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DPRK Premier Visits Sinp’o Open Sea Fishery Complex

28 Jun
DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju tours the Sinp'o Pelagic Fishery Complex (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju tours the Sinp’o Pelagic Fishing Complex (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 27 June (Friday) that Premier Pak Pong Ju (Pak Pong-chu) visited the Sinp’o Pelagic (open sea) Fishing Complex in South Hamgyo’ng Province.  He toured the fishing complex’s vessels and viewed its equipment.  According to KCNA he ” encouraged fishermen, firmly determined to bring about great innovations in the pelagic fishing this year by carrying forward the heroic fighting spirit of the preceding generation.”  After his tour he held a meeting with fishery officials based on the DPRK’s east coast.  The meeting “discussed the issue of setting a model in the east coastal area and generalizing it on the basis of the analysis of the production foundation and potentials of the fishery stations in North and South Hamgyo’ng and Kangwo’n provinces.”  The meeting “took measures to improve the living standard of fishermen and simultaneously push forward pelagic and offshore fishing including the issues modernizing fishing boats, bringing dredge of wharves and repair of breakwater to a normal footing and satisfactorily ensuring electricity and spare parts needed for repairing fishing boats.”  Pak Pong Ju “called upon the fishery complex to make big fish hauls,” according to KCNA.

DPRK Premier Visits Taean Heavy Machine Complex and other sites

23 Jun
DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (L) tours Taean Heavy Machine Complex (Photo: KCNA).

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (L) tours Taean Heavy Machine Complex (Photo: KCNA).

DPRK state media reported on 23 June (Monday) that Premier Pak Pong Ju visited the construction of a mushroom farm, toured areas effected by drought in South Hwanghae Province and the Taean Heavy Machine Complex.  According to KCNA, Pak toured areas effected by drought in South Hwanghae Province, the DPRK’s “rice basket” where he “highlighted the importance of preventing the drought.”  On 21 June, KCNA reported that “drought damage is getting more serious in most parts of North and South Hwanghae provinces and some parts of Kangwo’n Province.”

Pak Pong Ju visited the Taean Heavy Machine Complex in Namp’o, south of Pyongyang, where he toured “various production processes to learn about the technical specification of custom-built equipment and their processing and assembling.”  After his factory tour he held a meeting with the factory’s managers and functionaries, which according to KCNA, “”discussed issues arising in increasing the production of custom-built equipment and improving their performance.”  Pak also visited the construction of a mushroom farm where he “consulted a measure for hastening the construction.

Overview of Taean Heavy Machine Complex in Taean-kuyo'k, Namp'o, South P'yo'ngan (Photo: Google image).

Overview of Taean Heavy Machine Complex in Taean-kuyo’k, Namp’o, South P’yo’ngan (Photo: Google image).

View of Taean Heavy Machine Complex (Photo: Google image).

View of Taean Heavy Machine Complex (Photo: Google image).

DPRK Premier Visits Power Station and Chemical Factory

5 Nov
DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju tours Pukch'ang Thermal Power Complex (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju tours Pukch’ang Thermal Power Complex. Among those in attendance is DPRK Vice Premier and State Planning Commission Chairman Ro Tu Chol (2nd R) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 5 November (Tuesday) that Premier Pak Pong Ju visited the Sunch’o’n Chemical Factory, Pukch’ang Thermal Power Complex and the To’kch’o’n Area Coal Mining Complex .  Pak first visited Sunch’o’n Chemical Factory where he “held a consultative meeting,” according to KCNA, “to discuss the issue of keeping its production going at a high rate and measures to be implemented by the relevant units to ensure the supply of necessary raw and other materials.”  Pak also toured Pukch’ang Thermal Power Complex and held a meeting with its managers and employees.  The meeting “underscored the need for the officials to bring about innovations by meticulously organizing and commanding the production in keeping with high zeal of the workers, deeply aware of the important duty to be performed by the complex for power production” and “took measures to ensure that relevant domains increase their roles.”  After his visit to the power complex Pak visited one of the mines that supplies coal to the Pukch’ang power complex.  At the Chenam Mine of the To’kch’o’n Area Coal Mining Complex, Pak Pong Ju held a meeting with mine officials that “called for carrying out the monthly and quarter yearly plans for coal production without fail to contribute to increasing the power production and the improvement of the people’s living standard. It also took necessary measures.”

DPRK Premier Tours KPA Breeding Farm Construction

2 Nov
DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju tours KPA Breeding Farm #621 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju tours KPA Breeding Farm #621 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 1 November (Friday) that Premier Pak Pong Ju toured the construction of the second phase of Korean People’s Army [KPA] Breeding Station #621  He toured the first phase of the breeding farm’s construction “carried out at the personal initiative of supreme leader Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) and under his energetic leadership” and Pak was briefed about the facility’s breeding of livestock and its construction.  He held a meeting with local managers and employees which “confirmed the construction projects to be undertaken at various stages to attain the goal of the 2nd phase construction as intended by the Workers’ Party of Korea and discussed measures for ensuring the supply of necessary materials and equipment.”  According to KCNA, Pak Pong Ju said that “the construction of a center for breeding domestic animals of good stock is making rapid progress at a time when the Sep’o tableland is turning into a large-scale livestock base” and he called “on the relevant units to creditably fulfill their responsibility and role.”

Mongolian President Departs the DPRK

31 Oct
Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj shakes hands with DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam prior to departing from Pyongyang airport on 31 October 2013 after a four-day visit to the DPRK (Photo: KCNA)

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj shakes hands with DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam prior to departing from Pyongyang airport on 31 October 2013 after a four-day visit to the DPRK (Photo: KCNA)

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and a senior Mongolian Government delegation departed the DPRK on 31 October (Thursday) after a four day visit.  Attending the farewell ceremony were Kim Yong Nam (Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium President), Pak Ui Chun (DPRK Foreign Minister), Ri Ryong Nam (Minister of Foreign Trade), Col. Gen. O Kum Chol (Vice Chief of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Staff), Son Kwang Ho (Vice Minister of Physical Culture and Sports), Kwak Il Ryong (Vice Minister of Land and Marine Transport), Hong Kyu (DPRK Ambassador to Mongolia), Kim Jin Bom (Chairman of the DPRK-Mongolia Friendship Association and Vice Chairman of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries), other DPRK officials and staff members of the Mongolian Embassy in the DPRK.  According to KCNA when President Elbegdorj and his wife “arrived at the airport, children of the Mongolian embassy presented bouquets to him and his wife” and that Elbegdorj “exchanged farewells with the officials.”

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (L) and his wife Khajidsurengiin Bolormaa (R) wave before departing the DPRK on 31 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (L) and his wife Khajidsurengiin Bolormaa (R) wave before departing the DPRK on 31 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Senior DPRK officials acknowledge President Elbegdorj's departure at Pyongyang Airport on 31 October 2013.  Among those in attendance are Col. Gen. O Kum Chol (4th R), Ri Ryong Nam (3rd R), Pak Ui Chun (2nd R) and Kim Yong Nam (R) (Photo: KCNA).

Senior DPRK officials acknowledge President Elbegdorj’s departure at Pyongyang Airport on 31 October 2013. Among those in attendance are Col. Gen. O Kum Chol (4th R), Ri Ryong Nam (3rd R), Pak Ui Chun (2nd R) and Kim Yong Nam (R) (Photo: KCNA).

Prior to his departure President Elbegdorj toured the Munsu Swimming Complex where he watched a volleyball game between the 25 April Sports Team and Mongolia’s Enacoree Sports Team.  President Elbegdorj also visited Kim Il Sung University on Thursday.  Elbegdorj and members of the Mongolian delegation delivered flowers to the statue of late leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) on the university’s campus.  Elbegdorj also delivered a speech to KIS University faculty and students.  According to KCNA, Elbegdorj said that “he was pleased to visit the university and referred to the politics, economy, history, culture and foreign policy of Mongolia.”  Elbegdorj noted that “President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) visited Mongolia two times” and said “that the relations between the two countries have a long history and tradition. He expressed the belief that the friendly relations between the two countries associated with the wisdom and efforts of the leaders of the elder generation would grow stronger.”

President Elbegdorj presented a gift to Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) on Thursday which was received by SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam.  When Elbegdorj and the Mongolian delegation departed from Pyongyang airport later the same day, he had not met with Kim Jong Un, despite widespread expectations that the DPRK leader would hold his first summit meeting with a foreign head of state since assuming power between 2011 and 2012.  However, neither Mongolia nor the DPRK ever officially claimed that Kim Jong Un would receive Elbegdorj.  In reporting about President Elbegdorj’s arrival in and departure from Pyongyang, KCNA clearly said Elbegdorj and senior Mongolian government officials visited “at the invitation of Kim Yong Nam.”  In reporting about Elbegdorj’s departure from Mongolia to the DPRK on 28 October, a news release from the Office of the President said that he would “hold official meetings and negotiations with the DPRK leaders and other high-level government officials to discuss issues of bilateral relations as well as regional and international matters of mutual concern.”  News.MN reported that President Elbegdorj “will have individual meetings with the North Korean leader and high ranking officials for official talks on mutual relations between Mongolia and DPRK as well as regional and international issues.”  InfoMongolia noted in its 28 October report that Elbegdorj’s visit “was the first head of state to visit since Kim Jong-un took power,” but also reported that Elbegdorj “will meet with high-level officials from the Government and ruling party.”  None of these news items explicitly reported that Elbegdorj and Kim Jong Un would actually meet–the only report from News.MN which referred to “the North Korean leader” did not mention Kim Jong Un.

The perception that an Elbegdorj-Kim summit meeting would be held derived from non-Mongolian and non-DPRK media reports in which anonymous sources claimed that a summit was on the agenda.  A 22 October Kyodo World Service report filed from Ulan Bator claimed that during his visit Elbegdorj was “to discuss bilateral and regional affairs” with Kim Jong Un.  Kyodo cited an unnamed “Mongolian government source.”  On 24 October the Wall Street Journal reported that “North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is set to meet his first head of state since coming to power nearly two years ago when Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj visits Pyongyang next week” and that “the Mongolian Embassy in Seoul confirmed the visit would take place but declined to comment further.”  However the WSJ report was not clear whether the Mongolian Embassy in ROK “confirmed” an Elbegdorj-Kim meeting or simply “confirmed” that Elbegdorj was traveling on an official state visit to the DPRK.  On the day Elbegdorj and the senior Mongolian delegation arrived in Pyongyang, Yonhap reported that Kim Jong Un was “set to hold talks with the visiting Mongolian president this week” and that “we have been informed that First Secretary Kim and the Mongolian president were scheduled to hold talks today or tomorrow.”

Kim Jong Un’s last reported meetings with senior officials of foreign governments, including Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao, occurred in July 2013 when the DPRK marked the anniversary of the Fatherland Liberation (Korean) War armistice.  Prior to that, the last significant interaction Kim Jong Un had with foreign government officials was in December 2012 when he received a senior delegation of the Communist Party of China [CPC] led by CPC Political Bureau Member Li Jianguo.  Kim Jong Un does not appear to be completely allergic to interacting with foreign visitors, having met twice with former National Basketball Association player Dennis Rodman, as well as meeting with the management of Russia’s Orchestra of the 21st Century, top International Weightlifting Federation officials and interacting at several events with foreign diplomats and NGO heads stationed in the DPRK.  Kim Jong Un’s first and only reported meeting with a foreign head of state occurred in September 2011 when Kim Jong Il received and met with Lao President Choummaly Sayasone.

DPRK Premier Visits Farm in South Hwanghae

27 Oct
DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (2nd L) visits the Jangsong Cooperative Farm in Ongjin County, South Hwanghae Province (Photo: KCNA).

DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (2nd L) visits the Jangsong Cooperative Farm in Ongjin County, South Hwanghae Province (Photo: KCNA).

DPRK state media reported on 26 October (Saturday) that Cabinet Premier Pak Pong Ju visited a cooperative farm and the construction South Hwanghae Provincial Mushroom Farm.  Pak first toured the Jangsong Cooperative Farm in Ongjin County.  He held a meeting with the farm’s managers and employees which, according to KCNA, “underscored the need for agricultural workers to finish the threshing in good time by gathering all crops without any waste as befitting masters responsible for the nation’s agricultural production and by operating threshing machines in full capacity” and “called on the relevant units to satisfactorily supply electricity necessary for farms and took measures for meticulously organizing and commanding transport and carrying procured grains in time.” Pak also visited the construction of the South Hwanghae Provincial Mushroom Farm.  According to KCNA Pak said that the “construction of the farm is a patriotic work to implement the behests of President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) who worked heart and soul to provide the people with tasty nutritious mushroom and the noble intention of Marshal Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n)” and  Pak “took measures to ensure quality in construction and complete it in a short span of time.”

Mirim Riding Club Opened

27 Oct
VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Director of the KPA General Political Department, speaks at a ceremony opening the Mirim Riding Club in east Pyongyang on 25 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA screen grab).

VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Director of the KPA General Political Department, speaks at a ceremony opening the Mirim Riding Club in east Pyongyang on 25 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA screen grab).

The Mirim Riding Club in east Pyongyang (formerly known as the Equestrian Company of Korean People’s Army [KPA] Unit #534) was formally opened at a ceremony on 25 October (Friday).  Attending the ceremony were Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Kim Ki Nam (Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary), Mun Kyong Dok (Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang KWP Committee), “commanding officers of the units which took part in the construction, officials of ministries and national institutions, soldier-builders, people from all walks of life, youth and students, the chief of the Pyongyang mission of the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front and overseas Koreans” along with “diplomatic envoys of foreign countries, representatives of international bodies, military attaches and their spouses, staff members of foreign embassies here and other foreign guests.”

1. Ceremony opening the Mirim Riding Club on 25 October 2013; 2. A ceremonial tape is cut to open the equestrian club; 3. Foreign diplomats and NGO representatives attend the ceremony (Photos: KCNA).

1. Ceremony opening the Mirim Riding Club on 25 October 2013; 2. A ceremonial tape is cut to open the equestrian club; 3. Foreign diplomats and NGO representatives attend the ceremony (Photos: KCNA).

VMar Choe Ryong Hae delivered a speech at the ceremony in which he said that ” that the club is a product of the energetic leadership provided by Marshal Kim Jong Un with devoted service for the people and the heroic efforts of the service personnel and people of the DPRK who are immensely loyal to the cause of the party.”  Senior officials held a ceremonial tape which was cut by people representing the KPA, workers and the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League.  After the tape was cut, the riding club was formally opened and ceremony participants toured the premises.  According to KCNA “the club is a comprehensive and modern riding service center conducive to the physical training of people including school youth and children” and is “equipped with all conditions and environment necessary for riding and education such as riding courses, riding training halls, room for dissemination of riding knowledge, rest house, veterinary hospital and breeding research institute.”

4. Members of the DPRK central leadership tour the equestrian club; 5. Indoor horse arena at Mirim Riding Club (Photos: KCNA).

4. Members of the DPRK central leadership tour the equestrian club; 5. Indoor horse arena at Mirim Riding Club (Photos: KCNA).

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