Jae Il (Senor Deputy Director of the KWP Propaganda and Agitation Department).  When Han next appeared in state media at Kim Jong Un’s May 2012 visit to the Central Zoo, he was listed after Kim Yang Gon (KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Department) and ahead of Ri Jae Il.  In August 2012, in a news item on Kim Jong Un’s visit to Haemaji Restaurant, Han Kwang Sang was listed after Han Kwang Bok (Director of the KWP Science and Education Department) and before Kim Kyong Ok.  At a visit later the same day, Han was listed between Paek Se Pong, Chairman of the Second Economy Commission [Second Economic Committee] which is equivalent to KWP Department Director, and Han Kwang Bok.

KJI Youngest Daughter Working as Events Manager for KJU?

22 Jul
Kim Yo Jong (L) attending her older brother Kim Jong Un's visit to the KPA Equestrian company (currently known as the Mirim Riding Club) in November 2012.  In the image on the right she is seen riding along side her aunt, KWP Secretary Kim Kyong Hui (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Yo Jong (L) attending her older brother Kim Jong Un’s visit to the KPA Equestrian company (currently known as the Mirim Riding Club) in November 2012. In the image on the right she is seen riding along side her aunt, KWP Secretary Kim Kyong Hui (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Yo Jong (Kim Yo’-cho’ng), the 26 year old sister of DPRK leader Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n), is working in the National Defense Commission [NDC] as her older brother’s trip director.  According to several ROK media reports, Kim Yo Jong is currently serving as a “protocol director” managing Kim Jong Un’s itineraries and public appearances and that “she started her career early last year [2012].”  While Kim may have been assigned her new position in early 2012, she has been active in the central party since 2009.

Kim has been observed on numerous occasions since 2009, when she accompanied her father, late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il), on guidance tours and inspections.  In 2010 she posed for a commemorative photograph with participants in the 3rd Party Conference, standing alongside KJI’s fifth wife Kim Ok which suggested that she was working in the Personal Secretariat.  In 2011 Kim Yo Jong was again observed at several of Kim Jong Il’s guidance tours, in the background with KJI’s personal aides and other Kim family members.

During events at her father’s funeral in December 2011, Kim was seen standing behind her brother as Kim Jong Un received foreign dignitaries.  She lined up with members of the leadership when they paid their respects at KJI’s casket. Twice during calling hours, she led core members of the DPRK leadership, standing in the center, in bowing at KJI’s remains; on one occasion she led Korean Workers’ Party Secretary and Director of the United Fron Kim Yang Gon, KWP Secretary for Machine-Building Industry Pak To Chun, KWP Secretary and Director of Cadres’ Affairs Kim P’yo’ng-hae and Gen. U Tong Chuk to KJI’s bier; on another occasion she led Kim Chang Son, Kim Kang Chol and other officials of KJI’s Personal Secretariat to the bier.  When a ceremony was held at Ku’msusan Memorial Palace of the Sun prior to the funeral service, Kim Yo Jong lined up with party elders Jon Pyong Ho, Choe Yong Rim and Kim Kuk Tae.

During 2012 and 2013 Kim Yo Jong has made several observed appearances, which ROK-based Pyongyang watchers link to her new role managing Kim Jong Un’s public appearances.  She was observed playfully jumping in the background during the opening of a park in Pyongyang in the spring of 2012.  In November the same year she attended Kim Jong Un’s visit to a Korean People’s Army equestrian training ground (now called the Mirim Riding Club).  Although her presence was not reported in DPRK state media, two images of her riding a horse, including one with her paternal aunt Kim Kyong Hui, were aired in the Korean Central Television news report of the visit.  Kim Yo Jong also was observed sitting with Kim Kyong Hui during a central party banquet in 2013.

Based on the description of her current role in support of her brother, Kim Yo Jong is working in a position similar to that of her older step-sister Kim So’l-song (Kim Sul Song).  For a number of years Kim So’l-song worked directly for Kim Jong Il, holding a Lt. Colonel’s rank in the Guard Command and managing KJI’s itineraries and some of the logistical and security arrangements around his public appearances.  After Kim Jong Il passed away, according to a well-placed DPRK source, Kim So’l-song moved into a more substantive managerial position (along with her husband) to support Kim Jong Un.  Due to Kim Yo Jong’s familial relationship to Kim Jong Un some ROK-based Pyongyang watchers have compared her with her aunt, Kim Kyong Hui (with whom Yo Jong has a close relationship) who began working at the age of 25 at the Korean Democratic Women’s Union in 1971.  Kim Yo Jong has other siblings and step-siblings who work around DPRK leadership circles including her oldest brother Kim Jong Chol (Kim Cho’ng-ch’o’l), who works in the KWP Propaganda and Agitation Department (note the name of the editor of Korea), and her older step-brother Kim Jong Nam, who manages several trading corporations.

Kim Yo Jong is Kim Jong Il’s youngest child and was the third child from his marriage to Ko Yong Hui (1953-2004).  She was born in Pyongyang in 1987.  Around 1996 Kim left the DPRK with Kim Jong Un to attend school in Berne, Switzerland.  With her brother she resided at a DPRK-owned residence.  Like her brother, she was registered at Swiss schools under an alias and was said to be the child of the residence’s domestic staff.  She was looked after by a small staff of women whom school officials felt overprotected her (for example, when she had minor illnesses she was taken to a local hospital).  Aside from holiday visits to her home country, Kim Yo Jong remained in Berne through 2001.  After her maternal aunt Ko Yong Suk defected to the west in 2001, Kim Yo Jong was removed from school in Switzerland and returned to the DPRK.  She completed her secondary and university education in her home country.  In 2004 her mother, Ko Yong Hui, passed away due to a recurrence of breast cancer.  In addition to Korean, she speaks some English and German.  When she was in her late teens, Kim Yo Jong expressed an interest in politics and DPRK political culture to her father, something about which he proudly discussed with foreign interlocutors.  In 2008, she was a constant presence at Kim Jong Il’s hospital bedside after he suffered two strokes.  Kim Yo Jong was groomed for a role in the country’s political affairs by her paternal aunt, Kim Kyong Hui, and her husband Jang Song Taek, and she began working in the Party Central Committee in 2009.

Kim Jong Un Visits Ku’msusan and Attends Banquet to Mark KPA Anniversary

26 Apr
Kim Jong Un (8th L) and senior members of the DPRK's national security community pay their respects to statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il at the Ku'msusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang on 25 April 2013, the official 81st anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People's Army.(Photo: KCNA)

Kim Jong Un (8th L) and senior members of the DPRK’s national security community pay their respects to statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il at the Ku’msusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang on 25 April 2013, the official 81st anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People’s Army.(Photo: KCNA)

DPRK state media reported that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the Ku’msusan Memorial Palace of the Sun and attended a banquet on 25 April (Thursday), to mark the official 81st anniversary of the foundation Korean People’s Army [KPA].  KJU’s last reported public appearance was his attendance at a rally and military “march-past” on Ku’msusan Plaza.  KJU first visited the preserved remains of his grandfather, late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung, and his father, late leader Kim Jong Il, at the Ku’msusan Memorial Palace.

Floral baskets (C) and honor guards representing (L, R) the KPA's three conventional service branches at Kumsusan on 25 April 2013 (Photos: KCNA)

Floral baskets (C) and honor guards representing (L, R) the KPA’s three conventional service branches at Kumsusan on 25 April 2013 (Photos: KCNA)

He was accompanied by Kim Yong Nam (Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium President), Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Cabinet Premier), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Jang Song Taek (Vice Chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission [NDC]), Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Kim Kyong Hui (KWP Secretary and KJU’s aunt), Pak To Chun (KWP Secretary), VMar Kim Yong Chun (Vice Chairman of the NDC and Director of the KWP Civil Defense Department), VMar Ri Yong Mu (Vice Chairman of the NDC), VMar Hyon Chol Hae (1st Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces and Director of the KPA General Logistics Department), Gen. Kim Won Hong (Minister of State Security), Gen. O Kuk Ryol (Vice Chairman of the NDC), Col. Gen. Choe Pu Il (Minister of the People’s Security), Ju Kyu Chang (Director of the KWP Machine-Building Industry Department), Col. Gen. Kim Chang Sop (Director of the Ministry of State Security’s Political Bureau), Col. Gen. Ri Pyong Sam (Director of the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces Political Bureau) and “commanding officers of the WPK Central Military Commission, the National Defence Commission of the DPRK and the KPA.”

KJU and the KPA’s high command first visited a room containing statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.  Floral baskets from Kim Jong Un, the Party Central Committee the Party Central Military Commission and the NDC were placed in front of the statues.  KJU then visited the rooms containing the preserved remains of his grandfather and father where he “made bows. . .in the humblest reverence,” according to KCNA.

A banquet hosted by the DPRK National Defense Commission at Mokran House in central Pyongyang on 25 April 2013, to commemorate the 81st anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People's Army.  (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

A banquet hosted by the DPRK National Defense Commission at Mokran House in central Pyongyang on 25 April 2013, to commemorate the 81st anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People’s Army. (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un also attended a banquet hosted by the NDC at Mokran (Moknan) House in central Pyongyang.  Attending the banquet were “senior party, army and state officials, members of the WPK Central Military Commission and the NDC of the DPRK, commanding officers of the KPA, officials of the party and armed forces organs, ministries and national institutions and service personnel of the KPA and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces” and “diplomatic envoys of foreign countries and military attaches of foreign embassies here and their spouses.”  Before the banquet, the Moranbong Band gave a performance.

After the performance, a toast speech was delivered by Jang Song Taek (Chang So’ng-t’aek; Jang Song Thaek), Vice Chairman of the NDC, Director of the KWP Administration Department and Kim Jong Un’s uncle.  According to KCNA, during his speech, Mr. Jang “paid highest tribute to the great Generalissimos Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il who strengthened the KPA into the matchless revolutionary army and led it to the road of victory and glory, breathing with arms all their lives” and that “upon the authorization of Marshal Kim Jong Un, supreme leader of our party and people and supreme commander of the KPA, he warmly congratulated the service personnel defending the sky, land and seas of the country as firm as a rock and all the people dynamically struggling to build a thriving nation.”  Mr. Jang “noted that the revolutionary armed forces are ushering in the greatest heyday of their development as they are holding Kim Jong Un, who is identical to the Generalissimos, in high esteem as supreme commander” and he “stressed the need to steadily bolster nuclear force for self-defence both in quality and quantity and perform new miracles and feats in building a thriving socialist nation in the spirit of the historic March, 2013 Plenary Meeting of the Central Committee of the WPK.”

Kim Jong Un Watches Basketball Game with Dennis Rodman (updated 1 March)

28 Feb
Kim Jong Un (2nd L) talks with Dennis Rodman (3rd R) during a basketball game of US and DPRK players at the Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium on 28 February 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un (2nd L) talks with Dennis Rodman (3rd R) during a basketball game of US and DPRK players at the Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium on 28 February 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

DPRK state media reported on 28 February (Thursday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) watched a basketball with former NBA player and Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman at Ryugyong Jong Yu Jong Indoor Stadium in Pyongyang.  KJU’s last reported public appearance was his attendance at a commemorative photo session with personnel involved in the 12 February 2013 nuclear test.  Also in attendance, among others, were KJU’s wife Ri Sol Ju, Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission and Chairman of the State Physical Culture Sports Commission Jang Song Taek, Director of the Korean People’s Army General Political Department VMar Choe Ryong Hae, and Senior Deputy (1st Vice) Director of the Korean Workers’ Party Propaganda and Agitation Department Ri Jae Il, among others.

The game took place between two teams consisting of four members of the Harlem Globetrotters and 12 players from the DPRK and ended in a tie (110-110).  According to the Associated Press and VICE Media during the game KJU talked with Rodman in English, but KJU occasionally spoke to Rodman in Korean using an interpreter.  According to Xinhua, after the game, Rodman remarked “although relations between the two countries are regrettable, personally I am a friend of Marshal Kim Jong Un and the DPRK people.”  Xinhua reported that “college students and Pyongyang citizens, as well as foreign diplomats and representatives from international organizations were invited to watch the game” and that “DPRK cheerleaders wearing traditional clothes and miniskirts performed during the intermission of the game. After the game, a DPRK university presented a banner to the Harlem Globetrotters.”

Overview of a basketball games played by US and DPRK basketball players at Ryuyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013. (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Overview of a basketball games played by US and DPRK basketball players at Ryuyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013. (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

KCNA reported that:

A mixed basketball game of the visiting American basketball players of Harlem Globetrotters and Korean players belonging to the Hwaebul basketball team of Korean University of Physical Education took place at Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Gymnasium on Thursday. Among the American players was ex-player of NBA Dennis Rodman.

Sports fans and other Pyongyang citizens packed the gymnasium to watch the game with great interest.

Among the audience were foreign diplomatic envoys, representatives of international bodies, military attaches and other foreign guests here with their families.

The dear respected Marshal Kim Jong Un, together with his wife Ri Sol Ju, came to the gymnasium to watch the game.

The players and audience broke into thunderous cheers, greatly excited to see the game together with Kim Jong Un.

Dennis Rodman went up to the auditorium to bow to Kim Jong Un.

Warmly welcoming him, Kim Jong Un let him sit next to him.

Brett Dennis Meister and Jeffrey Raymond Munn also sat near him.

American basketball players first played a demonstration game amid great attention of the audience.

They showed a variety of special basketball skills to be highly acclaimed.

Then a mixed game of DPRK and American players took place amid elated atmosphere.

Divided into red and white teams, the players carried out fierce seesaw battle.

In the first and second rounds, the red team players won 60:47 with long-distance shooting, dunk shot and other skills.

The audience enthusiastically cheered the players as they showed amazing skills.

During breaks, women’s brass band presented glamorous rhythmic formations.

National dances by Korean women artistes and a demonstration performance of Taekwon-Do players added to the cheerful mood.

Korean basketball players played the game well with American players of their teams in a coordinated way by fully displaying their techniques. American players made a good job of the game to give good impressions to the audience.

The white team combined man-to-man defence and fast break. The game ended in a draw 110:110.

Kim Jong Un and Dennis Rodman talk (L)during a banquet hosted by the DPRK Olympic Committee at a banquet hall (possibly Mokran House) in the central party complex in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un and Dennis Rodman talk (L)during a banquet hosted by the DPRK Olympic Committee at a banquet hall (possibly Mokran House) in the central party complex in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Rodman and members of the basketball delegation attended a banquet in the central party complex, hosted by the DPRK Olympic Committee..  According to one the US attendees at the banquet, they dined on a 10-course meal, including sushi and turkey (a fairly common menu when the DPRK elite host receptions for major international visitors and delegations).  One US attendee at the banquet tweeted “Um…so Kim Jong Un just got the whole…crew wasted, no really that happened.”  According to KCNA Kim Jong said that he ” was pleased they visited Pyongyang to provide young people of the DPRK who are fond of basketball with an opportunity of enjoying the nice game” and “expressed his expectation that such sports exchange would be activated, contributing to promoting mutual understanding between the peoples of the two countries.”  Kim Jong Un “welcomed their visit to the DPRK, hoping that through the visit they would become familiar with the DPRK people, especially with basketball fans.”  According to KCNA Dennis Rodman said that “it was the greatest pleasure for him to meet with Kim Jong Un and his wife for the first time for Americans,” “hoped the sports exchange would continue between the two countries” and “wished Kim Jong Un good health, heartily thanking him for warm hospitality.”

VICE provided several images of the game and the KJU-Rodman interaction.

During the 1 March 2013 Korean Central Television [KCTV] news broadcast  Kim Jong Un’s attendance at the basketball game and banquet with Dennis Rodman and the US basketball delegation was reported by senior anchorwoman Ri Chun Hui. Later into the broadcast, there were news items which showed Rodman and members of the Globetrotters visiting the Rungra Dolphinarum, the Globetrotters visiting sites in Pyongyang and Dennis Rodman departing the DPRK from Pyongyang Sunan Airport.

KCTV anchorwoman Ri Chun Hui broadcastingDPRK state media's account of KJU's attendance at a basketball game and a banquet hosted by the DPRK Olympic Committee, attended by Dennis Rodman, members of the Harlem Globetrotters and other members of the US delegation (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KCTV anchorwoman Ri Chun Hui broadcastingDPRK state media’s account of KJU’s attendance at a basketball game and a banquet hosted by the DPRK Olympic Committee, attended by Dennis Rodman, members of the Harlem Globetrotters and other members of the US delegation (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un arriving at Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Stadium for a 28 February 2013 exhibition basketball game and greeting those in attendance (Photos: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un arriving at Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Stadium for a 28 February 2013 exhibition basketball game and greeting those in attendance (Photos: KCTV screengrab)

Dennis Rodman arrives at Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013.  At the left in the images is Ri Sol Ju, Kim Jong Un's wife (Photo: KCTV screengrabs)

Dennis Rodman arrives at Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013. At the left in the images is Ri Sol Ju, Kim Jong Un’s wife (Photo: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un greets other members of the US basketball delegation (L) and talks to Dennis Rodman in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un greets other members of the US basketball delegation (L) and talks to Dennis Rodman in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un (4th R) and Dennis Rodman (3rd R) watch the Harlem Globetrotters demonstrate various techniques and tricks.  Also in attendance are Jang Song Taek (3rd L) and Ri Sol Ju (4th L) (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un (4th R) and Dennis Rodman (3rd R) watch the Harlem Globetrotters demonstrate various techniques and tricks. Also in attendance are Jang Song Taek (3rd L) and Ri Sol Ju (4th L) (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Members of the Harlem Globetrotters demonstrate various tricks prior to a scrimmage between DPRK and US basketball players (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Members of the Harlem Globetrotters demonstrate various tricks prior to a scrimmage between DPRK and US basketball players (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un and Dennis Rodman (C) watch a basketball game between teams of US and DPRK players at Ryugnyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un and Dennis Rodman (C) watch a basketball game between teams of US and DPRK players at Ryugnyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

View of basketball games of US and DPRK basketball players in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTC screengrabs)

View of basketball games of US and DPRK basketball players in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTC screengrabs)

Basketball game between US and DPRK players (above) and officials at foreign embassies and non-governmental organizations (below) at Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Basketball game between US and DPRK players (above) and officials at foreign embassies and non-governmental organizations (below) at Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Halftime show at a US-DPRK basketball game showing an ogum dance routine (L), a brass band ensemble (C) and taekwondo demonstration (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Halftime show at a US-DPRK basketball game showing an ogum dance routine (L), a brass band ensemble (C) and taekwondo demonstration (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

A Korean dance routine featuring the ogum during halftime at a 28 February 2013 game of US and DPRK players (L).  Kim Jong Un's mother, Ko Yong Hui performed a similar routine when she was a member of the Mansudae Art Troupe in the 1970s (Photos: KCTV screengrab, KWP Propaganda and Agitation Department Culture Section)

A Korean dance routine featuring the ogum during halftime at a 28 February 2013 game of US and DPRK players (L). Kim Jong Un’s mother, Ko Yong Hui performed a similar routine when she was a member of the Mansudae Art Troupe in the 1970s (Photos: KCTV screengrab, KWP Propaganda and Agitation Department Culture Section)

Second half of a basketball game played between US and DPRK players in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Second half of a basketball game played between US and DPRK players in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Overview of Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium, the venue for a 28 February 2013 basktball game between DPRK and US  players.  Employees of foreign embassies and non-governmental organizations in the DPRK, watching the game (Photos: KCTV screengrab)

Overview of Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium, the venue for a 28 February 2013 basktball game between DPRK and US players. Employees of foreign embassies and non-governmental organizations in the DPRK, watching the game (Photos: KCTV screengrab)

Dennis Rodman (arrow) speaks after an exhibition basketball game between DPRK and US players in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Dennis Rodman (arrow) speaks after an exhibition basketball game between DPRK and US players in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un receives a Harlem Globetrotters uniform after the game.  Also seen in attendance is KJU's uncle Jang Song Taek (R), Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission and Chairman of the DPRK Physical Culture and Sports Commission (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un receives a Harlem Globetrotters uniform after the game. Also seen in attendance is KJU’s uncle Jang Song Taek (R), Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission and Chairman of the DPRK Physical Culture and Sports Commission (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Overview of a banquet hall in the KWP Central Committee complex in central Pyongyang, the venue of a banquet hosted for the US basketball delegation by the DPRK Olympic Committee (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Overview of a banquet hall in the KWP Central Committee complex in central Pyongyang, the venue of a banquet hosted for the US basketball delegation by the DPRK Olympic Committee (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju dine with Dennis Rodman.  Seated between KJU and Rodman is an English-language interpreter (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju dine with Dennis Rodman. Seated between KJU and Rodman is an English-language interpreter (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un converses with Dennis Rodman (L) then engages in a round of toasts with Rodman (C) and other guests (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un converses with Dennis Rodman (L) then engages in a round of toasts with Rodman (C) and other guests (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un talks with a US citizen of the basketball delegation.  Seen in the background R is Jang Song Taek (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un talks with a US citizen of the basketball delegation. Seen in the background R is Jang Song Taek (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un greets members of the US basketball delegation at a banquet hosted by the DPRK Olympic Committee (top and middle) and KJU and Dennis Rodman bow (below) prior to Rodman's departure from the banquet hall (Photos: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un greets members of the US basketball delegation at a banquet hosted by the DPRK Olympic Committee (top and middle) and KJU and Dennis Rodman bow (below) prior to Rodman’s departure from the banquet hall (Photos: KCTV screengrab)

Dennis Rodman (L) embraces Kim Jong Un (R) prior to departing a banquet hosted in the central party complex by the DPRK Olympic Committee.  Seen in the background, L, is DPRK basketball star Ri Myong Hun (a.k.a. Michael Ri) (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Dennis Rodman (L) embraces Kim Jong Un (R) prior to departing a banquet hosted in the central party complex by the DPRK Olympic Committee. Seen in the background, L, is DPRK basketball star Ri Myong Hun (a.k.a. Michael Ri) (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Former NBA player and hall of famer Dennis Rodman (foreground) gives a double "thumbs-up" after arriving at the Rungra Dolphinarium on 1 March 2013 (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Former NBA player and hall of famer Dennis Rodman (foreground) gives a double “thumbs-up” after arriving at the Rungra Dolphinarium on 1 March 2013 (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Dennis Rodman, Harlem Globetrotters and other members fo the US basketball delegation watch and participate in a show at the Rungra Dolphinarium in Pyongyang on 1 March 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Dennis Rodman, Harlem Globetrotters and other members fo the US basketball delegation watch and participate in a show at the Rungra Dolphinarium in Pyongyang on 1 March 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Harlem Globetrotters and members of the US basketball delegation visit a health complex in Pyongyang on 1 March 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Harlem Globetrotters and members of the US basketball delegation visit a health complex in Pyongyang on 1 March 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Members of the Harlem Globetrotters tour the Indoor Ice Rink and Pyongyang Skate Park on 1 March 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Members of the Harlem Globetrotters tour the Indoor Ice Rink and Pyongyang Skate Park on 1 March 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Dennis Rodman shakes hands with Son Kwang Ho  (L) and other DPRK officials (R) prior to departing the DPRK on1 March 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Dennis Rodman shakes hands with Son Kwang Ho (L) and other DPRK officials (R) prior to departing the DPRK on1 March 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Rumors of Dismissed People’s Security Minister Floated in ROK Media

28 Feb
Gen. Ri Myong Su (L), last known Minister of People's Security and Col. Gen. Choe Pu Il (R) whom South Korean sources claim  replaced Ri as head of People's Security (Photos: Xinhua file photo and KCTV screengrab)

Gen. Ri Myong Su (L), last known Minister of People’s Security and Col. Gen. Choe Pu Il (R) whom South Korean sources claim replaced Ri as head of People’s Security (Photos: Xinhua file photo and KCTV screengrab)

South Korean [ROK] media, citing an interview with an unnamed ROK government official, are circulating rumors that DPRK Minister of People’s Security, Gen. Ri Myong Su (Ri Myo’ng-su) has been removed from office and replaced by Col. Gen. Choe Pu Il, currently serving as Vice Chief of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Staff.  Gen. Ri was appointed Minister in April 2011 and has held the office for nearly two years. In a 26 February report  Yonhap News Agency quoted the unnamed official who said, “To my knowledge, North Korea recently appointed Choi Bu-il, deputy chief of staff at the North’s military, to the minister of people’s security” and also reported that “the source declined to give further details, including exactly when Cho was named, but the apparent replacement is believed to be linked to a ‘part of loyalty test by Kim Jong-un.'”

JoongAng Ilbo published a similar story on 27 February and reported that “Choe Pu-il, former vice chief of the general staff of the North Korean army, has been appointed to the minister of people’s security, a position similar to a national police commissioner in the South, a high-ranking South Korean official told reporters yesterday at a private meeting.” JoongAng Ilbo also reports that Gen. Ri Myong Su “hasn’t appeared in public since September 2012.”  Yonhap also reported that Gen. Ri “”has not been seen in public for months, raising speculation that he might have been purged.”

Either ROK media or their mystery man in the ROK government, are simply wrong about Gen. Ri’s public appearances.  Ri Myong Su’s last reported public appearance was on 4 January 2013 when he attended a meeting of People’s Security and Korean People’s Internal Security Forces [KPISF] personnel “to carry out the important tasks” itemized in Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s Day Address.  Prior to that Gen. Ri visited Ku’msusan Memorial Palace of the Sun with KJU on New Year’s Day, attended a banquet given for personnel involved in the 12 December 2012 launch of the U’nha-3 rocket, visited Ku’msusan on 24 December 2012, attended an unveiling ceremony of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il statues in Hamhu’ng on 20 December 2012 , attended the first central party banquet for the U’nha-3 launch personnel on 21 December 2012 and attended a national memorial service commemorating one year since Kim Jong Il’s demise.  Gen. Ri also attended a national meeting of people’s security officers and a KJU commemorative photo session in late November 2012 and attended Forestry Workers’ national meeting on or around 7 November 2012.  Gen. Ri’s public appearances have been relatively spotty, as Luke Herman wrote in NK News about in October 2012, but he has “appeared in public” well after September 2012 despite current media reporting.

Gen Ri Myong Su (2nd R) attend a forestry workers' meeting on 7 November 2012 (Photo: KCNA/KCTV still)

Gen Ri Myong Su (2nd R) attend a forestry workers’ meeting on 7 November 2012 (Photo: KCNA/KCTV still)

This does not mean Ri Myong Su’s position could not be in jeopardy.  There have been the aforementioned gaps between his public appearances, which could be ascribed either to his political standing or to the Minister having to directly supervise People’s Security’s various missions directly from headquarters.  A lot of the ceremonial aspects of the Minister’s position have been undertaken by the head of the People’s Security/KPSIF Political Bureau, Col. Gen. Ri Pyong Sam, who presided over a ceremony at which the MPS University was renamed after KJI and two awards ceremonies for KPISF personnel killed on duty.  There have also been rumors in Pyongyang implicating members of Ri Myong Su’s family in malfeasance in their foreign trading corporations.  If Ri was removed from office, it would indicate that Kim Jong Un continues to consolidate his power by making his own personnel appointments, in lieu of keeping Kim Jong Il’s old retainers.  It should also be noted hat Gen. Ri has also held senior positions during the DPRK’s three nuclear test.  In 2006 Ri was serving as Chief of the KPA General Staff Operations Bureau.  In 2009, Ri was director of the DPRK National Defense Commission [NDC] Administration Department.  In 2012, Ri was Minister of People’s Security, which, according to some researchers. controls some of the units responsible for major construction and engineering projects at the P’unggye-ri Nuclear Test Site.

South Korean official and media sources have also previously provided conflicting information about Ri’s alleged replacement, Choe Pu Il.  Choe has served as Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff since 2009.  However some ROK sources have identified Choe also concurrently serving as Chief of the KPA General Staff Operation Bureau, and other ROK sources have claimed that Choe commanding the IX Army Corps or serving as regional commander of KPA forces in what be termed it Northeast Military District.  This does not preclude Choe from being appointed to People’s Security, and his career history reveals ample criteria for his potential appointment.  And yet, previous information from ROK sources about Choe’s position within the DPRK ‘s national security community has been inconsistent and highly speculative.

Pyongyang watchers also may recall that back in November 2012, VMar Kim Jong Gak was quietly removed from serving as Minister of the People’s Armed Forces and replaced by Gen. Kim Kyok Sik.  This led country watchers to speculate as to whether VMar Kim was part of an ongoing purge, or if he was dismissed because of allegations that one of his sons had attempted to defect via China.  Although Gen. Kim Kyok Sik’s appointment as the country’s defense minister was later publicized, it hardly affected Kim Jong Gak’s political standing and he has made a number of public appearances, including at so-called #1 Events with Kim Jong Un.

Previous Ministers of People's Security Paek Hak Rim (L) and Ju Sang Song (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrab and KCNA)

Previous Minister of People’s Security Paek Hak Rim (L) and Ju Sang Son (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrab and KCNA)

There have been numerous occasions in the past in which a senior official is seen at an event close to The Center, or continues to make public appearances, even though they’ve already been marked for dismissal.  Often these have involved the more opaque maneuverings within the Party Central Committee and DPRK Government.  However the Ministry of People’s Security, and particularly the individual serving as Minister, operates (in very relative terms) transparently.  Gen. Ri Myong Su’s three predecessors as Minister were all publicly removed from office and their replacement publicly announced.  In July 2003 the Minister of People’s Security Paek Hak Rim was removed (due both to political reasons and old age) from office by an order of the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium.**  His replacement, Choe Ryong Su, was immediately announced.  Choe Ryong Su’s tenure was short-lived.  Barely a year after his appointment Choe was replaced by Gen. Ju Sang Song, then-commander of the IV Army Corps.  Gen. Ju had a lengthy tenure, serving as Minister for nearly seven years.  In March 2011 Gen. Ju was publicly removed from office by an order of the NDC “due to his illness.”  On 7 April 2011, Ju was replaced by Gen. Ri Myong Su through an order of the NDC (to which People’s Security is subordinate) and ratified by the 4th session of the 12th SPA held the same day.

**Until 2009 the Ministry of People’s Security was part of the DPRK Cabinet, and the Minister appointed by the SPA.  After 2009, the MPS was directly subordinate to the National Defense Commission.  Thus, Paek Hak Rim and Choe Ryong Su were removed from office by the SPA Presidium (standing committee).  In 2011 Gen. Ju Sang Song was removed as Minister by the National Defense Commission, and Gen. Ri Myong Su appointed to replace him, however the dismissal and appointment were ratified at the 4th session of the 12th SPA.

KJU Attends Party Central Committee’s 2nd Banquet for Rocket Launch Personnel

30 Dec
Overview of a 30 December 2012 banquet at Mokran House in central Pyongyang for personnel who contributed to the 12 December 2012 U'nha-3 rocket launch.  It was the second banquet hosted by the Korean Workers' Party Central Committee for those who participated in the launch.  As of 30 December 2012, launch participants had been staying in Pyongyang for two weeks (Photo: KCNA)

Overview of a 30 December 2012 banquet at Mokran House in central Pyongyang for personnel who contributed to the 12 December 2012 U’nha-3 rocket launch. It was the second banquet hosted by the Korean Workers’ Party Central Committee for those who participated in the launch. As of 30 December 2012, launch participants had been staying in Pyongyang for two weeks (Photo: KCNA)

DPRK state media reported on 30 December (Sunday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) attended a second banquet for 12 December 2012 rocket launch personnel hosted by the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Central Committee at Mokran House in central Pyongyang on Sunday.  KJU’s last reported public appearance was his participation in a commemorative photo-op with personnel involved in the U’nha-3 rocket launch.  Attending the banquet were Kim Yong Nam, Choe Yong Rim, Gen. Choe Ryong Hae, Jang Song Taek. Gen. Hyon Yong Chol, Gen. Kim Kyok Sik, Kim Kyong Hui, Kim Ki Nam, Choe Tae Bok, Pak To Chun, VMar Kim Yong Chun, Kang Sok Ju, VMar Hyon Chol Hae, Gen. Kim Won Hong, Gen. Ri Myong Su, Kim Yang Gon, Kim Yong Il, Kim P’yo’ng Hae, Kwak Pom Gi, Mun Kyong Dok, Ju Kyu Chang, Col. Gen. Kim Chang Sop, Ro Tu Chol, Col. Gen. Ri Pyong Sam, Jo Yon Jun, “other senior party, state and army officials” and “the scientists, technicians, workers and officials who greatly contributed to bringing about a great auspicious event to be specially recorded in the history of the Korean nation spanning five thousand years by successfully launching Kwangmyongsong 3-2, the first working satellite of the DPRK.”

According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “once again warmly congratulated those people on successfully launching the satellite to fully demonstrate the undying feats of leader Kim Jong Il, devotedly ensure and protect the undisputed prestige of the WPK, instill great national self-esteem and conviction of sure victory into all the service personnel and people and remarkably increase the international position and influence of the DPRK.”  The banquet included a performance by the Wangjaesan Art Troupe.  KWP Secretary and Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department Kim Ki Nam delivered congratulatory remarks.  According to KCNA, Kim said “in the course of launching the satellite they showed by a practical example how one should carry out the behests of Kim Jong Il and how one should remain true to the leadership of Kim Jong Un” and he called “upon the skilled and brave space conquerors intensely loyal to the Party to develop and launch more working satellites such as communications ones and carrier rockets of greater performance to glorify the DPRK as a space power to be envied by the world under the uplifted slogan ‘Korea Does What It Is Determined to Do!'”

(Photo: Google image; captions by M. Madden)

(Photo: Google image; captions by M. Madden)

KJU attends Banquet Celebrating U’nha-3 Launch

22 Dec
Kim Jong Un delivers a congratulatory address at a banquet hosted on 21 December 2012 by the KWP Central Committee for scientists and personnel who participated in the 12 December 2012 launch of the U'nha-3 rocket and Kwangmyo'ngso'ng-3 satellite. (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un delivers a congratulatory address at a banquet hosted on 21 December 2012 by the KWP Central Committee for scientists and personnel who participated in the 12 December 2012 launch of the U’nha-3 rocket and Kwangmyo’ngso’ng-3 satellite. (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

DPRK state media reported on 21 December (Friday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (Ri So’l-chu) attended a banquet honoring Korean Committee for Space Technology personnel who contributed to or participated in the 12 December 2012 launch of the U’nha-3 rocket.  The banquet was held at central Pyongyang’s Moknan House, the hexagonal-shaped banquet hall for Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Central Committee and DPRK Government functions.  KJU’s last reported public appearance was his visit to Ku’msusan Memorial Palace to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of his father, Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il).  Attending the banquet with KJU and RSJ were Kim Yong Nam (Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium President) Choe Yong Rim (DPRK Cabinet Premier), Gen. Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department [bureau]), Jang Song Taek (Vice Chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission and Director of the KWP Administration Department), Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces) Kim Kyong Hui (KJU’s aunt and KWP Secretary and Department Director) Pak To Chun (KWP Secretary of Machine-Building Industries), Ju Kyu Chang (Director of the KWP Machine-Building Industry Department) and Choe Chun Sik (President of the Second Academy of Natural Sciences and a leading official in the U’nha-3 launch).

Kim Jong Un (4th L) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (3rd L) applaud during a performance by the Moranbong Band at a banquet celebrating the 12 December 2012 launch of the U'nha-3 rocket.  Also in this image are: Jang Song Taek (L), Choe Ryong Hae (2nd L), Choe Chun Sik (4th R), Kim Yong Nam (3rd R), Choe Yong Rim (2nd R) and Pak To Chun (R) (Photo: KCNA)

Kim Jong Un (4th L) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (3rd L) applaud during a performance by the Moranbong Band at a banquet celebrating the 12 December 2012 launch of the U’nha-3 rocket. Also in this image are: Jang Song Taek (L), Choe Ryong Hae (2nd L), Choe Chun Sik (4th R), Kim Yong Nam (3rd R), Choe Yong Rim (2nd R) and Pak To Chun (R) (Photo: KCNA)

A view of the banquet (Photo: KCNA)

A view of the banquet (Photo: KCNA)

Mokran House (also known as Banquet Hall #9) (Photo: Google image)

Mokran House (also known as Banquet Hall #9) (Photo: Google image)

Also in attendance were Members and Alternates (candidate members) of the KWP Political Bureau: Kim Ki Nam (KWP Secretary and Director of the Propaganda and Agitation [publicity and information] Department), Choe Tae Bok (KWP Secretary and SPA Chairman), VMar Kim Yong Chun (NDC  Vice Chairman and Director of the KWP Civil Defense Department), Kang Sok Ju (DPRK Cabinet Vice Premier), VMar Hyon Chol Hae (1st Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces and Director of the KPA General Logistics Department), Gen. Kim Won Hong (Minister of State Security), Gen. Ri Myong Su (Minister of People’s Security), Kim Yang Gon (KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Department), Kim Yong Il (KWP Secretary and Director of the International Affairs Department), Kim P’yo’ng-hae (KWP Secretary and Director of Cadres Affairs), Kwak Pom Gi (KWP Secretary and Director of the Finance and Planning Department), Mun Kyong Dok (Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang City [municipal] KWP Committee), Ro Tu Chol (DPRK Cabinet Vice Premier and Chairman of the State Planning Commission), Col Gen. Ri Pyong Sam (Director of the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces’ Political Bureau) and Jo Yon Jun (Senior Deputy [1st Vice] Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department].

During the banquet, the Moranbong Band gave a performance which KCNA said “sang high praises of the undying revolutionary exploits Kim Jong Il performed for accomplishing the cause of building a space power and expressed profound thanks to Marshal Kim Jong Un” and “emphasized that the ardent patriotism of the scientists, technicians, workers and officials who fully displayed their fervent enthusiasm and creative wisdom for the successful lift-off of the satellite would be recorded as a brilliant exploit in the history of building a thriving nation.”

A view of the dining room at Mokran House as Kim Jong Un delivers a congratulatory speech to Korean Committee for Space Technology personnel who participated in the launch of the U'nha-3 carrier rocket on 12 December 2012 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

A view of the dining room at Mokran House as Kim Jong Un delivers a congratulatory speech to Korean Committee for Space Technology personnel who participated in the launch of the U’nha-3 carrier rocket on 12 December 2012 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un delivered a congratulatory speech during the banquet.  According to a gist in KCNA, KJU said:

The successful launch of the satellite, an aggregate of latest science and technology, is a great event specially recorded in the 5 000-year-long history of the Korean nation which was provided by the wise leadership of Kim Jong Il and the Workers’ Party of Korea’s policy of attaching importance to science and technology and a great auspicious event of all people, a product of the painstaking efforts and heroic struggle of you present here.

Long ago Kim Jong Il laid down strategic policies for developing carrier rockets and satellites true to the noble intention of President Kim Il Sung who set forth the great idea of conquering space and explored an untrodden path, laying a strong springboard from which to radically develop the nation’s space science and technology.

Scientists and technicians wound up the scientific research for improving the reliability and precision of the carrier rocket and the satellite in a short span of time through persevering inquiry and painstaking efforts. They successfully launched off the satellite despite severe cold in winter without exerting any influence on neighboring countries and thus powerfully demonstrated our space science and technology at the ultra modern level before the whole world.

Satellite Kwangmyo’ngso’ng 3-2 which the scientists, technicians and workers successfully launched is a Chuch’e satellite as everything including designing, manufacture, assembly, lift-off and monitoring devices after the blast-off was indigenously produced 100 percent.

The successful satellite launch is the greatest gift our people presented to Kim Jong Il and a shining review of the heroic struggle of the party and people this year.
The launch on which hinged the dignity of the nation was a grand declaration that demonstrated the DPRK’s independent and legitimate right to use space for peaceful purposes before the world and a historic event that showed the over-all national power of Military-First (so’ngun) Korea.

You successfully launched the satellite, true to the behests of Kim Jong Il on the historic day when President Kim Il Sung conducted a test-fire of the first submachine gun manufactured in the country. So you are genuine soldiers and disciples of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il and the most admirable heroes of the country. Our country is strong and the revolutionary cause of the party is steadily making victorious progress as we have such genuine patriots as you.

Our party and people will never forget the heroic feats you performed by bringing about the great auspicious event of today but brilliantly record them in the history of dignified Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il’s Korea for all ages.

It is the fixed determination and will of our party to achieve the final victory of the revolution under the uplifted banner of Chuch’e and build the strongest power, people’s paradise looked up by the world on the 3 000-ri (11, 781 km; 7, 320 miles) land.

Our party believes all present here as the most loyal comrades-in-arms and expects that you would continue to play a pioneer role in the general charge for building a thriving nation.

The present era is the age of science and technology and the age of knowledge-based economy and the national power is decided by the level of the development of science and technology. The position and prospect of the country and the nation hinge on it.

Our party pays deep attention to developing space science and technology which constitute the acme of ultramodern science and technology and regards the possession of satellites and carrier rockets as an important issue in building a great prosperous and powerful nation.

Cherish the party’s idea and intentions, further raising the hot wind of pushing back the frontiers of the latest science and technology to occupy space and thus glorifying our country as a space power admired by the world.

You should develop and launch a variety of more working satellites including communications satellite and carrier rockets of bigger capacity with the same spirit and stamina with which you successfully launched satellite Kwangmyongsong 3-2.

You will tower high over the world by waging a campaign of brains and a campaign of ability under the uplifted motto of looking at the world, keeping their feet planted on the ground and demonstrate the honor of the country and the resourcefulness of the nation before the world.

Only victory and glory are in store for the Korean people dynamically advancing amid blessings of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

No force on earth can block the advance of the powerful country unshakable in ideology and strong thanks to science and technology and the great people united close around the party.

Let us leap forward higher and faster on swift horses of science and technology for the prosperity of the great Mt. Paektu (Paektusan) nation and the happiness of the people.

Let us make redoubled efforts to bring earlier the day when we will fly the red flag of victory on the eminence of a thriving nation.

After KJU’s remarks, KCNA reported that “the scientists, technicians, workers and officials broke into rousing cheers, looking up to him who congratulated them on the success though he made indefatigable, devoted efforts for the satellite lift-off.”

Earlier on Friday (21 December), KCST personnel toured the Pyongyang Cornstarch Factory.  At the end of the tour they danced with factory workers ” rejoiced over launching the first scientific and technological satellite by their own efforts and technologies and successfully carrying out the behests of leader Kim Jong Il.”  The KCST personnel also visited the Ice Rink in central Pyongyang where they watched a hockey game and, according to KCNA, “enjoyed skating after the match.’

KCST personnel tour the Pyongyang Cornstarch Factory (L) and look at some of the factory's products (R) (Photos: KCNA)

KCST personnel tour the Pyongyang Cornstarch Factory (L) and look at some of the factory’s products (R) (Photos: KCNA)

KCST personnel watch an ice hockey game at the Ice Rink in central Pyongyang (Photos: KCNA)

KCST personnel watch an ice hockey game at the Ice Rink in central Pyongyang (Photos: KCNA)

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