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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).

Two Sports Economy Projects Completed

7 Oct
An apartment complex constructed for DPRK athletes with judoka An Kum Ae in front of her apartment  (top) and the ceremony open the renovated Pyongyang Indoor Stadium (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

An apartment complex constructed for DPRK athletes with judoka An Kum Ae in front of her apartment (top) and the 3 October 2013 ceremony open the renovated Pyongyang Indoor Stadium (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Two construction projects linked to the DPRK’s policy of promoting sports and physical culture were opened in Pyongyang on 3 October (Thursday).  A ceremony was held on Thursday marking the opening of the renovation of the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium, a venue for political meetings, commemorative photo-ops and athletic competitions  located on a bank of the Pot’ong River in the city centre next to the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Central Committee Office Complex.  Attending the ceremony were Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier), Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Kim Ki Nam (KWP Secretary and Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department), Choe Tae Bok (KWP Secretary and Chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA]), Yang Hyong Sop (Vice President of the SPA Presidium), Kwak Pom Gi (KWP Secretary and Director of the Finance and Planning Department), Mun Kyong Dok (Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang KWP Committee), Ro Tu Chol (DPRK Vice Premier and Chairman of the State Planning Commission), Kim Yong Jin (DPRK Vice Premier), Kim In Sik (DPRK Vice Premier and Chairman of the Capital City Construction Commission), Ri Yong Su (Director of the KWP Workers’ Organizations Department), Ri Jong Mu (Minister of Physical Culture and Sports), Col. Gen. O Kum Chol (Vice Chief of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Staff) along with “exemplary construction workers who took part in the remodeling construction; functionaries and employees of the Ministry of Physical Culture and Sports and Pyongyang Indoor Stadium; players, coaches, and members of the cheering squad taking part in the National Sports Contest of Provincial Teams; (and) working people of Pyongyang and the youth and students.”

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju speaks at a ceremony reopening the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium after renovations on 3 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA screen grab).

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju speaks at a ceremony reopening the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium after renovations on 3 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA screen grab).

Pak Pong Ju delivered a speech in which he said that “Supreme leader Kim Jong Un unfolded a plan for giving a facelift to the stadium, which is associated with the leadership feats of President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) and contributed to the development of the country’s sports and the cultural and emotional life of the working people, as required by the new century, and wisely led the work to do so.”  According to KCNA Pak also “called on all officials and other people to pay deeper social attention to the sports, raise the hot wind of sports across the country through mass sports activities and thus glorify forever the undying feats of the WPK which has provided the people with the best base for sports and cultural life. ”  After the ceremony, participants toured the stadium and watched the Provincial Teams’ National Sports Contest.

In east Pyongyang, at the Central Youth Hall, on 3 October a ceremony was held at which DPRK athletes were given residence certificates to live in a recently constructed apartment complex in the Pyongyang’s Pot’onggang District.  Attending the ceremony were VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Kim Ki Nam, External Construction Guidance Bureau officials and athletes receiving apartments.  In his speech at the ceremony Kim Ki Nam said that “the houses reflectMarshal Kim Jong Un’s great expectation that the sportspersons will display ardent enthusiasms and faithfully uphold the WPK’s idea on turning the DPRK into a sports power” and he “stressed the need for officials in the sports field, players and coaches to make contributions to demonstrating the dignity and honor of Military-First (So’ngun) Korea with gold medals.”  According to KCNA the athletes’ apartments have”several living rooms, a kitchen, a washroom, a toilet, etc. and are furnished with household goods and high-class furniture. ”  On 5 October (Saturday), members of the State Physical Culture and Sports Guidance Commission visited the athletes and their families in the apartments.  They brought housewarming gifts and “told the sportspersons to give fuller play to the might of Kim Il Sung’s nation and Kim Jong Il’s Korea by winning gold medals in international games in the future and thus encourage all the service personnel and people dynamically advancing towards a final victory in the building of a thriving socialist nation.”

Members of the State Physical Culture and Sports Guidance Commission visit athletes’ apartments on 5 October 2013.

Director of the KWP Machine-Building Industry Department, National Defense Commission Member and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Ju Kyu Chang (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

Director of the KWP Machine-Building Industry Department, National Defense Commission Member and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Ju Kyu Chang (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang KWP Committee and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Mun Kyong Dok (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang KWP Committee and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Mun Kyong Dok (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

KWP Secretary and Director of the Finance and Planning Department and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Kwak Pom Gi (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

KWP Secretary and Director of the Finance and Planning Department and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Kwak Pom Gi (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

KWP Secretary and Director of the International Affairs Department and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Kim Yong Il (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

KWP Secretary and Director of the International Affairs Department and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Kim Yong Il (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Department and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Kim Yang Gon (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Department and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Kim Yang Gon (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

KWP Secretary, National Defense Commission Member and KWP Political Bureau Member Pak To Chun (Photo: KCTV screengrabs).

KWP Secretary, National Defense Commission Member and KWP Political Bureau Member Pak To Chun (Photo: KCTV screengrabs).

KWP Secretary, Supreme People's Assembly Chairman and KWP Political Bureau Member Choe T'ae-pok (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

KWP Secretary, Supreme People’s Assembly Chairman and KWP Political Bureau Member Choe T’ae-pok (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

KWP Secretary and Director of the Cadres' Affairs Department and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Kim P'yo'ng-hae (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

KWP Secretary and Director of the Cadres’ Affairs Department and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Kim P’yo’ng-hae (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

DPRK Vice Premier, State Planning Commission Chairman and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Ro Tu Chol (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

DPRK Vice Premier, State Planning Commission Chairman and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Ro Tu Chol (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

KWP Secretary and Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department and KWP Political Bureau Member Kim Ki Nam (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

KWP Secretary and Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department and KWP Political Bureau Member Kim Ki Nam (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

Senior Deputy Director of the KWP Organization and Guidance Department and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Member Jo Yon Jun (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

Senior Deputy Director of the KWP Organization and Guidance Department and KWP Political Bureau Alternate Member Jo Yon Jun (Photo: KCTV screen grab).

Kim Jong Un Visits Construction of Okryu Children’s Hospital

6 Oct
Kim Jong Un (3rd L) tours the construction of the Okryu Children's Hospital in east Pyongyang.  Also seen in attendance is Jang Song Taek (2nd L), NDC Vice Chairman and KWP Administration Department Director, and Ma Wo'n-ch'un (4th L), deputy director of the KWP Finance and Accounting Department (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (2nd R) tours the construction of the Okryu Children’s Hospital in east Pyongyang. Also seen in attendance is Jang Song Taek (2nd L), NDC Vice Chairman and KWP Administration Department Director, and Ma Wo’n-ch’un (R), deputy director of the KWP Finance and Accounting Department (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 5 October (Saturday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the construction of the Okryu Children’s Hospital in Pyongyang.  He was accompanied by Jang Song Taek (Vice Chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission and Director of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Administration Department), Pak Chun Hong (KWP Department Deputy Director), Ma Won Chun (Deputy Director of the KWP Finance and Accounting Department) and Ho Hwan Chol (KWP Department Deputy Director).  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to the construction of an apartment complex for the faculty of Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) University.

He toured the hospital’s patient rooms, medical departments and service facilities “with satisfaction.”  According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “took measures to fully ensure the conditions of the room of intensive treatment and indicated concrete ways for putting the operation rooms on a sterilized and dust-free basis” and on the construction of the hospital he “expressed great satisfaction over the fact that a hospital to be proud of before the world has been built as it was excellently designed under the guidance of the party, an able unit undertook its project and it was finished with good building materials.”  He also said “the hospital has also taken on splendid looks as a specialized one like the recently built Breast Tumour Institute of the Pyongyang Maternity Hospital and Dental Hospital” and that “it is a hospital demonstrating the validity of the public health policy of the WPK and the advantages of the socialist healthcare system in the country.”  Kim Jong Un named it the Okryu (Ongnyu) Children’s Hospital “as it is situated in the area of Munsu where the clean water of the River Taedong flows.”

Construction of the Okryu Children's Hospital in east Pyongyang in June 2013 (top) and in Rodong Sinmun in October 2013 (Photos: Google image, Rodong Sinmun).

Construction of the Okryu Children’s Hospital in east Pyongyang in June 2013 (top) and in Rodong Sinmun in October 2013 (Photos: Google image, Rodong Sinmun).

The cover of the 6 October 2013 edition of Rodong Sinmun showing Kim Jong Un's visit (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The cover of the 6 October 2013 edition of Rodong Sinmun showing Kim Jong Un’s visit (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un Visits Construction of KISU Faculty Housing

29 Sep
Kim Jong Un tours the construction of apartment housing for faculty members of Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un tours the construction of apartment housing for faculty members of Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 28 September (Saturday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the construction of two apartment towers for the faculty of Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) University [KISU].  He was accompanied by Choe T’ae Bok (Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary and Chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA]), Ma Won Chun (KWP Department Deputy Director), T’ae Hyong Chol (President of KISU and Secretary-General of the SPA Presidium) and Kim T’ae Hi (Chief Secretary of the KISU KWP Committee).  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance public appearance was his visit to May Day Stadium.

According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un toured the premises around the apartment towers and visited several of the units.  According to KCNA, he “was satisfied to see the exterior of the apartment houses peculiarly decorated with color tiles and hard glass” and said the apartments were ” properly fitted with furniture according to the design he had already ratified, the floors are covered with quality material and the colors and patterns of the wallpapers gave the feeling of comfort.”  Kim Jong Un “promised to provide every household with a TV set and more sets of varieties of tableware as he had said” and “told officials to fix a bookshelf to the wall of the study in front the table so that teachers and researchers may study and prepare their teaching plans in their houses without any inconvenience and a round mirror to the wall of the corridor to their convenience.”  He toured a common area and said it “has been successfully built so that teachers and researchers may have stroll, reading and amusement games and their children may play to their satisfaction.”  During a stop at one the apartment towers’ verandas he “was pleased that the apartment houses are located in a good place and their appearance made the Ryonghung Crossroads look nicer.”  According to KCNA he said that “there is nothing to spare for teachers and researchers of the university who train scientific talents who will be responsible for the future of the country in the age of knowledge-based economy, age of campaign of brains”  and “expressed expectation and conviction that educators of Kim Il Sung University would achieve bigger successes in the education of younger generation and training of talents true to the party’s intention.”

View of apartment towers under construction in Pyongyang for faculty members of Kim Il Sung University (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of apartment towers under construction in Pyongyang for faculty members of Kim Il Sung University (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

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View of a dining room in an apartment unit for KISU faculty members (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

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View of a study in an appartement unit for faculty members of Kim Il Sung University (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

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View of a bedroom in an apartment unit for KISU faculty members (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

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(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

DPRK, Mongolia Hold 9th Consultative Committee Meeting on Economics, Trade and Science

26 Sep
DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam (1) and Mongolian Minister of Industry and Agriculture Khlatmaa Battulga (2) attend the 9th meeting of the DPRK-Mongolian Consultative Committee on Economy, Trace, Science and Technology at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on 26 September 2013 (Photos: KCNA)

DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam (1) and Mongolian Minister of Industry and Agriculture Khlatmaa Battulga (2) attend the 9th meeting of the DPRK-Mongolian Consultative Committee on Economy, Trace, Science and Technology at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on 26 September 2013 (Photos: KCNA)

The DPRK and Mongolia held their 9th meeting of an intergovernmental committee on economics, trade, science and technology at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang during 25 September  and 26 September (Thursday).  Attending the meetings were DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam (co-chairman on behalf of the DPRK) and Mongolian Minister of Industry and Agriculture Khaltmaa Battulga (co-chairman on behalf of Mongolia), along with a delegation of Mongolian officials led by Battulga and Mongolian Ambassador to the DPRK Manibadrakh Ganbold.  According to KCNA the meeting “reviewed the implementation of the protocol of the 8th meeting and discussed on bilateral cooperation issues in different fields” and  Ri and Battulga signed the meeting’s protocol agreement.

On 25 September (Wednesday), Khaltma Battulga and the Mongolian delegation met with Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium President Kim Yong Nam and DPRK Vice Premier Kang Sok Ju.  The Mongolian delegation also visited Mangyo’ngdae, birthplace and childhood home of late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng), and the delegation toured the Pyongyang Essential Foodstuffs Factory and the Pyongyang Cosmetics Factory.

The 9th meeting of the DPRK-Mongolian Consultative Committee on Economy, Trace, Science and Technology held at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang from 25 to 26 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

The 9th meeting of the DPRK-Mongolian Consultative Committee on Economy, Trace, Science and Technology held at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang from 25 to 26 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

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.

Kim Jong Un Visits Construction Munsu Swimming Complex and Mirim Riding Club

23 Sep
Kim Jong Un tours the construction of the Munsu Swimming Complex in Pyongyang.  Also seen in attendance is his uncle, NDC Vice Chairman Jang Song Taek (2nd L) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un tours the construction of the Munsu Swimming Complex in Pyongyang. Also seen in attendance is his uncle, NDC Vice Chairman Jang Song Taek (2nd L) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 22 September (Sunday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the construction of the Mirim Riding Club and the Munsu Swimming Complex in Pyongyang.  He was accompanied by VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), Jang Song Taek (Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission and Director of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Administration Department), Pak Tae Song (Deputy KWP Department Director) and Ma Won Chun (Deputy KWP Department Director).  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was another visit to the Munsu Swimming Complex.

Kim Jong Un’s first stop was the Munsu Swimming Complex where, according to KCNA, “soldier-builders are now waging a high-pitched drive day and night, pushing ahead with the project at the final phase in hearty response to the appeal of the supreme commander for successfully completing the construction by Oct. 10, the anniversary of the WPK.”  In the indoor swimming pool’s lobby, Kim Jong Un “praised painters of the Mansudae Art Studio for having drawn a panoramic picture of the sea shore in perspective” to complement a statue of late leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) which will eventually be installed.  He said the indoor swimming pool looked “wonderful,” that “it admits sunrays” and he told the soldier-builders to paint the pillars of the slides with white color so that they may look fresh and nice.”  He also “told officials to hang a large clock on the wall of the pool and set up sound equipment to add to its cheerful atmosphere” and that “it is necessary to provide it with mirrors and hairdryers, etc. in order to ensure best convenience to the visitors.”  He instructed construction personnel “to properly furnish the complex with furniture such as amusement tables in its different places including the balcony of the restaurant.”  At an indoor sports facility Kim Jong Un “highly praised the soldier-builders for having successfully built the hall in a brief span of time in hearty response to the order of the supreme commander though it was not included in the original design” and added that “it was very good to build the hall in the indoor swimming pool and the KPA carries out whatever task assigned to it.”  Kim Jong Un “noted that if volleyball and basketball courts are built and a springboard is laid in the hall, youth and children will like them.”

View of the Munsu Swimming Complex in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of the Munsu Swimming Complex in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

He “was satisfied to see the walls of the swimming pool being decorated with pictures of seagulls, dolphins, water drops, etc” at the complex’s outdoor swimming pool and “he learned in detail about the assembling of various types of slides and the constructed wading pools and highly appreciated the success made in it.”  According to KCNA Kim Jong Un “told officials to build a room for first aid treatment and an observation tower so that rescue measures may be taken” and that “the swimming complex can be inaugurated only when all these conditions are provided.”  Kim Jong Un “underscored the importance of taking thorough measures for protecting the complex in winter” and he noted that “it is good that the complex is being built in such a way as to ensure the supply of geotherm so that the complex may consume electricity as less as possible.”  He also instructed the “planting trees of good species and creating a larger area of lawn inside and around the complex” and said that he “was very pleased to picture” the appearance of the area surrounding the swimming complex.   Kim Jong Un also said “that the dramatic change in the appearance of the area of Munsu is a miracle which can be worked only by the KPA possessed of the spirit of unconditionally carrying out any task under any circumstances” and he  “once again highly praised the soldier-builders for their feats.”

Kim Jong Un tours the construction of the Mirim Riding Club in east Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un tours the construction of the Mirim Riding Club in east Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

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View of the construction of Mirim Riding Club in east Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un’s next stop was to the Mirim Riding Club.  He toured the “indoor riders training hall, service center for riders, outdoor spectators’ seats, circular riding training ground, riding school, stables, etc. to learn about the progress made in the construction.”  According to KCNA he “was greatly satisfied to learn that soldier-builders are pushing ahead with the construction of various buildings qualitatively at the final phase as required by the design of the club and methods of construction” and “pleased to see the soldier-builders pressing ahead with the construction of the horse-breeding institute and the epizootic hospital at a rapid speed as he instructed them while providing field guidance to the construction site in last August.”  Whilst watching the construction of a wall “he underscored the importance of successfully applying antiseptic treatment to it so that the quality of timber is preserved and it is prevented from getting rotten.”  Kim Jong Un was then briefed about the outdoor equestrian tracks.  He said that “it looks nice” and that “it is better to plant acacia along the line inside the track.”  He was informed that “the track has been built with famous Kaeso’ng weathered gneiss mixed with salt in order to increase the capacity for preserving humidity and sterilization efficacy” and  “underlined the need to take thorough measures for providing the best convenience to the riders.”  On the grass track he said that “So’ngch’o’n golden turf of Korea is the best for riding track as it is strong in vitality and resistance to stamping.”  He was briefed about the riding club’s landscaping then went up a hill to see the club.

According to KCNA he ” stressed the need to plant fir trees which offer foliage in all seasons and maple trees along with flower shrubs” and said that “it is good to plant willow trees around the artificial pond which will have artificial falls and beach in order to add to the scenic beauty.”  He said  “it is important to build a walking road for visitors’ stroll on horse and cosy pavilions so that they may have good rest” and “it is necessary to steadily push ahead with the work for creating greenery after the construction of the riding club is over.”  Kim Jong Un “stressed the need to make good preparations to operate the club as it is near completion” and remarked on his “belief that the soldier-builders would unconditionally finish the construction of the riding club as scheduled as it is the WPK’s gift to the people.”

Wreath Laying Ceremonies Held to Mark 64th Anniversary of Kim Jong Suk’s Death

22 Sep
A floral wreath from Kim Jong Un at the memorial bust of his grandmother Kim Jong Suk at Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery in Pyongyang on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

A floral wreath from Kim Jong Un at the memorial bust of his grandmother Kim Jong Suk at Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery in Pyongyang on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

A floral wreath laying ceremony were held at the memorial bust of Kim Jong Suk (Kim Cho’ng-suk) at the Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery in Pyongyang on 22 September (Sunday) to mark the 64th anniversary of her death.  Similar wreath-laying ceremonies were held the same day in front of Kim Jong Suk statues in Hoeryo’ng, North Hamgyo’ng Province (her birth place) at the Kim Jong Suk Naval Academy in South Hamgyo’ng Province and the Kim Jong Suk General Military Academy.  Kim Jong Suk (1917-1949) was the first wife of late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and mother of late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) and current Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary Kim Kyong Hui.  Kim Jong Suk died in Pyongyang on 22 September 1949 due to complications from an extra-uterine pregnancy.

Attending the wreath laying ceremony at the Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery were Kim Yong Nam (President of the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium), Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), along with other senior KWP, KPA and DPRK Government officials.  A floral wreath sent by Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) was delivered to the memorial bust, as well as wreath jointly sent by the KWP Central Committee, the SPA Presidium and the DPRK Cabinet.  Wreaths sent by the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces, the Ministry of People’s Security and from “working people’s organizations, ministries, national institutions, KPA units, scientific, educational and media institutions, joint national organizations of the Korean Children’s Union, party and power bodies, factories and farms in Pyongyang” were also delivered.  According to KCNA, “participants paid silent tribute to her, recollecting her revolutionary life.”

Floral wreaths delivered to the memorial bust of Kim Jong Suk to mark the 64th anniversary of her death in Pyongyang on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Floral wreaths delivered to the memorial bust of Kim Jong Suk to mark the 64th anniversary of her death in Pyongyang on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Members of the DPRK central leadership visit Kim Jong Suk's memorial bust at Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery in Pyongyang to mark her death anniversary on 22 September 2013.  Among those in attendance are: Gen. Kim Won Hong (L), Gen. O Kuk Ryol (2nd L), VMar Ri Yong Mu (3rd L), VMar Kim Yong Chun (4th L), Gen. Jang Jong Nam (5th L), Gen. Ri Yong Gil (6th L), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (7th L), Kim Yong Nam (8th L), Pak Pong Ju (9th L), Kim Ki Nam (10th L),  Choe Tae Bok (11th L), Pak To Chun (12th L) and Yang Hyong Sop (13th L) (Photo: KCNA screengrab).

Members of the DPRK central leadership visit Kim Jong Suk’s memorial bust at Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery in Pyongyang to mark her death anniversary on 22 September 2013. Among those in attendance are: Gen. Kim Won Hong (L), Gen. O Kuk Ryol (2nd L), VMar Ri Yong Mu (3rd L), VMar Kim Yong Chun (4th L), Gen. Jang Jong Nam (5th L), Gen. Ri Yong Gil (6th L), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (7th L), Kim Yong Nam (8th L), Pak Pong Ju (9th L), Kim Ki Nam (10th L), Choe Tae Bok (11th L), Pak To Chun (12th L) and Yang Hyong Sop (13th L) (Photo: KCNA screengrab).

Members of the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League and Young Red Guards salute Kim Jong Suk's memorial bust in Pyongyang on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA screengrab).

Members of the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League and Young Red Guards salute Kim Jong Suk’s memorial bust in Pyongyang on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA screengrab).

DPRK citizens pay their respects to the memorial bust of Kim Jong Suk, wife of late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung, on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA screengrab).

DPRK citizens pay their respects to the memorial bust of Kim Jong Suk, wife of late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung, on 22 September 2013 (Photo: KCNA screengrab).

Kim Jong Suk's obituary (Photo: KCTV/NKLW archive photo).

Kim Jong Suk’s obituary (Photo: KCTV/NKLW archive photo).

Kim Jong Un Visits Construction of Munsu Swimming Complex

18 Sep
Kim Jong Un (4th L) visits the construction of the Munsu Swimming Complex (formerly known as the Munsu Wading Pool) in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (4th L) visits the construction of the Munsu Swimming Complex (formerly known as the Munsu Wading Pool) in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 17 September (Tuesday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the construction of the Munsu Swimming Complex (formerly known as the Munsu Wading Pool) in Pyongyang.  Attending the visit were Senior Deputy [1st Vice] Director of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Propaganda and Agitation Department, Ri Jae Il, and KWP Department Deputy Directors  Pak Tae Song and Ma Won Chun.  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his attendance at a senior women’s weightlifting competition of the 2013 Asian Cup and Interclub Junior and Senior Weightlifting Championships, held at Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium in Pyongyang on 15 September (Sunday).

A view of the waterslides under construction at Munsu Swimming Complex in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

A view of the waterslides under construction at Munsu Swimming Complex in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

A view of indoor swimming pools within one of the three pyramids under construction at Munsu Swimming Complex in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

A view of indoor swimming pools within one of the three pyramids under construction at Munsu Swimming Complex in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un gets an overview of the construction of the Munsu Swimming Complex in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un gets an overview of the construction of the Munsu Swimming Complex in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The Munsu Swimming Complex under construction in Pyongyang (top) is modeled on the swimming and entertainment facilities at the Kim family's residential compound in Ryongso'ng District in Pyongyang (Photos: Rodong Sinmun and DigitalGlobe).

The Munsu Swimming Complex under construction in Pyongyang (top) is modeled on the swimming and entertainment facilities at the Kim family’s residential compound in Ryongso’ng District in Pyongyang (Photos: Rodong Sinmun and DigitalGlobe).

The first two pages of the 18 September 2013 digital edition of Rodong Sinmun, the Korean Workers' Party daily newspaper showing Kim Jong Un's visit to the swimming complex (Photos: Rodong Sinmun).

The first two pages of the 18 September 2013 digital edition of Rodong Sinmun, the Korean Workers’ Party daily newspaper showing Kim Jong Un’s visit to the swimming complex (Photos: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un toured the swimming complex’s main lobby where he issued instructions on erecting a statue of his father, late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) “with profound reverence.”  He also toured the complex’s store to take  “steps to build it in such a manner as to make it preserve its nature as a service facility and provide things necessary for swimming.”  Kim Jong Un also toured the complex’s water slides, a wave pool, wading pools as well as other sports facilities and indoor swimming pool.  According to KCNA he “praised the builders for ensuring quality in the project as required by the construction methods.”  He also toured a restaurant at the swimming complex to issue instructions on furniture and cooking utensils.   Overlooking the swimming he complex he said that  “it is important to rationally distribute buildings and facilities in the plottage, adding that the complex is an example in the most rational use of a building site.”  He also asked a mosaic of sea creatures be installed at the indoor swimming pool.

According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “underscored the need to scrupulously organize the work for successfully operating the complex from now as its construction has reached its final phase.”  He noted “the atmosphere in the construction site is quite different from others” and “added one may know well that the project is being undertaken by the People’s Army.”  He expressed great satisfaction over the fact that the soldier-builders have waged a high-pitched drive day and night, opening a bright prospect for unconditionally winding up the project within the period fixed by the WPK.”  He said that “it has become possible to present people with a world-class swimming complex by completing it by the WPK anniversary. . .it is a great thing service personnel have done in taking the lead in devotedly carrying out the WPK’s plan for building a highly civilized socialist state.”  Kim Jong also said “that once he assigns any task to the People’s Army, it performs a world-startling miracle, so he is pleased to give any job to it” and noted “that fresh achievements are being made in every work site of the People’s Army for building a thriving socialist nation, he said that the WPK and the supreme commander are proud of having such an army.”  He also affirmed that he was right when he decided to build the complex with trust reposed in the People’s Army” and said that “the complex, being built by our own efforts, proves once again that when we are determined to do something, there is nothing impossible.”  According to KCNA Kim Jong Un “said with a broad smile that when the construction of such a complex equipped with all conditions at the world’s level is completed, people will like it very much, adding that he feels very pleased to think about it.”  He also pointed out that “not many days are left till October 10″ and told ” commanding officers to meticulously conduct operations to push ahead with the project as planned without fail and direct efforts to arousing increased enthusiasm among soldier-builders.”  Kim Jong Un “as the supreme commander once again called upon the soldier-builders to successfully complete the project before the WPK anniversary to present it to the people.”

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