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National Defense Commission Releases Statement on DPRK-US Relations

12 Oct
DPRK National Defense Commission (Photo: NK Leadership Watch Graphic)

DPRK National Defense Commission (Photo: NK Leadership Watch Graphic)

The National Defense Commission [NDC], the DPRK government’s highest authority and supreme power organization, issued a spokesman’s statement on 12 October (Saturday) which it said “revealed the deceptive nature of the rhetoric about non-aggression on the DPRK made by the U.S. recently, and principled stand of the DPRK on the DPRK-U.S. relations.”  The NDC’s statement said that the United States should “lift all steps for isolating and stifling the DPRK” including the removal of preconditions for a US-DPRK dialogue and the suspension of sanctions against the country over its advanced weapons and space programs.  The NDC’s statement was released the same day as an editorial in Rodong Sinmun protesting ongoing joint US-ROK exercises in the East Sea (of Japan) which said that the “DPRK is possessed of powerful nuclear deterrence capable of foiling the enemies’ moves for a nuclear war at a strike and blowing up their strongholds” and that “if the U.S. and south Korean bellicose forces ignite a nuclear war despite the DPRK’s repeated warnings, it will mobilize all its war deterrents and deal fatal blows at the provocateurs and thus achieve lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.”

According to KCNA, the NDC statement said that “on October 3 U.S. Secretary of State Kerry said that if the DPRK starts denuclearization first, the U.S. will be ready to have dialogue with it and that if it becomes clear that the DPRK started denuclearization, Washington will open peaceful relations with Pyongyang and sign a non-aggression pact” and that Secretary Kerry’s “remarks, which mean that the U.S. will enter into friendly relations with the DPRK after it is left bare-handed, are the height of American-style impudence and craftiness.”  The statement also said that the DPRK is “well aware that even though it clamored for non-aggression, the U.S. is running the whole gamut of intrigues to lead the DPRK to ‘change’ and ‘collapse’, while persistently opposing the withdrawal of its aggression troops from south Korea” and that the “U.S. call on the DPRK to lay down arms and remain bare-handed is an intolerable mockery and insult to the army and people of the DPRK.”  The NDC said that “it is disgusting to see the U.S. playing the role of a leading character with high skill in the charade” and that US proposals “for non-aggression cannot guarantee peace and security on the Korean Peninsula but the nuclear-armed revolutionary forces for self-defense of the DPRK can defend and guarantee everything.”

The NDC’s statement also said :

 If the U.S. truly wants to improve the relations with the DPRK, it has to properly understand the DPRK and behave as befitting a big power.

The DPRK is no longer a small and weak country which used to be in the past when it was hacked at the point of bayonets of big powers for it had neither sovereignty nor arms.

The U.S. is seriously mistaken if it thinks it can frighten the army and people of the DPRK through the “gunboat” offensive, with which it used to browbeat the world and bring its rival to its knees in the past, and through the superiority in the air based on latest science and technology, and can hurt the DPRK through the vicious moves for isolating and stifling it politically and economically.

The U.S. tragedy is that it does not know about the DPRK which is demonstrating its strong spirit and its army and people who love and value their country more than their own lives.

If the U.S. truly wants to mend the relations with the DPRK, it should properly understand the DPRK supported even by tens of millions of south Koreans, and behave itself as befitting a big country.

The U.S. should no longer talk about dialogue and improvement of relations with preconditions nor maintain the brigandish insistence that non-aggression is possible only when the DPRK dismantles its nuclear weapons first.

The army and people of the DPRK can discern the ulterior intention concealed in the dialogue and non-aggression proposed by the U.S.

The U.S. should discard the old way of thinking and outdated stand and abandon the threadbare hostile policy toward the DPRK, before it is too late.

For a good while the U.S., when meeting with DPRK officials behind closed doors, used to talk volubly that Washington has no intent to pursue policy hostile toward the DPRK. In recent public appearances Washington is working hard to build public opinion, claiming that it has neither hostile policy toward the DPRK nor willingness to replace the regime in the DPRK by attacking it. But in actuality it is working hard to realize its attempt at the regime change while systematically escalating all sorts of sanctions, isolation and blockade against the DPRK after invariably labeling it as part of “an axis of evil” and a “rogue state” behaving contrary to “law standard” and “international cord of conduct.”

The situation goes to fully prove that the U.S. assertions that it has neither hostile policy toward the DPRK nor intent to attack it are a poor farce for deceiving the public at home and abroad and mocking at the army and people of the DPRK.

If the U.S. wants to escape the pent-up grudge and retaliation of the army and people of the DPRK, it should drop its old way of thinking and outdated stand and make a bold decision to roll back its old hostile policy toward the DPRK before it is too late.

The U.S. should clearly understand the meaning of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and lift all steps for isolating and stifling the DPRK.

The denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the consistent policy goal set forth by the DPRK government. It calls for the denuclearization of the whole Korean Peninsula including south Korea.

This denuclearization is a peace-loving and powerful physical means for defusing all the U.S. nuclear threats to the DPRK and denuclearizing the world.

If the U.S. continues threat and blackmail against the DPRK, the DPRK will get more time in its favor and the U.S. will only precipitate its miserable end.

In other words, the DPRK will prosper with increasing vigor and strength, as it has smaller, diversified and precision nuclear weapons, but the U.S. will remain as a bubble marginalized in history.

The U.S. should, first of all, lift all the sanctions it imposed against the DPRK under absurd charges, if it wants to get rid of the present poor situation.

It should stop resorting to the stereo-typed nuclear blackmail against the DPRK.

The further the U.S. escalates its nuclear threat and blackmail, the deeper it will find itself in self-contradiction and bottomless labyrinth.

What we would like to emphasize is that the U.S. should take a bold decision to halt at once all the provocations against the DPRK including war exercises which aim at bringing down its social system and territorial invasion.

Explicitly speaking, the U.S. should make a policy switchover by withdrawing all the measures it has taken to isolate and stifle the DPRK as part of its greedy pivot to Asia-Pacific strategy.

Herein lies the way for improving the DPRK-U.S. relations and guaranteeing peace and security not only on the Korean Peninsula but in the U.S. mainland.

 

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.”

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).

Kim Jong Un Visits Jangjagang Machine Tools Plant and Delivers Speech

24 Jun
Kim Jong Un (2nd L) is briefed about some of the products of Jangjagang Machine Tools Plant in Kanggye, Chagang Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (2nd L) is briefed about some of the products of Jangjagang Machine Tools Plant in Kanggye, Chagang Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 24 June (Monday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the Jangjagang Machine Tools Plant and attended a concert by the Moranbong Band after which he delivers a speech.  He was accompanied by Choe Ryong Hae, Pak Tae Song, Kang Kwan Il, Hwang Pyong So, Hong Yong Chil, Yun Tong Hyon, Pak Jong Chon, Kim Taek Gu and Ryu Yong Sop.  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to Kanggye General Tractor Plant.

View of the Jangjagang Machine Tools Plant on the northern outskirts of Kanggye, Chagang Province (Photos: Google image; Rodong Sinmun).

View of the Jangjagang Machine Tools Plant on the northern outskirts of Kanggye, Chagang Province (Photos: Google image; Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un tours Jangjagang Machine Tools Plant (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un tours Jangjagang Machine Tools Plant (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (C) poses with officials of the Jangjagang Machine Tools Plant (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (C) poses with officials of the Jangjagang Machine Tools Plant (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un poses for a commemorative photo with employees, managers and officials of the Jangjagang Machine Tools Plant (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un poses for a commemorative photo with employees, managers and officials of the Jangjagang Machine Tools Plant (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

His first appearance was a visit to the Jangjagang Machine Tools Plant located on the northern outskirts of Kanggye, Changang Province.  He first viewed a photograph of his father, late leader Kim Jong Il, and his grandfather, DPRK founder and president Kim Il Sung, then reviewed products of the machine tools plant.  He toured some of  the plant’s different production sectors.  At one section of the plant, he “was very pleased to see the production efficiency, quality of products and manufacturing environment which underwent remarkable improvement despite such complicated conditions as preparations for technology and production and alternation in product composition” and said “with satisfaction that this shop is a model shop in which Kim Jong Il’s idea of pushing back the frontiers of latest science and technology which calls for automating all production processes has been embodied and a precious legacy left by him.”  According to KCNA he remarked that “the construction of the automated shop at the plant helps boost production capacity incomparably with it in the past and improve the quality of machines” and added that “it is profitable to let this plant produce in an intensive manner the same types of machines made in different plants.  All sectors and units should positively realize automation in the future as required by the age of knowledge-based economy. . . to this end it is necessary for other units to feel the urgency of automation in practice as is the case with this plant and the Jangjagang Machine Tool Plant should be regarded as a standard for realizing automation.  It is the consistent policy of the WPK to totally free the workers from manual work.”

After his tour of the Jangjagang Machine Tools Plant, Kim Jong Un posed for commemorative photographs with “officials at the production site of the automated shop” who received the Kim Il Sung Prize.  According to KCNA he “gave precious instructions on waging a dynamic drive to update and scientize all production processes on a higher level on the basis of the experience and foundation whereby the plant has automated the machine processing shop” and “took such benevolent step as settling the issue arising in sprucing up the plant.”  Kim Jong Un also posed for commemorative photographs with employees, managers and other officials of the plant and expressed “expectation that they would register great achievements in production and construction true to the behests of Kim Jong Il.”

The Moranbong Band gives a concert for workers in Chagang Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The Moranbong Band gives a concert for workers in Chagang Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un later attended a concert by the Moranbong Band in Chagang Province.  Ahead of attending the concert he attended a commemorative photograph session with employees of the Kanggye General Tractor Plant.  The Moranbong Band’s set included “Song of National Defense,” “To a Decisive Battle,” “For the Younger Generation,” “What is Life?” “Song of Artillerymen” and “At a Go.”  According to KCNA, the Moranbong Band “sang high praises of the undying revolutionary feats Marshal Kim Jong Un has performed by leading the drive for building a thriving nation while making ceaseless on-the-spot guidance and the indomitable spirit of the service personnel and people of the DPRK demonstrating the might of the great Paektusan nation, united close around him.”

The Moranbong Band gives a concert for workers in Chagang Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The Moranbong Band gives a concert for workers in Chagang Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (3rd L) applauds during a performance by the Moranbong Band in Chagang Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (3rd L) applauds during a performance by the Moranbong Band in Chagang Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un delivers a speech to workers in Chagang Province, following a concert by the Moranbong Band (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un delivers a speech to workers in Chagang Province, following a concert by the Moranbong Band (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un delivers a speech to workers in Chagang Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un delivers a speech to workers in Chagang Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

After the concert, Kim Jong Un delivered a speech.  According to KCNA he said “going round different industrial establishments in Kanggye City this time, I could see the workers all out in the drive to devotedly embody the spirit of the 2013 Plenary Meeting of the C.C. [Central Committee] of the Workers’ Party of Korea in hearty response to it” and he “extended thanks to the workers of the Kanggye General Tractor Plant, the Kanggye General Precision Machine Plant and the Jangjagang Machine Tool Plant on behalf of the WPK C.C.”  Kim Jong Un said that he “drew great strength and hardened his resolution to more successfully make the revolution in the future together with the reliable workers, while visiting different plants associated with the undying leadership feats of President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il” and “noted that he attached great importance to different plants in Kanggye City, calling upon their workers to give steady continuity to the proud tradition in which they have devotedly defended the party and the leader with increased production.”

Kim Jong Un “advanced militant tasks facing the workers in Jagang Province, underlining the need to keep the production going at high rate at plants and dynamically push back the frontiers of latest science and technology and thus put the modernization and scientization of the production processes on a higher level, establish cultured practices in production and life as required by the Military-First (so’ngun) era and steadily push forward the work to improve supply service” and “expressed expectation and belief that the workers in Jagang Province would successfully carry out their honorable tasks, hoping that only glory would be always in store for them.”

Kim Jong Un delivers a speech after a Moranbong Band concert for workers in Chagang Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un delivers a speech after a Moranbong Band concert for workers in Chagang Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Commemorative photographs with employees, managers and officials of Kanggye General Tractor Plant

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

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.”

National Meeting Commemorates Official KPA Anniversary

24 Apr
25 April House of Culture in Pyongyang, the venue for the 24 April 2013 national meeting marking the official foundation of the Korean People's Army (Photo: Google image)

25 April House of Culture in Pyongyang, the venue for the 24 April 2013 national meeting marking the official foundation of the Korean People’s Army (Photo: Google image)

DPRK state media reported that a national meeting marking the official 81st anniversary (25 April) of the foundation of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] was held at the 25 April House of Culture in Pyongyang on 24 April (Wednesday).  Attending the meeting were Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium President Kim Yong Nam, DPRK Cabinet Premier Pak Pong Ju, Director of the KPA General Political Department VMar Choe Ryong Hae ,”other senior party, state and army officials, officials of the party and armed forces organs, ministries and national institutions, service personnel of the KPA and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces, officials of institutions, factories and enterprises, those of merits in aiding the army, families of service personnel and people in Pyongyang, the chief of the Pyongyang mission of the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front and overseas Koreans” along with invited “foreign diplomatic envoys and representatives of international bodies and members of the military attaches corps here and foreign guests.”

Gen. Hyon Yong Chol, Chief of the KPA General Staff (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Gen. Hyon Yong Chol, Chief of the KPA General Staff (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Chief of the KPA General Staff Gen. Hyon Yong Chol delivered the meeting report.  According to a gist provided by KCNA, Gen. Hyon said:

President Kim Il Sung founded the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army, the first revolutionary armed forces of Chuch’e type on April 25, Chuch’e 21 (1932). This made it possible for the Korean people to have their genuine army for the first time in history and since then there started a new history of the Korean revolution which was hewed out with arms and has won victory and advanced with arms.

He trained the KPRA into the powerful main force of the anti-Japanese national liberation struggle in the flames of the anti-Japanese revolution, defeated Japanese imperialism and liberated Korea. In the complicated situation of building a new country he realized the cause of building the regular armed forces without delay, led the Fatherland Liberation War to victory and developed the KPA into a heroic army which shattered to smithereens the myth of the U.S. imperialists’ “mightiness”.

The Chuch’e-based cause of army-building developed in depth onto a new higher stage thanks to the outstanding Military-First (So’ngun) revolutionary leadership and Military-First (So’ngun) politics of leader Kim Jong Il.

He established the Military-First (So’ngun) politics as the basic political mode under socialism as required by the changed reality and developing revolution in the 1990s. He put forward the KPA as the main force for accomplishing the revolutionary cause of Chuch’e on the principle of giving priority to the army over the working class for the first time in history, and put its position and role on the highest level.

The Korean revolutionary armed forces have grown to be the army of the leader, the party and the people under the care of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, demonstrating its invincible might. They are the greatest patriotic legacy left by Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

Today the KPA is ushering in greatest heyday of its development as it is led by Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un.

He set forth the line on simultaneously pushing forward economic construction and building of nuclear force at the historic March, 2013 plenary meeting of the C.C., the Workers’ Party of Korea. This is a special great event which provided the immortal banner for final victory of the Military-First (So’ngun) revolution.

[Let us] conclude the nuclear showdown with the U.S. with the arms of Mt. Paektu (Paektusan), reunifying the country and winning a final victory in building a thriving socialist nation and accomplishing the revolutionary cause of Chuch’e.

The U.S. and the puppet south Korea are bringing the dark clouds of a nuclear war to hang over the Korean Peninsula despite the repeated warnings of the DPRK, he said, stressing that if another undesired war breaks out due to the unpardonable behaviors of the U.S. imperialists and their followers, the army and people of the DPRK will put an end to the long-standing history of confrontation with the U.S. and bring a bright day of national reunification without fail.

Ministry of Atomic Energy Industry Established

13 Apr

Haeun-2-dong, P'yo'ngch'o'n District, Pyogyang where the offices of the General Department of Atomic Energy are presently located. (Photo: geocoordinates courtesy of the DPRK Digital Atlas; Google image)

Haeun-2-dong, P’yo’ngch’o’n District, Pyogyang where the offices of the General Department of Atomic Energy are presently located. (Photo: geocoordinates courtesy of the DPRK Digital Atlas; Google image)

DPRK reported on 12 April (Friday) that the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium established the Ministry of Atomic Energy Industry on 11 April (Thursday).  According to KCNA the General Department of Atomic Energy was upgraded to a DPRK Cabinet ministry “for the purpose of modernizing the nation’s atomic energy industry and putting it on a solid foundation of latest science and technology so as to increase the production of nuclear materials, improve their quality and further develop the independent nuclear energy industry.”  The establishment of the new ministry is part of the new policy lines adopted at the March 2013 Korean Workers’ Party Central Committee meeting which said the “”self-reliant nuclear power industry should be developed and the work for developing light water reactor be dynamically promoted to actively contribute to easing the strain on the electricity problem of the country.”  The ministry might also be linked to the 1 April 2013 passage of the law “On Consolidating the Position of Nuclear Weapons for Self-Defense” at the 7th session of the 12th SPA.   In publicizing the decision to establish the Ministry of Atomic Energy Industry, there was no announcement about who would be appointed as Minister.

Party Central Committee Convenes Plenary Meeting (updated)

31 Mar
Kim Jong Un speaks at a meeting of the KWP Central Committee, held in Pyongyang on 31 March 2013.  Seen sitting behind him (R) is SPA Presidium Vice President Yang Hyong Sop (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un speaks at a meeting of the KWP Central Committee, held in Pyongyang on 31 March 2013. Seen sitting behind him (R) is SPA Presidium Vice President Yang Hyong Sop (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

The Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Central Committee held its plenary meeting (plenum) at the KWP Central Committee #1 Office Building on 31 March (Sunday) in Pyongyang**, attended by Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n).  KJU’s last reported public appearance was a visit to the Ku’msusan Memorial Palace of the Sun earlier in the day.  There were several personnel changes made during the meeting.  The entire KWP Central Committee membership and alternates were “recalled” and replaced, along with that of the KWP Central Auditing Commission [CAC].  The KWP Political Bureau was equally “recalled” with one member and three alternates added (see the KCNA report below).

Based on images released by DPRK state media, platform (rostrum) members at the KWP Central Committee were: Kim Yong Nam (SPA Presidium President), Choe Yong Rim (DPRK Cabinet Premier), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), Jang Song Taek (Vice Chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission [NDC]), Kim Kyong Hui (KWP Secretary and Department Director, and sister of late leader Kim Jong Il), Pak To Chun (KWP Secretary), Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Kim Ki Nam (KWP Secretary), Choe Tae Bok (KWP Secretary), VMar Kim Yong Chun (Vice Chairman of the NDC), VMar Ri Yong Mu (Vice Chairman of the NDC), Yang Hyong Sop (Vice President of the SPA Presidium), Kang Sok Ju (DPRK Cabinet Vice Premier) and Gen. Kim Won Hong (Minister of State Security).

Kim Jong Un (C) reads through the meeting documents of the Korean Workers Party Central Committee plenary meeting on 31 March 2013.  Also seen in the front row are SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam (L) and (highlighted) NDC Vice Chairman and KWP Administration Director Jang Song Taek (R) (Photo: KCTV-Yonhap)

Kim Jong Un (C) reads through the meeting documents of the Korean Workers Party Central Committee plenary meeting on 31 March 2013. Also seen in the front row are SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam (L) and (highlighted) NDC Vice Chairman and KWP Administration Director Jang Song Taek (R) (Photo: KCTV-Yonhap)

Members of the DPRK central leadership pledge their loyalty at the conclusion of the KWP Central Committee plenary session held in Pyongyang on 31 March 2013.  In the first row (L-R): Kim Ki Nam, Kim Kyong Hui, Choe Yong Rim, Kim Yong Nam. In the second row (L-R): Kang Sok Ju, Yang Hyong Sop and Pak To Chun (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Members of the DPRK central leadership pledge their loyalty at the conclusion of the KWP Central Committee plenary session held in Pyongyang on 31 March 2013. In the first row (L-R): Kim Ki Nam, Kim Kyong Hui, Choe Yong Rim, Kim Yong Nam. In the second row (L-R): Kang Sok Ju, Yang Hyong Sop and Pak To Chun (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un delivered a speech (you can read the full speech and report here) at the beginning of the Party Central Committee’s meeting.  According to Kyodo News, Kim Jong Un “vowed to upgrade the nation’s nuclear arsenal “qualitatively and quantitatively,” and said North Korea will conduct more satellite launches, which other countries suspect are covert tests of banned ballistic missile technology” and said “Nuclear armed forces represent the nation’s life, which can never be abandoned as long as the imperialists and nuclear threats exist on earth.”  According to Xinhua English, “Kim Jong Un said on Sunday the country has adopted a new strategy of carrying out economic construction and building nuclear armed forces simultaneously.”  KJU also said that  “the self-reliant nuclear power industry should be developed and the work for developing a light water reactor be dynamically promoted to actively contribute to easing the strain on the electricity problem of the country.”

According to the Associated Press, the statement issued after the KWP Central Committee meeting “also called for strengthening the moribund economy, which Kim has put an emphasis on in his public statements since taking power after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in late 2011″  and “called for diversified foreign trade and investment, and a focus on agriculture, light industry and a ‘self-reliant nuclear power industry,’ including a light water reactor. There was also a call for “the development of space science and technology,” including more satellite launches.”

An external view of the KWP Central Committee #1 Office Building in central Pyongyang, and internal views of the venue and members and alternates of the Party Central Committee attending the 31 March 2013 KWP Central Committee plenary session (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

An external view of the KWP Central Committee #1 Office Building in central Pyongyang, and internal views of the venue and members and alternates of the Party Central Committee attending the 31 March 2013 KWP Central Committee plenary session (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un addresses members and alternates of the KWP Central Committee in Pyongyang on 31 March 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un addresses members and alternates of the KWP Central Committee in Pyongyang on 31 March 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

A view of the platform (rostrum) of the Party Central Committee meeting on 31 March 2013 (top) Director of the KPA General Political Department and Vice Chairman of the Party Central Military Commission, VMar Choe Ryong Hae addresses the meeting on behalf of the military (bottom) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

A view of the platform (rostrum) of the Party Central Committee meeting on 31 March 2013 (top) Director of the KPA General Political Department and Vice Chairman of the Party Central Military Commission, VMar Choe Ryong Hae addresses the meeting on behalf of the military (bottom) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Views of the platform (rostrum) at the KWP Central Committee meeting in Pyongyang on 31 March 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Views of the platform (rostrum) at the KWP Central Committee meeting in Pyongyang on 31 March 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un and other rostrum members read meeting documents (top) and Party Central Committee members and alternates pledge their loyalty at the end of the 31 March 2013 meeting (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un and other rostrum members read meeting documents (top) and Party Central Committee members and alternates pledge their loyalty at the end of the 31 March 2013 meeting (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

KCNA reports on the KWP Central Committee’s proceedings, which included the removal and replacement of the entire Central Auditing Commission, the replacement of one member to the KWP Political Bureau by Pak Pong Ju, the replacement of three KWP Political Bureau alternates (candidate members) by Gen. Hyon Yong Chol, Gen. Kim Kyok Sik and Gen. Choe Pu Il, and the replacement of the director of the KWP Light Industry Department and the replacement of the editor of the KWP daily newspaper:

Pyongyang – The historic March, 2013 plenary meeting of the C.C.  of the Workers’ Party of Korea took place at the building of the WPK C.C., supreme staff of the Korean revolution, on Sunday.

First Secretary of the WPK Kim Jong Un guided the meeting.

Present at the meeting were members and alternate members of the WPK C.C. [Central Committee] and members of the Central Auditing Commission of the WPK.

Present there as observers were senior officials of ministries, national institutions, provincial, city and county committees of the WPK, complexes, major munitions factories and enterprises.

The participants paid silent tribute to President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il.

Taken up for discussion at the meeting were the following agenda items “1. On tasks of our Party on bringing about a decisive turn in accomplishing revolutionary cause of juche as required by the present situation and the developing revolution”, “2. On personnel affairs issue to be submitted to the 7th Session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly” and “3. On organizational matter”.

Kim Jong Un made a report and concluding speech on the first agenda item.

The plenary meeting set forth a new strategic line on carrying out economic construction and building nuclear armed forces simultaneously under the prevailing situation and to meet the legitimate requirement of the developing revolution.

This line is a brilliant succession and development onto a new higher stage of the original line of simultaneously developing economy and national defence that was set forth and had been fully embodied by the great Generalissimos.

It was stressed at the meeting that the party’s new line is not a temporary countermeasure for coping with the rapidly changing situation but a strategic line to be always held fast to, in the supreme interests of the Korean revolution.

The nuclear weapons of songun [military-first] Korea are not goods for getting U.S. dollars and they are neither a political bargaining chip nor a thing for economic dealings to be presented to the place of dialogue or be put on the table of negotiations aimed at forcing the DPRK to disarm itself.

The DPRK’s nuclear armed forces represent the nation’s life which can never be abandoned as long as the imperialists and nuclear threats exist on earth.

They are a treasure of a reunified country which can never be traded with billions of dollars.

Only when the nuclear shield for self-defence is held fast, will it be possible to shatter the U.S. imperialists’ ambition for annexing the Korean Peninsula by force and making the Korean people modern slaves, firmly defend our ideology, social system and all other socialist treasures won at the cost of blood and safeguard the nation’s right to existence and its time-honored history and brilliant culture.

When the party’s new line is thoroughly carried out, the DPRK will emerge as a great political, military and socialist economic power and a highly-civilized country which steers the era of independence.

The meeting set forth tasks for carrying out the new line and ways for doing so.

All the officials, party members and other people should wage bold offensive and all-people decisive battle with faith in sure victory and strong determination and thus make the flame of miracle and innovation sweep all fields of national economy.

The pilot fields of the national economy, the basic industrial fields should be drastically developed and production be increased to the maximum.

Forces should be directed to agriculture and light industry, key fields in building an economic power to improve and put on a stable basis the people’s l iving standard at the earliest possible date.

The self-reliant nuclear power industry should be developed and the work for developing light water reactor be dynamically promoted to actively contribute to easing the strain on the electricity problem of the country.

Spurs should be given to the development of space science and technology and more advanced satellites including communications satellites be developed and launched.

The country’s economy should be shifted into knowledge-based economy and the foreign trade be made multilateral and diversified and investment be widely introduced.

The economic guidance shall be fundamentally improved as required by the new situation and Korean-style advantageous economic management methods be completed by embodying the juche idea.

The DPRK’s possession of nukes should be fixed by law and the nuclear armed forces should be expanded and beefed up qualitatively and quantitatively until the denuclearization of the world is realized.

The People’s Army should perfect the war method and operation in the direction of raising the pivotal role of the nuclear armed forces in all aspects concerning the war deterrence and the war strategy, and the nuclear armed forces should always round off the combat posture.

As a responsible nuclear weapons state, the DPRK will make positive efforts to prevent the nuclear proliferation, ensure peace and security in Asia and the rest of the world and realize the denuclearization of the world.

Institutions in charge of security and safeguard, judicial and prosecution and people’s security and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces should resolutely foil the vicious moves of the imperialist reactionaries and class enemies, devotedly defend the party, social system and people and surely guarantee the new line of the party with arms and by law.

The party and working people’s organizations and power bodies should increase their militant function and role in every way in the struggle for implementing the party’s line.

The meeting entrusted the Presidium of the SPA and the Cabinet with the matters of taking legal, administrative and technical measures for implementing the tasks.

At the meeting a decision on the first agenda item “On carrying out economic construction and building nuclear armed forces simultaneously and thus bringing earlier the final victory in the cause of building a thriving socialist nation” was adopted with unanimous approval.

The second agenda item, personal affairs issue to be submitted to the 7th Session of the 12th SPA, was discussed and decided at the meeting.

The meeting also dealt with an organizational matter, its third agenda item.

Members of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the WPK Central Committee, members and alternate members of the Political Bureau were recalled and new ones were elected to fill vacancies.

Pak Pong Ju was elected to fill a vacancy of a member of the Political Bureau of the WPK C.C..

Hyon Yong Chol, Kim Kyok Sik and Choe Pu Il were elected to fill vacancies of alternate members of the Political Bureau of the WPK C.C..

Members and alternate members of the WPK C.C. were recalled and new ones were elected to fill vacancies.

Upon authorization of Kim Jong Un, Paek Kye Ryong was appointed as director of the Light Industrial Department of the WPK C.C. and Yun U Chol as editor-in-chief of Rodong Sinmun, organ of the WPK C.C..

Members of the Central Auditing Commission of the WPK were also recalled and new ones were elected to fill vacancies.


CMC Meetings Shown in DPRK Documentary on Kim Jong Un’s Military Activities

18 Mar

On 5 March DPRK state media released a documentary film which compiled film footage of Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) inspecting Korean People’s Army [KPA] units, observing training exercises and visiting construction projects utilizing KPA personnel from his accession in January 2012 to live fire exercises in 2013.  Loosely translated as Unleashing a New Heyday of the Formidable Forces of Mt. Paektu, the 80 minute film consists mainly of footage that has previously appeared in short documentaries about KJU’s activities.  Aside from a few new, brief scenes of KJU talking with note taking senior officials, the films includes footage of the expanded meeting of the Korean Workers’ Party Central Military Commission [CMC] meeting held late in the afternoon on 3 February 2013.  The meeting was a key event preceding the DPRK’s third nuclear test on 12 February 2013.  The CMC meeting ended with Kim Jong Un, assisted by Chief of the KPA General Staff Hyon Yong Chol, giving meeting participants handguns in presentation boxes.  

External establishing shot showing the KWP flag over the KWP #1 Office Building in Pyongyang (L);  The 3 February 2013 expanded CMC meeting (C); Kim Jong Un chairing the meeting (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

External establishing shot showing the KWP flag over the KWP #1 Office Building in Pyongyang (L); The 3 February 2013 expanded CMC meeting (C); Kim Jong Un chairing the meeting (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un chairing the 3 February 2013 expanded CMC meeting (top) and 3rd generation KPA commanders and officials (middle and bottom) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un chairing the 3 February 2013 expanded CMC meeting (top) and 3rd generation KPA commanders and officials (middle and bottom) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC Members attended the 3 February 2013 meeting (L-R) Jang Song Taek; Pak To Chun; VMar Kim Yong Chun; Gen. Kim Won Hong; and Gen. Ri Myong Su (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC Members attended the 3 February 2013 meeting (L-R) Jang Song Taek; Pak To Chun; VMar Kim Yong Chun; Gen. Kim Won Hong; and Gen. Ri Myong Su (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC Members and senior officials attending the 3 February 2013 meeting.  In this image are VMar Kim Jong Gak (front row, R), Ju Kyu Chang (front row, 2nd R), Gen. Yun Jong Rin (front row, 3rd R) and Gen. Pak Jae Gyong (2nd row, R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC Members and senior officials attending the 3 February 2013 meeting. In this image are VMar Kim Jong Gak (front row, R), Ju Kyu Chang (front row, 2nd R), Gen. Yun Jong Rin (front row, 3rd R) and Gen. Pak Jae Gyong (2nd row, R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members applaud during the meeting.  Among those in the front row in this image are Jang Song Taek (L), Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (2nd L), Pak To Chun (3rd L) and VMar Kim Yong Chun (4th L) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members applaud during the meeting. Among those in the front row in this image are Jang Song Taek (L), Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (2nd L), Pak To Chun (3rd L) and VMar Kim Yong Chun (4th L) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Presentation boxes (L) containing an autographed message from Kim Jong Un (C) of handguns (R) presented to meeting participants (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Presentation boxes (L) containing an autographed message from Kim Jong Un (C) of handguns (R) presented to meeting participants (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Presentation ceremony of handguns at the end of the 3 February 2013 expanded CMC meetings.  Among those presented with these guns were: VMar Choe Ryong Hae (1.), Jang Song Taek (2.), Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (3.), Pak To Chun (4.), VMar Kim Yong Chun (5.), VMar Hyon Chol Hae (6.), Gen. Kim Won Hong (7.) and Gen. Kim Yong Chol (8.) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Presentation ceremony of handguns at the end of the 3 February 2013 expanded CMC meetings. Among those presented with these guns were: VMar Choe Ryong Hae (1.), Jang Song Taek (2.), Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (3.), Pak To Chun (4.), VMar Kim Yong Chun (5.), VMar Hyon Chol Hae (6.), Gen. Kim Won Hong (7.) and Gen. Kim Yong Chol (8.) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Over view of presentation ceremony at the end of the expanded CMC meeting (L) Gen. Hyon Yong Chol handing a presentation box to Kim Jong Un (C) and meeting participants applauding at the conclusion of the meeting (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Over view of presentation ceremony at the end of the expanded CMC meeting (L) Gen. Hyon Yong Chol handing a presentation box to Kim Jong Un (C) and meeting participants applauding at the conclusion of the meeting (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

The film also included footage of another expanded meeting of the Party Central Military Commission, held between February and March 2012.  This would have been a key event preceding the 13 April 2012 launch of the U’nha-3 rocket, which crashed shortly after it was launched.  Unlike the February 2013 CMC meeting, KWP civilian officials are attired in KPA dress uniforms.  Based on the protocol from the February ’13 meeting, it is likely then-Chief of the KPA General Staff, VMar Ri Yong Ho, participated in the handgun presentation ceremony at the meeting’s conclusion, however VMar Ri is not shown in this film.

Overview of expanded CMC meeting held in February or March 2012 (L), Kim Jong Un chairing the meeting (C) and a view of CMC members and meeting participants (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Overview of expanded CMC meeting held in February or March 2012 (L), Kim Jong Un chairing the meeting (C) and a view of CMC members and meeting participants (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members attending the 2012 meeting.  In the front row are Ju Kyu Chang (L), Choe Ryong Hae (2nd L) Pak To Chun (3rd L) and Kim Jong Gak (4th L) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members attending the 2012 meeting. In the front row are Ju Kyu Chang (L), Choe Ryong Hae (2nd L) Pak To Chun (3rd L) and Kim Jong Gak (4th L) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members standing at the 2012 meeting: Choe Ryong Hae (L), Pak To Chun (C) and Kim Jong Gak (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members standing at the 2012 meeting: Choe Ryong Hae (L), Pak To Chun (C) and Kim Jong Gak (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members stand during the meeting in 2012.  In the front row are: Gen. Kim Kyong Ok (L), Gen. Kim Won Hong (2nd L), Gen. Jong Myong Do (3rd L) and Gen. Ri Pyong Chol (4th L) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members stand during the meeting in 2012. In the front row are: Gen. Kim Kyong Ok (L), Gen. Kim Won Hong (2nd L), Gen. Jong Myong Do (3rd L) and Gen. Ri Pyong Chol (4th L) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members stand during the 2012 meeting.  In the front row in this image are VMar Kim Yong Chun (R), Jang Song Taek (2nd R), VMar Kim Jong Gak (3rd R), Pak To Chun (4th R), Choe Ryong Hae (5th R) and Ju Kyu Chang (6th R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members stand during the 2012 meeting. In the front row in this image are VMar Kim Yong Chun (R), Jang Song Taek (2nd R), VMar Kim Jong Gak (3rd R), Pak To Chun (4th R), Choe Ryong Hae (5th R) and Ju Kyu Chang (6th R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members and senior security officials stand during the 2012 meeting.  In this image in the front row are: Gen. Ri Myong Su (L) Hyon Chol Hae (2nd L),  Choe Kyong Song (3rd L), and Gen. Yun Jong Rin (4th L) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

CMC members and senior security officials stand during the 2012 meeting. In this image in the front row are: Gen. Ri Myong Su (L) Hyon Chol Hae (2nd L), Choe Kyong Song (3rd L), and Gen. Yun Jong Rin (4th L) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Overview of an expanded Party Central Military Commission meeting held in February or March 2012 with images of Kim Jong Un speaking, and 3rd generation KPA commanders and security officials (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Overview of an expanded Party Central Military Commission meeting held in February or March 2012 with images of Kim Jong Un speaking, and 3rd generation KPA commanders and security officials (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Presentation box of a handgun (L) presented to participants at the 2012 CMC meeting.  The grip contains KJU's autograph (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Presentation box of a handgun (L) presented to participants at the 2012 CMC meeting. The grip contains KJU’s autograph (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Presentation ceremony of handguns at the end of an expanded CMC meeting held in early 2012.  Among those presented with handguns are: VMar Kim Yong Chun (1.), Jang Song Taek (2.), VMar Kim Jong Gak (3.), Choe Ryong Hae (4.), Ju Kyu Chang (5.), Kim Kyong Ok (6.), Gen. Kim Won Hong (7.) and Gen. Jong Myong Do (8.) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Presentation ceremony of handguns at the end of an expanded CMC meeting held in early 2012. Among those presented with handguns are: VMar Kim Yong Chun (1.), Jang Song Taek (2.), VMar Kim Jong Gak (3.), Choe Ryong Hae (4.), Ju Kyu Chang (5.), Kim Kyong Ok (6.), Gen. Kim Won Hong (7.) and Gen. Jong Myong Do (8.) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Presented with handguns at the conclusion of the expanded CMC meeting in early 2012 were: Gen. Ri Pyong Chol (1.), Gen. Choe Pu Il (2.), Gen. Yun Jong Rin (3.), Gen. Ri Myong Su (4.), Col. Gen. Jo Kyong Chol (5.), Gen. Pak Jae Gyong (6.), Lt. Gen. Pak Jong Chon (7.) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Presented with handguns at the conclusion of the expanded CMC meeting in early 2012 were: Gen. Ri Pyong Chol (1.), Gen. Choe Pu Il (2.), Gen. Yun Jong Rin (3.), Gen. Ri Myong Su (4.), Col. Gen. Jo Kyong Chol (5.), Gen. Pak Jae Gyong (6.), Lt. Gen. Pak Jong Chon (7.) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un (L) concludes an expanded meeting of the Party Central Military Commission (R) held in early 2012 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un (L) concludes an expanded meeting of the Party Central Military Commission (R) held in early 2012 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

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