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Jon Pyong Ho (1926-2014)

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

Jon Pyong Ho (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KCNA’s obituary of Jon Pyong Ho

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Photos: Rodong Sinmun).

(Photos: Rodong Sinmun).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Central Leadership Visit Residents of U’nha Scientists Street

19 Sep
DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (R) visits a family at the U'nha Scientists' Street in Pyongyang on 18 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (R) visits a family at the U’nha Scientists’ Street in Pyongyang on 18 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

A copy of a December 2012 commemorative photograph (L) of members of the DPRK leadership and personnel involved in the 12 December 2012 launch of the U'nha-3, seen in a resident of the U'nha Scientists' Street (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

A copy of a December 2012 commemorative photograph (L) of members of the DPRK leadership and personnel involved in the 12 December 2012 launch of the U’nha-3, seen in a resident of the U’nha Scientists’ Street (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

DPRK state media reported on 18 September (Wednesday) that members of the DPRK’s central leadership visited the recently constructed U’nha Scientists’ Street in Pyongyang.  Kim Yong Nam (Supreme People’s Assembly President), Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier) and VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army General Political Department) along with DPRK Vice Premiers and Korean Workers’ Party Department Deputy (vice) Directors “congratulated those who gratis had de luxe flats built under the loving care of supreme leader Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) to live in luxury and comfort” and “presented utensils to householders as souvenirs.”  According to KCNA, the DPRK elites learn “about their children and house-keeping and hearing their impressions of the new flats, the officials told them about the devoted efforts made by Kim Jong Un to bring about the present happy event and the great and benevolent policy of attaching importance to science and technology enforced by the Workers’ Party of Korea” and “also told the scientists and technicians to contribute to the prosperity of the country with great successes in the effort to push back the frontiers of science and technology, always bearing deep in mind the great care to be handed down to posterity. “

SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam visits residents of U'nha Scientists' Street in Pyongyang on 18 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam visits residents of U’nha Scientists’ Street in Pyongyang on 18 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

VMar Choe Ryong Hae visits an appartement on U'nha Scientists' Street in Pyongyang on 18 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

VMar Choe Ryong Hae visits an appartement on U’nha Scientists’ Street in Pyongyang on 18 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Yong Nam (1) (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Yong Nam (1) (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Pak Pong Ju (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Pak Pong Ju (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Minister of the People's Armed Forces Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary Kim Ki Nam (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary Kim Ki Nam (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary and SPA Chairman Choe Tae Bok (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary and SPA Chairman Choe Tae Bok (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary Pak To Chun (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary Pak To Chun (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

NDC Vice Chairman VMar Kim Yong Chun (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

NDC Vice Chairman and Director of the KWP Civil Defense Department VMar Kim Yong Chun (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

SPA Presidium Vice President Yang Hyong Sop (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

SPA Presidium Vice President Yang Hyong Sop (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

DPRK Vice Premier Kang Sok Ju (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

DPRK Vice Premier Kang Sok Ju (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Minister of State Security Gen. Kim Won Hong (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Minister of State Security Gen. Kim Won Hong (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary Kim Yang Gon (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Department Kim Yang Gon (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary Kim Yong Il (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary and Director of International Affairs Kim Yong Il (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary Kim P'yo'ng-hae (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary and Director of Cadres’ Affairs Kim P’yo’ng-hae (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary Kwak Pom Gi (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KWP Secretary and Director of Planning and Finance Kwak Pom Gi (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang KWP Committee Mun Kyong Dok (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang KWP Committee Mun Kyong Dok (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Kye Gwan Meets with PRC State Councilor

18 Sep
Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi (R) meets with Kim Kye Gwan, first vice foreign minister of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 17, 2013. (Xinhua/Zhang Duo)

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi (R) meets with Kim Kye Gwan, first vice foreign minister of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 17, 2013. (Xinhua/Zhang Duo)

Chinese media reported that DPRK 1st Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Kye Gwan met with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi on 17 September (Tuesday).  During the meeting, according to Xinhua, Yang told Kim that “the China-DPRK relationship is at a crucial stage that connects the past and the future. Both sides should keep up with the times, grasp opportunities and tackle challenges to advance the healthy, stable development of bilateral ties” and  that “the six-party talks are an effective mechanism for realizing denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and maintaining peace and stability of the peninsula and Northeast Asia, as well as an important platform for relevant parties to improve relations.”  Yang also said that “China hopes relevant parties make concerted efforts to strive for an early resumption of the six-party talks.”  Kim Kye Gwan said that “the DPRK-China friendship should carry on, and bilateral ties should be strengthened” and “the six-party talks are an important platform for achieving denuclearization of the peninsula. DPRK supports China’s effort to restart the talks and is willing to keep in-depth communication with China.”  

Kim Kye Gwan is the surprise guest at a one-day conference (or workshop) Retrospects and Outlooks: A Decade of the Six-Party Talks organized by the Chinese Government to mark the tenth anniversary of the Six Party Talks and the eighth anniversary of the 19 September 2005 Joint Statement.  Accompanying Kim to China for the conference were Ri Yong Ho, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Choe Son Hui, a deputy department directors at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  During his address at the conference Kim said the DPRK is “ready to enter the six-party talks without preconditions” and said that “preconditions” stipulated by the US and ROK “are in violation of the spirit of the Sept. 19 Joint Statement” and “attaching preconditions to our offer of dialogue would cause mistrust.”  Kim also said that “denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula is a dying wish of our late leaders and our country’s policy goal” and “we support the six-party talks, and we are willing to resume dialogue under the framework of the six-party talks, including a small-scale dialogue.”   PRC Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the conference that “no one should attempt to bring chaos to this region or pursue selfish interests” and “recently, there have been positive changes on the Korean Peninsula. . .The situation has moved from a high degree of tensions to relative relaxation, and from strong and serious confrontation to the restart of talks.  The situation on the peninsula is still fragile and uncertain.  Therefore, the parties should properly handle and approach the situation, exercise restraint, avoid provocative measures against each other in order to maintain the current momentum of relaxation.”

Ceremony Opens U’nha Scientists’ Street in Pyongyang

12 Sep
DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju delivers a speech at a ceremony opening the U'nha Scientists' Street residential area in Pyongyang on 11 September 2013.  Also seen in attendance are Minister of the People's Armed Forces Gen. Jang Jong Nam (2nd R) and Director of the KPA General Political Department VMar Choe Ryong Hae (R) (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju delivers a speech at a ceremony opening the U’nha Scientists’ Street residential area in Pyongyang on 11 September 2013. Also seen in attendance are Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Gen. Jang Jong Nam (2nd R) and Director of the KPA General Political Department VMar Choe Ryong Hae (R) (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

A ceremony opening the U’nha Scientists’ Street, a residential area in Pyongyang for research scientists and technicians, was held on 11 September (Wednesday).  Attending the ceremony were Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), along with “other senior officials of the party, state and army, officials concerned and service personnel of the Korean People’s Army and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces, and officials and builders and those scientists and technicians who are to live in the new flats.”  Mun Kyong Dok, Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Committee, and Pak Pong Ju spoke at the ceremony.

According to KCNA in his speech, Pak “emphasized the need to regard it as main objective of construction to build dwelling houses and rest houses for personnel in the fields of science and education in the future as intended by Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) and implement the party’s idea of attaching importance to science and technology” and “called upon the officials and workers in charge of the management and the operation of those apartment houses, public buildings and welfare service facilities in the street to manage and operate all buildings and facilities in a responsible manner by embodying Kim Jong Il’s (Kim Cho’ng-il) patriotism to make sure that the party’s love for people reaches the scientists and technicians before anyone else.”  Pak also “called upon those scientists and technicians to achieve more fresh successes in their scientific researches to repay with more latest scientific successes the love and trust of Kim Jong Un, who provided modern dwelling houses and highly civilized and happy living conditions to them.”

Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang KWP Committee Mun Kyong Dok C) speaks during the ceremony opening the U'nha Scientists' Street.  Also seen in attendance are Minister of People's Security Choe Pu Il (L) and President of the Second Academy of Natural Sciences Choe Chun Sik (R) (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang KWP Committee Mun Kyong Dok C) speaks during the ceremony opening the U’nha Scientists’ Street. Also seen in attendance are Minister of People’s Security Choe Pu Il (L) and President of the Second Academy of Natural Sciences Choe Chun Sik (R) (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

KPISF and KPA construction personnel, along with new residents, attend the U'nha Scientists' Street grand opening in Pyongyang on 11 September 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs).

KPISF and KPA construction personnel, along with new residents, attend the U’nha Scientists’ Street grand opening in Pyongyang on 11 September 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs).

Senior officials of the DPRK leadership attend the ceremony including KWP Secretaries Kim Ki Nam (4th R), Choe Tae Bok (3rd R), Pak To Chun 2nd R) and SPA Presidium Vice President Yang Hyong Sop (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs).

Senior officials of the DPRK leadership attend the ceremony including KWP Secretaries Kim Ki Nam (4th R), Choe Tae Bok (3rd R), Pak To Chun 2nd R) and SPA Presidium Vice President Yang Hyong Sop (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs).

Pak Pong Ju cuts a ceremonial tape opening the U'nha Scientists Stree in Pyongyang (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Pak Pong Ju cuts a ceremonial tape opening the U’nha Scientists Stree in Pyongyang (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

After the speeches, Pak Pong Ju cut a ceremonial red ribbon  and ceremony participants toured the U’nha Scientists’ Street.

Yonhap noted that among the members of the DPRK central leadership attending the ceremony was Choe Chun Sik, President of the Second Academy of Natural Sciences.  Choe toured the scientists’ residential area with Kim Jong Un the previous day, and had last been prominently seen attending various celebratory and commemorative events following the DPRK’s launch of the U’nha-3 in December 2012.  At the opening ceremony, Choe was seen attired in a KPA dress uniform with the rank of Lt. General (sangjang) on the shoulder boards.  Also attending the ceremony was KWP Secretary Pak To Chun, a key leading manager of the DPRK weapons industry and Choe Chun Sik’s nominal boss.

Choe Chun Sik (annotated), President of the Second Academy of Natural Sciences, visits the scientists street with Kim Jong Un (L) and attends the opening ceremony (Photos: Rodong Sinmun, KCTV screengrab).

Choe Chun Sik (annotated), President of the Second Academy of Natural Sciences, visits the scientists street with Kim Jong Un (L) and attends the opening ceremony (Photos: Rodong Sinmun, KCTV screengrab).

Pak Pong Ju, VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Gen. Jang Jong Nam, Pak To Chun and Kim Ki Nam tour an apartment in the U'nha Scientists' Street in Pyongyang (Photos: KCTV screengrabs).

Pak Pong Ju, VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Gen. Jang Jong Nam, Pak To Chun and Kim Ki Nam tour an apartment in the U’nha Scientists’ Street in Pyongyang (Photos: KCTV screengrabs).

 

Mun Kyong Dok, Kim Ki Nam, Gen. Jang Jong Nam, Yang Hyong Sop and Pak Pong Ju tour a classroom in the U'nha Scientists Street in Pyongyang (Photos: KCTV screengrabs).

Mun Kyong Dok, Kim Ki Nam, Gen. Jang Jong Nam, Yang Hyong Sop and Pak Pong Ju tour a classroom in the U’nha Scientists Street in Pyongyang (Photos: KCTV screengrabs).

Pak Is Back

10 Sep
KWP Secretary Pak To Chun (annotated), the DPRK's leading official in the production of conventional and advanced weapons, attends a 9 September 2013 parade and demonstration marking the country's 65th anniversary.  Also seen in attendance are Kim Kyong Hui (L), Kim Ki Nam (2nd L) and Choe Yong Rim (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

KWP Secretary Pak To Chun (annotated), the DPRK’s leading official in the production of conventional and advanced weapons, attends a 9 September 2013 parade and demonstration marking the country’s 65th anniversary. Also seen in attendance are Kim Kyong Hui (L), Kim Ki Nam (2nd L) and Choe Yong Rim (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Pak To Chun on the parade review platform in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, attending a 9 September 2013 parade marking the DPRK's 65th anniversary (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Pak To Chun on the parade review platform in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, attending a 9 September 2013 parade marking the DPRK’s 65th anniversary (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

The DPRK’s leading official in the production of conventional and advanced weapons has reappeared following a four-month absence from state media.  Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary and National Defense Commission [NDC] Member Pak To Chun attended the Worker-Peasant Red Guard parade and Pyongyangites’ demonstration held in Pyongyang on 9 September (Monday) to mark the 65th anniversary of the country’s foundation.  During the parade Pak stood on the parade review platform with other VIPs, standing between KWP Secretary Choe Tae Bok and Honorary Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium Vice President Choe Yong Rim.  Pak’s last observed appearance occurred in early May, when he attended sports competitions between workers in the public health sector.  Pak’s absence from the DPRK’s political culture was especially noticeable when he did not attend Kim Jong Un’s (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) tour of Jagang Province, where Pak was an influential KWP official and industrial manager.  When Pak failed to attend a number of events to mark the end of the active hostilities of the Fatherland Liberation (Korean) War in July, he was presumed to have been removed from office.  A number of reasons for Pak’s disappearance or possible dismissal were given, including the failure of a possible test launch of the Mususan intermediate range ballistic missile and allegations of corruption.  Pak To Chun’s disappearance from state media might be correlated to the rise and fall of Gen. Kim Kyok Sik.  Gen. Kim was appointed Chief of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Staff around the same time Pak disappeared.  Pak only re-emerged in DPRK public life after Gen. Kim Kyok Sik was removed as chief of the general staff.

Pak To Chun (L) accompanies Kim Jong Il on a tour of the Kanggye General Tractor Plant in December 2009 (Photo: KCNA).

Pak To Chun (L) accompanies Kim Jong Il on a tour of the Kanggye General Tractor Plant in December 2009 (Photo: KCNA).

WPRK Parade and Demonstration Held to Mark DPRK’s 65th Anniversary

10 Sep
2013-09-10-02-04

Kim Jong Un waves to a crowd from the parade review platform in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013, during a parade and demonstration marking the 65th anniversary of the country’s foundation. Also seen on the platform with him are Jang Song Taek (L), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (2nd L), Kim Ki Nam (3rd R), Kim Yong Nam (2nd R) and Pak Pong Ju (R) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The Worker-Peasant Red Guards [WPRG] staged a parade, followed by a demonstration by Pyongyangites, in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September (Monday), the 65th anniversary of the foundation of the DPRK.  Kim Jong Un attended the WPRG parade and demonstration.  Also on the reviewing platform were senior DPRK officials including Kim Yong Nam (Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium President), Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), “the chairperson of a friendly party, officials of the party, armed forces organs and the Cabinet and chief secretaries of Provincial Party Committees of the WPK” along with “Kwon Sun Hwi, advisor to the Central Standing Committee of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, and Choe Un Bok, chairwoman of the General Association of Koreans in China.”  Also in attendance were “deputies to the Supreme People’s Assembly, officials of the party, armed forces and power bodies, social organizations, ministries and national institutions, service personnel of the KPA and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces, officials in the fields of science, education, literature and arts, public health and media, merited people, delegations of overseas Koreans and other compatriots and the chief of the Pyongyang Mission of the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front” and “foreign delegations and delegates, foreign diplomatic envoys and representatives of international bodies and their wives and military attaches here and other foreign guests.”

Minister of the People's Armed Forces Gen. Jang Jong Nam (foreground) presents Worker-Peasant Red Guard members to participate in a parade marking the 6th anniversary of the foundation in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Gen. Jang Jong Nam (foreground) presents Worker-Peasant Red Guard members to participate in a parade marking the 6th anniversary of the foundation in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (C) delivers a speech at a parade and demonstration in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 marking the 65th anniversary of the DPRK's foundation.  Also seen in attendance is Minister of State Security Gen. Kim Won Hong (L) and National Defense Commission Vice Chairman Gen. O Kuk Ryol (R) (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (C) delivers a speech at a parade and demonstration in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 marking the 65th anniversary of the DPRK’s foundation. Also seen in attendance is Minister of State Security Gen. Kim Won Hong (L) and National Defense Commission Vice Chairman Gen. O Kuk Ryol (R) (Photo: KCTV screengrab).

The flags of the DPRK and Korean Workers’ Party were raised with musical accompaniment.  WPRG members were ceremoniously inspected then presented to Kim Jong Un by Minister of the People’s Armed Forces, Gen. Jang Jong Nam.  After the presentation of the WPRG members DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju delivered a speech in which, according to KCNA, he said “that the history of the DPRK clearly proves immutable truth that the great leaders assure the high dignity and prosperity of the country and nation” and “stressed that the army and people of the DPRK holding the peerlessly great men in high esteem generation after generation will as ever dynamically advance along the road of independence, Military-First (So’ngun) and socialism and it will shine forever as the socialist state of Juche with the invincible might.”

After Pak’s speech the WPRK parade began with the marching of flags displaying of the portraits late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and his son late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il).  This was followed by WPRG members emptying Kim Il Sung Square and its vicinity to mark past the parade reviewing platform.  The WPRG members consisted of reserve military training units members of the WPRG’s units from the provinces, at industrial complexes and agricultural sites, along with WPRG units of the Ministries of Land Management and Public Health, reserve units from DPRK universities and members of the Young Red Guard.  The parade marchers were followed by a ride-past of multiple-launch rockets systems [MLRS] and towed artillery pieces.  A parade and demonstration by the citizens of Pyongyang followed the WPRK parade which began with a float consisting of replicas of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il statues amid a a sea of people carrying the DPRK flag.  According to KCNA “columns of dancers depicting the national flag, Taekwon-do players, military families, artistes, scientists, sportspersons, teachers and medical workers walked past the square” and “letters reading ‘Kim Il Sung’, ‘Kim Jong I’, ‘Kim Jong Un’, ‘Glory’, ‘Celebration of 65th Anniversary’, ‘Great Mt. Paketu (Paektusan) Nation’, ‘Speed on Masik Pass’, ‘Economic Power’, ‘Single-minded Unity’, etc. were presented on the square and the flags of the DPRK and the WPK were portrayed in succession.”

View of the Grand People's Study House overlooking Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 during a parade and demonstration marking the 65th anniversary of the country's foundation.  Also viewable in this image behind the study house are the KWP Organization Guidance Department, the Pyongyang Ice Rink and the Red Wall Apartments (inhabited by KWP Secretaries) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of the Grand People’s Study House overlooking Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 during a parade and demonstration marking the 65th anniversary of the country’s foundation. Also viewable in this image behind the study house are the KWP Organization Guidance Department, the Pyongyang Ice Rink and the Red Wall Apartments (inhabited by KWP Secretaries) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Members of the Worker-Peasant Red Guard march through Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang during a parade marking the 65th anniversary of the DPRK's foundation (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Members of the Worker-Peasant Red Guard march through Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang during a parade marking the 65th anniversary of the DPRK’s foundation (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Red tractors tow multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) through Kim Il Sung Square on 9 September 2013 as part of the WPRK parade (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Red tractors tow multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) through Kim Il Sung Square on 9 September 2013 as part of the WPRK parade (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Towed multiple-launch rocket systems ride through Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Towed multiple-launch rocket systems ride through Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Parade floats which were part of a demonstration by Pyongyangites which followed the WPRG parade, held on Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Parade floats which were part of a demonstration by Pyongyangites which followed the WPRG parade, held on Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un waves to a parade and demonstration held to mark the 65th anniversary of the DPRK's foundation in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013.  Also seen in attendance are: VMar Kim Yong Chun, Gen. Jang Jong Nam, Gen. Ri Yong Gil, Jang Song Taek and VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Photo: KCTV still).

Kim Jong Un waves to a parade and demonstration held to mark the 65th anniversary of the DPRK’s foundation in Pyongyang on 9 September 2013. Also seen in attendance are: VMar Kim Yong Chun, Gen. Jang Jong Nam, Gen. Ri Yong Gil, Jang Song Taek and VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Photo: KCTV still).

At the end of the parade “there were loud hurrahs resounding far and wide, fireworks being shot up and balloons rising to the sky.  Kim Jong Un, accompanied by VMar Choe Ryong Hae and Jang Song Taek, walked along the parade reviewing platform’s deck with Kim Jong Un waving to the crowd.

A few recent internal political issues (involving personnel matters) could be observed at the WPRK parade and demonstration.  Events held to mark the DPRK’s 65th anniversary were going to provide clarity on the current officeholder of Chief of the KPA General Staff.  Based on the standing order on the parade reviewing platform, Gen. Ri Yong Gil was standing in the spot previously occupied by Gen. Kim Kyok Sik indicating that Gen. Ri has replaced Gen. Kim.  Ri Yong Gil has also been replaced, with a new and unknown Chief of the General Staff Operations Bureau attending to Kim Jong Un during the WPRG parade.  The anniversary event also marked the return of KWP Secretary and weapons industry boss Pak To Chun.  Pak had not appeared in state media for several months and distinctly absent from war anniversary events in July.  Pak was shown at least three times, standing along side other senior KWP officials.   Kim Jong Un’s walk along the parade reviewing platform’s balcony to wave to the crowd was an interesting tabeleaux du régime for leadership dynamics.  Usual post-parade platform walks by the supreme leader have usually involved senior officials such as the SPA Presidium President, the DPRK Premier and the Chief of the KPA General Staff; instead, Kim Jong Un was accompanied by KPA General Political Department Director VMar Choe Ryong Hae and National Defense Commission Vice Chairman Jang Song Taek.  When taken with images and film footage of the war anniversary events from July,  Kim Jong Un’s balcony walk shows the DPRK’s top three political officials.

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