DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (L) talks with agricultural officials during a tour of farms in North P’yo’ngan Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).
DPRK state media reported on 8 July (Tuesday) that Cabinet Premier Pak Pong Ju (Pak Pong-chu) visited Chimhyang Cooperative Farm in Cho’ngju and the U’nha Cooperative Farm in Unjo’n County, as well as Sinu’iju Chemical Fiber Mill. At the chemical fiber mill he “”discussed the ways for putting the production of chemical goods on a normal basis.” He later toured the Chimhyang and U’nha farms and held meeting to consult with farm officials. According to KCNA the meeting “referred to the issues of firmly establishing a food production cycle of organically combining agriculture and stock-breeding to raise the fertility of soil, and dynamically conducting the drive to combat drought” and “stressed the need to do farming in a scientific and technological way by widely introducing advanced agricultural techniques and methods to raise the utility rate of soil.”
DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (1) visits the renovation of the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang. Also seen in attendance is Ro Tu Chol (2), DPRK Vice Premier and Chairman of the State Planning Commission (Photo: KCNA).
DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (3rd R) visits the construction of the Wisong Street apartment complex in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)
DPRK state media reported on 5 July (Saturday) that Premier Pak Pong Ju (Pak Pong-chu) visited the construction of the Wisong Street apartment complex and the renovation of May Day Stadium. According to KCNA Pak toured the construction sites and encouraged “the builders working a fresh miracle through a collective innovation movement, in hearty response to the instructions given by Marshal Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) while providing field guidance to them.” He also “called on the builders to step up the construction on the highest level so that they may take responsibility for the safety of the projects and guarantee their absolute quality for all eternity and widely introduce the advanced building methods” and “underscored the need to satisfactorily supply materials needed for the finishing projects.”
Graphic showing the organization of the DPRK Special Investigation in to Japanese Nationals Residing in the DPRK (Photo: NK Leadership Watch)
On 4 July 2014, the DPRK Government formed a special investigative committee charged with a “comprehensive” enquiry into the the whereabouts and status of all Japanese nationals presently residing, or who have previously resided, in the DPRK. The investigative committee was formed by a “special mandate” of the DPRK National Defense Commission, the country’s highest authority, in accordance with an agreement between the governments of Japan and the DPRK and it “shall operate under a well-regulated command system of the Center.”
Although it was established under the pretext of re-investigating the whereabouts of Japanese nationals abudcted by DPRK operatives during the 1970s, the special investigative committee’s areas of enquiry will be “investigated in a simultaneous and parallel manner and the investigation will be conducted by way of holding interview, hearing testimony and touring the relevant field.”
According to an announcement disseminated by KCNA on 4 July the committee “will be invested with special mandate from the National Defence Commission of the DPRK to investigate all institutions and mobilize relevant institutions and persons concerned for the investigation any time when necessary.” The special investigative committee will consist of 30 officials drawn from the Ministry of State Security [MSS], the Ministry of People’s Security [MPS], the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces [MPAF, the DPRK Cabinet and the Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK; Korean Workers’ Party]. So Tae Ha, Vice Minister of State Security and NDC Councilor, was appointed Chairman of the Special Investigations Committee and will be supported by Kim Myong Chol, MSS Councilor, and Pak Yong Sik, MPS Department Director.
The DPRK’s special investigation committee will consist of four different panels:
- A panel tasked to investigate the remains of Japanese nationals buried in the DPRK will be led by Kim Hyon Chol of the Ministry of Land and Environmental Protection and will “take measures concerning various places where remains of Japanese are buried across the territory of the DPRK and conduct field survey and trial excavation on the basis of the existing information, testimonies, etc. and consult and take steps for handling remains.”
- A panel investigating Japanese nationals currently residing in the DPRK will be led by DPRK Red Cross Society Secretary-General Ri Ho Rim and “confirmation will be made through register books of citizens kept by people’s security institutions and relevant people’s committees and through information provided by those concerned and hearing testimonies made by witnesses, and measures will be taken”
- A panel tasked to investigate Japanese abducted Japanese nationals will be headed by Ministry of State Security Councilor Kim Myong Chol and shall “reinvestigate the abductees recognized by the Japanese government and confirm all records of each person from his or her entry”
- A panel focused on the whereabouts of Japanese nationals reported missing will be led by Pak Yong Sik, Minister of People’s Security Department Director and Vice Chairman of the Special Investigation Committee will enquire about the “entry into the DPRK of those who were reported missing and their identities will be confirmed by use of register books of citizens kept by the institutions of people’s security while taking the information provided by the Japanese side for reference.”
After the preliminary investigations about the predicament of Japanese nationals, the DPRK also announced that “personnel concerned of the Japanese side will be allowed to visit” in order to “ensure objectivity and transparency of the investigation.
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.
Kim Jong Un tours the construction of the Masik Pass Ski Resort in Kangwo’ng Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).
DPRK state media reported on 2 November (Saturday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the construction of the Masik Pass Ski Resort. Attending the visit were VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Lt. Gen. Ryom Chol Song, Hwang Pyong So, Kim Tong Hwa, Hyong Yong Chil, Ma Won Chun and Maj. Gen. Jo Nam Jin. Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to a KPA Navy Cemetery.
Returing for his third trip to Masik Passk Ski Resort since construction began, Kim Jong Un’s first stop was at the hotel where he “wassatisfied to see the hotel built to match the mountainous scenery and natural environment as required by the design ratified by the Party” and “appreciated the hotel as a flawless structure and model building as it fully meets the requirements of the Party’s idea of architectural beauty which calls for designing and constructing all construction objects according to their features and purposes.” At a sitting area, he praised “the soldier-builders for building well the resting places as intended by the Party” and, according to KCNA, he “instructed them to build all resting places to be impeccable so that the visitors to the ski resort may not only train their physical bodies but have a pleasant rest.”
View of the construction of the Masik Pass Ski Resort in Kangwo’n Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).
Kim Jong Un and senior Korean Workers’ Party and Korean People’s Army officials tour Masik Pass Ski Resort in Kangwo’n Province (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).
Kim Jong Un toured the ski trails and said “it is nice to see the skiing courses constructed by builders as required by the construction method and the turf planted with good care.” He also said that “the construction of the ski resort conceived and initiated by the Party is near its completion” and “that this is entirely ascribable to the merits of the soldier-builders and a shining fruition of their heroic feats.” According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un remarked that “he was quite right when he assigned the project for building the ski resort to the Korean People’s Army and it carried out a great nature-remaking project and the new watchword the ‘speed on Masik Pass’ is shining more brilliantly thanks to the KPA” and “that the WPK is proud and honored to have such army.”
Referring to the KPA’s contribution in the development of the country’s sports economy Kim Jong Un said that the “the KPA has done a lot of work for the people this year including the construction of Munsu Water Park and Mirim Riding Club and “that when the ski resort on Masik Pass is completed, more cheerful laughter of people will be heard from the area of Masik Pass.” He also said that “all participants in the construction are patriots and the feats performed by them would go down in the history of building a rich and powerful country” and “indicated tasks to be fulfilled for building the ski resort as the world’s best one and ways to do so.”