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Kim Jong Un Attends Two Concerts

16 Oct
Kim Jong Un (C) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (L) applauds during a performance by Russia's Orchestra of the 21st Century, given to mark the 65th anniversary of DPRK-Russia relations at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater on 15 October 2013.  Also seen in attendance is KWP Secretary Kim Ki Nam (R) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (C) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (L) applauds during a performance by Russia’s Orchestra of the 21st Century, given to mark the 65th anniversary of DPRK-Russia relations at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater on 15 October 2013. Also seen in attendance is KWP Secretary Kim Ki Nam (R) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) attended a pair of concerts on 15 October (Tuesday). One concert was given by Russia’s Orchestra of the 21st Century at the East Pyongyang Grand theater and the other was given by the Moranbong Band and Merited State Chorus (a.k.a. Merited State Choir).  Attending the concert of the Orchestra of the 21st Century were Kim Jong Un’s wife Ri Sol Ju (Ri So’l-chu), Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary Kim Ki Nam “creators and artistes of the art organizations of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces [KPISF] and art education institutions, teachers, students and other citizens in Pyongyang” and officials of the Russian Federation’s Embassy in Pyongyang.  Attending the concert of the Moranbong Band and State Merited Chorus were Director of the KPA General Political Department VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Kim Ki Nam, Orchestra of the 21st Century Chief Conductor Pavel Ovsyannikov and the Orchestra’s manager Natalia Ivanovna Semyonova.  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to Munsu Water Park.

Kim Jong Un (R) talks with Manager of the Orchestra of the 21st Century Natalia Ivanovna Semyonova (L) and the orchestra's lead conductor Paval Ovsyannikov (C) at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (R) talks with Manager of the Orchestra of the 21st Century Natalia Ivanovna Semyonova (L) and the orchestra’s lead conductor Paval Ovsyannikov (C) at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The Russian-based Orchestra of the 21st Century performing in a concert marking the 65th anniversary of DPRK-Russia relations at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The Russian-based Orchestra of the 21st Century performing in a concert marking the 65th anniversary of DPRK-Russia relations at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Prior to the start of the Orchestra of the 21st Century concert, given to mark the 65th anniversary of DPRK-Russia relations, Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol Ju greeted the orchestra’s management and recalled that his father, late leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) “watched the performance of the orchestra several times” and Kim Jong Un “appreciated the performing activities conducted by the orchestra, contributing to the development of the bilateral friendly relations.”  The orchestra performed songs from the opera Ruslan and Ludmilla, “Flying in the Sky over Russia,” “Forward towards Stars,” “Ardent Desire,” “Song of Comradeship” and other songs.  According to KCNA, “the artistes made a truthful artistic representation of the warm love of the Russian people for the country and their traditional custom and national emotion.”  After the concert Kim Jong Un congratulated the orchestra members and “met with the leading members of the orchestra and expressed thanks to them for presenting a splendid performance to the delight of the Korean people.”

Kim Jong Un (2nd L) attends a concert by the Moranbong Band and the Merited State Chorus in Pyongyang on 15 October 2013.  Also seen in attendance is Pavel Ovsyannikov (L) of the Orchestra of the 21st Century, Natalia Ivanovna Semyonova (2nd R) of the Orchestra of the 21st Century and VMar Choe Ryong Have (R) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (2nd L) attends a concert by the Moranbong Band and the Merited State Chorus in Pyongyang on 15 October 2013. Also seen in attendance is Pavel Ovsyannikov (L) of the Orchestra of the 21st Century, Natalia Ivanovna Semyonova (2nd R) of the Orchestra of the 21st Century and VMar Choe Ryong Have (R) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The joint concert by the Moranbong Band and State Merited Chorus began with “We Sing of the Party” and included “Ode to the Motherland,” “Mother Party Which Protected My Destiny,” “Our Future is Bright,” “Let’s Defend Socialism,” “His Great Name Is the Banner of Victory,” “Long Live the Workers’ Party of Korea” and other sons.  According to KCNA, “the audience was mesmerized by the performance” and  Kim Jong Un congratulated members of the two DPRK performance troupes.  After the concert Kim Jong Un met with the lead conducted or Orchestra of the 21st Century Pavel Ovsyannikov and the orchestra’s manager Natalia Ivonova Semyonova.  According to KCNA, Ovsyannikov “expressed sincere thanks to Kim Jong Un, saying that he invited the orchestra to watch the joint performance given by the Moranbong Band and the State Merited Chorus after appreciating the performance of his orchestra” and he “said in an excited tone that the joint performance was the performance of the highest level and a really splendid one full of dynamism, vigor and stamina.”  Kim Jong Un “expressed belief and expectation that artistes of the two countries would conduct joint performances and a lot of exchanges to contribute to enriching the mankind’s treasure house of culture and arts.”

Kim Jong Un (R) talks with Natalia Ivanovna Semyonova and Pavel Ovsyannikov after a performance by the Moranbong Band and the Merited Chorus in Pyongyang on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (R) talks with Natalia Ivanovna Semyonova and Pavel Ovsyannikov after a performance by the Moranbong Band and the Merited Chorus in Pyongyang on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The Moranbong Band performs in Pyongyang on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The Moranbong Band performs in Pyongyang on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un Visits 18 January General Machine Plant and Inspects KPA Air Force Unit #1017

19 Jun
Kim Jong Un tours a section of the 18 January General Machinery Plant (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un tours a section of the 18 January General Machinery Plant (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK state media reported on 18 June (Tuesday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the 18 January General Machine Plant in South P’yo’ngan Province and inspected Korean People’s Army [KPA] Air Force Unit #1017 in South P’yo’ngan Province.  Attending his tour of the machine factory were VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Hong Yong Chil, Yun Tong Hyon and Han Song Ho.  At his inspection of the air force unit, he was accompanied by his wife Ri Sol Ju (Ri So’l-chu), Choe Ryong Hae, Yun Tong Hyon, Hong Yong Chil, Commander of the KPA Air Force Gen. Ri Pyong Chol.  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to the machine plant managed by Ho Ch’o’l-yong.  Ri Sol Ju’s last reported public appearance was at Kim Jong Un’s visit to the Mt. Myohyang Children’s Camp.

Kim Jong Un’s first visit was to the 18 January General Machine Plant.  After touring the factory’s historical exhibition, he became quite severe in his criticism of provincial party officials and factory management.  This was the third reported public appearance since his accession** at which Kim Jong Un openly disparaged subordinate officials.  According to KCNA, “after being told that the construction of the above-said room was not completed even in over two years, he said he learned about what was the main reason for the plant’s failure to put production on a normal footing” and that “the party has stressed that it is important to keep the ideological education ahead of production for raising the enthusiasm of the producer masses, he noted, strongly criticizing the party committee of the plant for failing to accept the party’s policy ideologically.”  Kim Jong Un said “I don’t know what officials of the provincial party committee see at the plant and what they are guiding” and he warned “them of their businessmen-like hackneyed way of thinking and work style.”  At the construction of a revolutionary historical education area he “watched for a long while piles of gravels and sand and blocks here and there” and remarked “I can’t find proper words to express that mess.”

Kim Jong Un gives instructions during his visit to the 18 January General Machine Plant (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un gives instructions during his visit to the 18 January General Machine Plant (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un toured an ideological education center and “noted that the provincial party committee should draw a serious lesson as regards the implementation of the party’s policy on giving priority to the political and ideological education.”  He was briefed about the 18 January General Machine Plant’s production planning and he toured various sectors of the factory.  According to KCNA, he “seriously noted that production equipment of the plant are outdated in view of the requirements of the age of the knowledge-based economy and it is behind other industrial establishments in cultured practices in production and life.”  After being briefed about food distribution and other provisions to employees, Kim Jong Un “felt heart-broken when he learned officials of the plant failed to take good care of the living of the employees as desired by the party.”  As he itemized tasks to the factory’s managers and party officials he said:

The plant should glorify the leadership exploits o the great Generalissimos Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.  It should dynamically conduct the ideological education to give fullest play to the mental power of the workers.  It should steadily push forward the work for putting the production processes on a modern and scientific basis.  The plant should launch a dynamic campaign to improve the supply service, working people’s material and cultural standards and establish cultured practices in production and life.  The plant is faced with difficult and huge tasks, but it can surely implement them as it has revolutionary workers, the technical staff steeled in practice and a wealth of experience and proud tradition.

Kim Jong Un also “expressed great expectation and belief that the workers of the plant would radically remodel it as required by the new century and bring about a great leap forward in the production of modern machines and successfully perform the role as vanguard and shock brigade in carrying out the economic policy of the party.”

Kim Jong Un watches flight training by KPA Air Force Unit #1017.  Also seen in attendance is his wife Ri Sol Ju  2nd L), KPA Air Force Commander Gen. Ri Pyong Chol (4th L) and VMar Choe Ryong Hae (5th L) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un watches flight training by KPA Air Force Unit #1017. Also seen in attendance is his wife Ri Sol Ju 2nd L), KPA Air Force Commander Gen. Ri Pyong Chol (4th L) and VMar Choe Ryong Hae (5th L) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un also inspected KPA Air Force Unit #1017 where he guided “flight drills”.  Whilst watching air maneuvers, he said the KPA pilots “were very good in training” and he “praised them for having acquired high flying skills as intended by the party.”  According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “expressed great satisfaction, noting that the airmen of the unit are fully ready to make sorties any moment” and he said “I always think of the air routes covered by the pilots to reliably defend the sky of the country.”  He “gave an instruction to further intensify the flight training in the future to fully prepare the pilots as death-defying corps and able combat pilots capable of skillfully fighting a modern war.”  Kim Jong Un toured a combat personnel facility and hangar.  He also visited a monument to previous visits by late leader Kim Jong Il and he “instructed the unit to preserve well the photos of Kim Jong Il and take good care of the monument so as to let airmen and other service personnel always bear his undying feats deep in mind.”  Kim Jong Un “stressed the need for the pilots of the unit to make good preparations for the military parade for celebrating the 60th anniversary of the victory in the war” and he “expressed great expectation and conviction that the service personnel of the unit would put bigger spurs to rounding off the combat preparations and thus defend the sky of the socialist country as firm as an iron wall.”

KPA Air Force Unit #1017 (Photos: Google image and Rodong Sinmun)

KPA Air Force Unit #1017 (Photos: Google image and Rodong Sinmun)

**The first reported public appearance at which Kim Jong Un expressed his displeasure with subordinate officials occurred in May 2012 when Kim Jong Un visited Manyo’ngdae Fun Fair (amusement park) in Pyongyang and upbraided officials for slipshod landscaping and broken sidewalks.  The second reported public appearance at which he lambasted subordinate officials occurred in May 2013 when Kim Jong Un inspected the progress (or in his mind, lack thereof) of the renovation of the Mirim Riding Club (f.k.a Equestrian Company of KPA Unit #534; KPA Equestrian Training Company).

Kim Jong Un Visits Mansudae Art Studio and Attends KPISF Concert

13 May
Kim Jong Un (R) issues instructions during a visit to the Mansudae Art Studio in Pyongyang where he viewed works slated for display in the city's war museum when it reopens in July (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un (R) issues instructions during a visit to the Mansudae Art Studio in Pyongyang where he viewed works slated for display in the city’s war museum when it reopens in July (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

DPRK state media reported on 13 May (Monday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the Mansudae Art Studio and watched a performance by the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces [KPISF] Song and Dance Ensemble.  KJU’s last observed public appearance was his attendance at rehearsal and a meeting with members of the U’nhasu Orchestra.  KJU first visited the Mansudae Art Studio.  He was accompanied by Choe Hwi, Senior Deputy (1st vice) Director of the KWP Propaganda and Agitation Department, and Kim Ui Sun, a deputy director of the KWP Propaganda and Agitation Department.

At the art studio Kim Jong Un reviewed paintings and other art works which will be installed in the renovated Victorious Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War) Museum when it reopens in July 2013.  According to KCNA, KJU “noted that creators have truthfully portrayed the personality of the President as an invincible and iron-willed commander, a peerless strategist and tender-hearted father of the service personnel and the people, adding he felt as if he were watching his photos” and “watched again and again such works portraying the President in the period of the Fatherland Liberation War as ‘The great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung planning an operation’, ‘The great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung teaching a new combat method’ and ‘The great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung laying down a policy of using tanks to commanding officers of the KPA.’  He praised the creators for having successfully dealt with the principle of historicism and the phases of those times.”  KJU remarked that “watching photos of the President and the works depicting him in the war period to be displayed in the museum would help the visitors keenly realize how a great victory was won in the war and where was the source of the indomitable mental strength displayed by the service personnel and the people of the DPRK” and “told the creators to consider this principle as a rule in creating such works.”  KJU also “specified the orientation and ways which would serve as guidelines for creating such works and further developing the Chuch’e-based fine art,” according to KCNA.

Kim Jong Un (1) watches a performance of the KPISF Song and Dance Ensemble with his wife Ri Sol Ju (5).  Also in attendance are Col. Gen Choe Pu Il (2), Kim Kyong Hui (3), Kim Kim Ki Nam (4), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (6), Jang Song Taek (7) and Gen. Jang Jong Nam (8).  Gen. Jang Jong Nam was recently appointed Minister of the People's Armed Forces and this was his first observed public appearance since his appointment.  (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un (1) watches a performance of the KPISF Song and Dance Ensemble with his wife Ri Sol Ju (5). Also in attendance are Col. Gen Choe Pu Il (2), Kim Kyong Hui (3), Kim Kim Ki Nam (4), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (6), Jang Song Taek (7) and Gen. Jang Jong Nam (8). Gen. Jang Jong Nam was recently appointed Minister of the People’s Armed Forces and this was his first observed public appearance since his appointment. (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un later watched a concert given by the KPISF Song And Dance Ensemble.  He was joined by his wife, Ri Sol Ju (Ri So’l-chu) along with 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] and Director of the KWP Administration Department), Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Kim Kyong Hui (KWP Secretary, head of the Kim Family and KJU’s aunt), Kim Ki Nam (KWP Secretary and Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department), Col. Gen. Choe Pu Il (Minister of the People’s Security) and “other senior party and army officials, DPRK hero Ri Kyong Sim, woman traffic controller, who is well known to the service personnel and people for fully displaying the spirit of devotedly protecting the leader, and other people’s security persons and service personnel of the KPISF.”  KCNA reported that “put on the stage were colorful numbers of various genres including narration and chorus ‘Eternal Smile’, female solo and chorus ‘General Kim Il Sung Is Our Sun’ and dance ‘At the Lake Samjiyon.’”

After the concert, Kim Jong Un “highly praised the creators and artistes of the ensemble for giving the best performance, dynamic and appealing, by creating works of great cognitive and instructive significance providing good answers to social issues in the era of Military First (So’ngun) politics through the sensitive reflection of the party’s policies” and “gave thanks of the Supreme Commander of the KPA to them.”  According to KCNA, KJU “appreciated the performance as one which fully represented the will of the people’s security persons and service personnel of the KPISF to devotedly safeguard the socialist system with arms and law, a presentation instilling great strength and courage into the audience and the one, highest in artistry and flawless in its ideological contents and appeal” and said that “it is the great honor and pride of the WPK to have such art troupe as the song and dance ensemble of the KPISF.”  Kim Jong Un also said “he enjoyed the performance very much, noting that it was good to decorate the stage with colorful and diverse numbers through the presentation of national music, squad performance and light music. He once again highly appreciated the unique and enterprising creative work style of the creators and artistes of the ensemble” and “set forth important tasks to be fulfilled by the ensemble, expressing expectation and belief that its creators and artistes would energetically conduct the creation and performing activities to educate the people’s security persons, the service personnel of the KPISF in a revolutionary manner and people and powerfully encourage them in their struggle.”

Kim Jong Un Visits People’s Security Ministry and Watches Workers’ Sports Competition on May Day

2 May

Kim Jong Un (1) on the plaza in front of the Ministry of People's Security headquarters in Pyongyang, prior to commemorative photo-ops on May Day (1 May) in Pyongyang.  Also in attendance are Minister of People's Security, Col. Gen. Choe Pu Il (3) and Director of the KPSIF Political Bureau, Col. Gen. Ri Pyong Sam (2) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un (1) on the plaza in front of the Ministry of People’s Security headquarters in Pyongyang, prior to commemorative photo-ops on May Day (1 May) in Pyongyang. Also in attendance are Minister of People’s Security, Col. Gen. Choe Pu Il (3) and Director of the KPSIF Political Bureau, Col. Gen. Ri Pyong Sam (2) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

DPRK state media reported on 1 May (Wednesday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) inspected the Ministry of People’s Security and watched a sports contest between DPRK public health workers, on International Labor Day (May Day).  KJU’s last reported public appearance was his attendance at the DPRK premier league men’s football (soccer) finals for the Mangyo’ngdae Prize at Kim Il Sung Stadium.  First, Kim Jong Un visited the Ministry of People’s Security [MPS] and inspected Korean People’s Internal Security Forces [KPISF] Unit #2219.  Attending his visit to the MPS was VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department) and Jang Song Taek (Vice Chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission [NDC] and Director of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Administration Department).

After arriving at MPS headquarters in Pyongyang, Kim Jong Un posed for commemorative photographs with MPS and KPISF personnel.  He also paid his respects to statues of Kim Il Sung, the late DPRK President and founder, and Kim Jong Il, the country’s late leader.  According to KCNA, KJU said “the erection of their statues at the ministry strikingly demonstrates the unshakable will of all people’s security persons and service personnel of KPISF to eternally hold the peerlessly great men in high esteem and devotedly defend the socialist system, a precious legacy bequeathed by the Generalissimos.”  He also “underscored the need for them to eternally hold the Generalissimos in high esteem as the sun of Chuch’e, firmly defend and glorify their undying revolutionary exploits with pure revolutionary conscience and strong sense of obligation.”  Kim Jong Un “gave important instructions to tighten people’s security and bolster up the combat capabilities of KPISF in every way” and remarked that “the Ministry of People’s Security and KPISF play a very important role for defending the socialist system, he said, adding that the people’s security persons and service personnel of KPISF should be deeply aware of their heavy yet honorable combat missions.”  

Kim Jong Un poses for commemorative photographs in front of the Ministry of People's Security headquarters in Pyongyang on 1 May 2013 (Photos: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un poses for commemorative photographs in front of the Ministry of People’s Security headquarters in Pyongyang on 1 May 2013 (Photos: Rodong Sinmun)

KCNA reported that Kim Jong Un “underlined the need to strengthen the people’s security organ and the internal security forces as units defending the policies of the party, strong guardians of socialism, merciless striking forces and reliable protectors of the lives and properties of the people” and said that “the enemies are now afraid of our single-minded unity around the party more than anything else and running the whole gamut of desperate and base moves to destabilize and bring down our society.”  KJU said “now that the enemies are working hard to bar our people from trusting and following the party with pure conscience and fixed will and alienate the masses from it, it is important to intensify the struggle to frustrate their moves,” “called for devotedly defending the party, social system and people, decisively foiling the ideological and cultural poisoning and psychological warfare of the enemies and mercilessly wiping out the undesirable and hostile elements who have foolish day dreams” and he “underlined the need for the ministry and the internal security forces to make full combat preparations to annihilate the U.S. imperialists and south Korean puppet group keen to stifle the DPRK and to creditably fulfill their missions and duties in the sacred struggle to provide a firm guarantee by dint of arms and law for the implementation of the party’s line on simultaneously pushing forward the economic construction and the building of nuclear force.”  He also noted that “our Chuch’e-oriented socialist country is invincible as the Korean People’s Army and KPISF, the two revolutionary armed forces of the WPK, are firmly defending the security of the country and people.”

Kim Jong Un poses for a commemorative photograph with officers and service members of Korean People's Internal Security Forces Unit #2219 on 1 May 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un poses for a commemorative photograph with officers and service members of Korean People’s Internal Security Forces Unit #2219 on 1 May 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un then inspected KPISF Unit #2219.  After his arrival, he presented the unit with a pair of binoculars and an automatic rifle during a short ceremony.  He then posed for commemorative photographs with officers and service members of the unit.  KJU toured the political education facilities, visited a mess hall, a dormitory, a cultural education classroom and a washroom.  KCNA reported that KJU was “satisfied to see good conditions in the bed room, praising the unit for keeping the wash-cum-bath room with a sauna attached neat and clean.”  During a visit to a classroom he “he underscored the need to train the soldiers to be strong in idea and faith by intensifying politico-ideological education among them.”

After his tour, he supervised a drill by the unit.  According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “highly appreciated their success in the drill and indicated tasks for bolstering up the combat capabilities of the unit” and “expressed belief that just as the service personnel of KPISF have always did, the soldiers of the unit would display a do-or-die will and matchless courage and thus become iron shields and fierce tigers devotedly defending the party, social system and people in their struggle to decisively foil the enemies’ moves to stifle the DPRK.”

Kim Jong Un (1) watches a sports competition of public health workers on 1 May 2013 with his wife Ri Sol Ju (2).  Also in attendance are: Jang Song Taek (3), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (4), Pak Pong Ju (5), Kim Kyong Hui (6), Kim Ki Nam (7) and Kim Yang Gon (8).  (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un (1) watches a sports competition of public health workers on 1 May 2013 with his wife Ri Sol Ju (2). Also in attendance are: Jang Song Taek (3), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (4), Pak Pong Ju (5), Kim Kyong Hui (6), Kim Ki Nam (7) and Kim Yang Gon (8). (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un’s next visit was his attendance at a sports contest between public health workers.  He was joined by his wife Ri Sol Ju (Ri So’l-chu) along with Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Cabinet Premier), VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Jang Song Taek, Kim Kyong Hui (KWP Secretary, KJU’s aunt and head of the Kim Family), Kim Ki Nam (KWP Secretary and Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department), Choe Tae Bok (KWP Secretary and Supreme People’s Assembly Chairman), Pak To Chun (KWP Secretary), Kim Yang Gon (KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Department) along with “other senior officials of the party, the state and the army and workers in the field of public health.”  Also in attendance from the central leadership were: Gen. Kim Won Hong (Minister of State Security) Mun Kyong Dok (Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang City [municipal] KWP Committee), Jo Yon Jun (Senior Deputy [1st Vice] Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department), Col. Gen. Kim Chang Sop (Director of the Ministry of State Security Political Bureau), Col. Gen. Ri Pyong Sam (Director of the KPISF Political Bureau), Kim Kyong Ok (Senior Deputy [1st Vice] Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department), Col. Gen. Jo Kyong Chol (Chief of the Military Security Command), Gen. Yun Jong Rin (Chief of the Guard Command) and Gen. Kim Yong Chol (Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff and Chief of the Reconnaissance General Bureau).

The public health workers were divided into two teams–the Pot’onggang and Taedonggang teams.  KCNA reported of the sports competitions:

Male and female volleyball matches took place first.

The Pothonggang Team defeated its rival in the breath-taking male volleyball match and the Taedonggang Team trounced its rival in the female volleyball match.

Then followed table-tennis matches.

Men’s and women’s singles and doubles and singles of leading officials of the relevant units were played, drawing the attention of the spectators.

The Pothonggang Team won the men’s and women’s singles and men’s doubles while the Taedonggang Team emerged a winner in the women’s doubles.

The Pothonggang Team won the singles of leading officials of the relevant units.

The Pothonggang Team beat its rival 4:1 in the table-tennis matches.

A tug of war took place between the two teams.

The Pothonggang Team won the game.

According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “clapped his hands whenever the players displayed high technique.”  The results of the competitions were announced and prizes given to the participants.  At the end of the event, KJU “waved back to the enthusiastic cheers of the players and spectators and congratulated them on the successful games.”

Kim Jong Un Visits Yanggakdo Stadium and Football Game

30 Apr
Kim Jong Un (1) provides instructions on the renovation of Yanggakdo Stadium in Pyongyang.  Also seen in attendance are Jang Song Taek (2), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (3) and Kim Jong Un's wife Ri Sol Ju (4) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un (1) provides instructions on the renovation of Yanggakdo Stadium in Pyongyang. Also seen in attendance are Jang Song Taek (2), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (3) and Kim Jong Un’s wife Ri Sol Ju (4) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

DPRK state media reported on 29 April (Monday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the Yanggakdo Stadium and attended the men’s football finals for the Mangyo’ngdae Prize at Kim Il Sung Stadium.  KJU’s last reported public appearance was his visit to the Haedanghwa Health Complex.  KJU’s first visit was to the Yanggakdo Stadium which he ordered to be renovated.  Attending the visit was his wife, Ri Sol Ju (Ri So’l-chu), along with 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]), Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Col. Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff Operations Bureau) and other officials.

According to KCNA Kim Jong Un visited the stadium (originally opened in 1989) “with a plan to radically remodel the stadium as required by the new century.”  KJU visited the stadium historical exhibition where he “recollected with deep emotion the undying exploits they performed for the development of the Juche-based physical culture and sports.”  KJU then toured the stadium and ordered a series of renovations.  He said, “it is the intention of the Workers’ Party of Korea to turn the stadium into a football stadium which can represent stadiums of such type across the country as required by the new century.”  KJU also “formed a strong construction unit capable of carrying out the project in a brief span of time.”  KJU also remarked that “to develop physical culture and sports is an important work to augment the national power in every way, demonstrate the indomitable spirit and dignity of Military-First (So’ngun) Korea before the world and let all the service personnel and people dynamically step up the building of a thriving socialist nation full of national pride and self-esteem” and he “expressed expectation and belief that the relevant fields would successfully remodel the stadium as a football stadium to be impeccable in any aspect.”

Kim Jong Un (3) attends the men's premier league football finals for the Mangyongdae Prize at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang on 29 April 2013.  Also watching the game with are Jang Song Taek (1), Ri Sol Ju (2) and Choe Tae Bok) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un (3) attends the men’s premier league football finals for the Mangyongdae Prize at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang on 29 April 2013. Also watching the game with are Jang Song Taek (1), Ri Sol Ju (2) and Choe Tae Bok) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol Su later attended the  men’s football (soccer) finals for the Mangyo’ngdae Prize National Sports Festival at Kim Il Sung Stadium.  Also in attendance at the football game were VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Jang Song Taek, Gen. Hyon Yong Chol, Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Kim Ki Nam (Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary and Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department), Choe Tae Bok (KWP Secretary and SPA Chairman), Kim Yang Gon (KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Department), Kim Yong Il (KWP Secretary and Director of the International Affairs Department), Kim P’yo’ng-hae (KWP Secretary and Director of Cadres’ Affairs), Kwak Pom Gi (KWP Secretary and Director of the Planning and Finance Department), Mun Kyong Dok (Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang City [municipal] KWP Committee), Ju Kyu Chang (Director of the KWP Machine-Building Industry Department), Col. Gen. Choe Pu Il (Minister of the People’s Security), Kim Tong Il (Deputy [vice] Director of the KWP Workers’ Organizations Department) and “members of the State Physical Culture and Sports Guidance Commission, officials of the party and armed forces organs, ministries and national institutions, those in the sports field, sportspersons, fans and Pyongyangites.”

The men's football premier league finals for the Mangyongdae Prize between the Rimyongsu Sports Group and the Amnokgang Sports Group at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang on 29 April 2013.  The Rimyongsu Team beat the Amnokgang Team 2-1.  (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

The men’s football premier league finals for the Mangyongdae Prize between the Rimyongsu Sports Group and the Amnokgang Sports Group at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang on 29 April 2013. The Rimyongsu Team beat the Amnokgang Team 2-1. (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

The match was played between two of the DPRK’s premier league teams, Rimyongsu and Amnokgang.  KCNA reported the two teams “advanced into the finals after proving successful at the men’s premier soccer league matches. They played good games, displaying high technique they have cultivated in day-to-day trainings” and that “Rimyongsu Team took the initiative from the beginning according to its tactics and made hot attacks.”  Rimyongsu led Amnokgang 2-0 in the first half and went onto win the game 2-1.  At the end of the match, Kim Jong Un “congratulated the footballers of both teams on playing a good match, expressing great satisfaction with their high technique.”

Kim Jong Un (1) greets DPRK athletes who received gold medals or placed in the top of their categories at international competitions held between February and April 2013.  Also in attendance at the event held at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang on 29 April 2013 are DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (2), Minister of the People's Armed Forces Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (3), and Minister of People's Security Col. Gen. Choe Pu Il (4) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un (1) greets DPRK athletes who received gold medals or placed in the top of their categories at international competitions held between February and April 2013. Also in attendance at the event held at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang on 29 April 2013 are DPRK Premier Pak Pong Ju (2), Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (3), and Minister of People’s Security Col. Gen. Choe Pu Il (4) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

KJU also met with DPRK athletes who successfully participated in recent international competitions including long-distance runner Kim Kum Ok (who placed first in the 14th Asian Marathon Championship held in Hong Kong on 25 February 2013), wrestler Yang Kyong Il (who placed second in the men’s 55 kg freestyle at the 2013 Asian Wrestling Championship), gymnast Ri Se Gwang (who placed first in the vault event at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Series in Doha in March 2013), wrestler Hwang Ryong Hak (who placed first in the men’s 60 kg freestyle at the 2013 Asian Wrestling Championships), Pak Yong Mi (who placed first in the women’s 48 kg freestyle at the 2013 Asian Wrestling Championships), judoka Hong Kuk Hyon (who placed first in the women’s 73 kg weight class at the Asian Judo Championships of 2013 in Bangkok in April 2013), weightlifter Ri Su Hyon (who won three gold medals in the women’s 44 kg competition at the 2013 International Weightlifting Federation’s Youth World Championships in Tashkent in April 2013), Kwon Yong Gwang (who won three gold medals in the men’s 62 kg competition at 2013 IWF Youth World Championships in Tashkent) and weightlifter Pak Jong Ju (who came in second overall and won two medals in the men’s 50 kg competition at the IWF Youth World Championships in Tashkent), along with “a coach and physical culture and sports guidance officials.”

Kim Jong Un shook hands with the DPRK athletes and, according to KCNA, “highly praised them for proving successful at the recent international games and instilling the conviction of victory and optimism into the service personnel and people of the DPRK dynamically pushing forward the building of a thriving socialist nation despite harsh sanctions and strong pressure of the enemies.”  KJU also “expressed his belief that sports persons and coaches would undergo more intensive trainings to consolidate the successes achieved and fully demonstrate the honor of the country with gold medals at international games.”  Also attending KJU’s meet-and-greet were DPRK Cabinet Premier Pak Pong Ju, VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Jang Song Taek, Gen. Hyon Yong Chol, Gen. Kim Kyok Sik, Kim Ki Nam, Choe Tae Bok, Kim Yang Gon, Kim Yong Il, Kim P’yo’ng-hae, Kwak Pom Gi, Mun Kyong Dok, Col. Gen. Choe Pu Il and members of the State Physical Culture and Sports Guidance Commission.

KJU Visits Health Complex

28 Apr
Kim Jong Un (2nd R) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (R) visit a teppanyaki griddle in the restaurant of the Haedanghwa Health Complex in east Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un (2nd R) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (R) visit a teppanyaki griddle in the restaurant of the Haedanghwa Health Complex in east Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

DPRK state media reported on 27 April (Saturday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the recently constructed Haedanghwa Health Complex in Pyongyang.  KJU’s last reported public appearance was his attendance at a banquet commemorating the 81st anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People’s Army [KPA].  He was joined by his wife, Ri Sol Ju (Ri So’l-chu).  Madame Ri’s last reported public appearance was in late February, when she watched a basketball game and attended a banquet with Dennis Rodman.

Also attending the visit were DPRK Cabinet Premier Pak Pong Ju,  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 Kyong Sik (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Kim Kyong Hui (KWP Secretary and KJU’s aunt), Kim Ki Nam (KWP Secretary and Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department), Choe Tae Bok (KWP Secretary and SPA Chairman), Kang Sok Ju (DPRK Cabinet Vice Premier), Kim Yong Il (KWP Secretary and Director of the International Affairs Department),  Kim Yang Gon (KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Department),  Kim P’yo’ng-hae (KWP Secretary and Director of Cadres’ Affairs), Kwak Pom Gi (KWP Secretary and Director of the Planning and Finance Department), Mun Kyong Dok (Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang City [municipal] KWP Committee), Col. Gen. O Il Jong (Director of the KWP Military Affairs Department), Han Kwang Sang (Deputy Director of the KWP Finance and Accounting Department) Paek Kye Ryong (Director of the KWP Light Industry Department), Kim Kyong Ok (Senior Deputy [first vice] Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department), Gen. Kim Yong Chol (Chief of the Reconnaissance General Bureau and Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff) and Jon Il Chun (Deputy Director of the KWP Finance and Accounting Department), among others.

Kim Jong Un began his visit at Haedanghwa Health Complex’s basement garage.  According to KCNA, KJU “was pleased to see the completed complex, adding that he appreciated its design and construction after examining the information on it presented to him by the relevant field.”  He also visited the store and dining rooms on the complex’s first two levels.  He “highly praised the builders for constructing not only the shop but the dining rooms to suit their nature and meet the requirements of formative art,” according to KCNA.  KJU visited the restaurant where he remarked that “cooking is a science and art, [he urged] the cookers to steadily improve their skills and display creative ingenuity to serve customers with varieties of tasty and highly nutritive dishes” and had a commemorative photograph taken with the chefs.  KJU then went to the second and third levels of the Haedanghwa Health Complex where he visited the public baths, saunas a barber shop, hair salon skin treatment center, workout room, billiard room and other recreational facilities.  KCNA reported that Kim Jong Un “personally checked the temperature of water at the bath and learnt about service provided at a face treatment room” and “was pleased to see the wading pool. He was also pleased to go round various saunas built with peculiar building materials such as halite, agate and yellow earth.”  KJU also “learnt in detail about what kinds of sports apparatuses are there in the fitness hall and table-tennis hall” and whilst “watching the clock in the shape of billiard balls and billiard table on a wall of the billiard room, he praised the builders for having constructed the room in such a perfect manner that everything there is impeccable.”

KJU then visited the health complex’s e-library and, according to KCNA, said “a relevant field should systematically send various data and videos on cooking to the e-reading room” and he “stressed the need to supply a sufficient quantity of foodstuff necessary for cooking practice so that apprentices may acquire workable knowledge, saying that theory is not enough to acquire cooking skill.”  He also visited a coffee shop on the complex’s fifth floor.  According to KCNA Kim Jong Un said that “it is the firm resolution of the WPK to enable the Korean people, the best in the world, to fully enjoy wealth and glory under socialism, without tightening their belts again, he noted, underlining the need to build more modern service centers such as the Haedanghwa Health Complex impeccable in any aspect.”

Kim Jong Un Watches Basketball Game with Dennis Rodman (updated 1 March)

28 Feb
Kim Jong Un (2nd L) talks with Dennis Rodman (3rd R) during a basketball game of US and DPRK players at the Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium on 28 February 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un (2nd L) talks with Dennis Rodman (3rd R) during a basketball game of US and DPRK players at the Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium on 28 February 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

DPRK state media reported on 28 February (Thursday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) watched a basketball with former NBA player and Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman at Ryugyong Jong Yu Jong Indoor Stadium in Pyongyang.  KJU’s last reported public appearance was his attendance at a commemorative photo session with personnel involved in the 12 February 2013 nuclear test.  Also in attendance, among others, were KJU’s wife Ri Sol Ju, Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission and Chairman of the State Physical Culture Sports Commission Jang Song Taek, Director of the Korean People’s Army General Political Department VMar Choe Ryong Hae, and Senior Deputy (1st Vice) Director of the Korean Workers’ Party Propaganda and Agitation Department Ri Jae Il, among others.

The game took place between two teams consisting of four members of the Harlem Globetrotters and 12 players from the DPRK and ended in a tie (110-110).  According to the Associated Press and VICE Media during the game KJU talked with Rodman in English, but KJU occasionally spoke to Rodman in Korean using an interpreter.  According to Xinhua, after the game, Rodman remarked “although relations between the two countries are regrettable, personally I am a friend of Marshal Kim Jong Un and the DPRK people.”  Xinhua reported that “college students and Pyongyang citizens, as well as foreign diplomats and representatives from international organizations were invited to watch the game” and that “DPRK cheerleaders wearing traditional clothes and miniskirts performed during the intermission of the game. After the game, a DPRK university presented a banner to the Harlem Globetrotters.”

Overview of a basketball games played by US and DPRK basketball players at Ryuyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013. (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Overview of a basketball games played by US and DPRK basketball players at Ryuyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013. (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

KCNA reported that:

A mixed basketball game of the visiting American basketball players of Harlem Globetrotters and Korean players belonging to the Hwaebul basketball team of Korean University of Physical Education took place at Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Gymnasium on Thursday. Among the American players was ex-player of NBA Dennis Rodman.

Sports fans and other Pyongyang citizens packed the gymnasium to watch the game with great interest.

Among the audience were foreign diplomatic envoys, representatives of international bodies, military attaches and other foreign guests here with their families.

The dear respected Marshal Kim Jong Un, together with his wife Ri Sol Ju, came to the gymnasium to watch the game.

The players and audience broke into thunderous cheers, greatly excited to see the game together with Kim Jong Un.

Dennis Rodman went up to the auditorium to bow to Kim Jong Un.

Warmly welcoming him, Kim Jong Un let him sit next to him.

Brett Dennis Meister and Jeffrey Raymond Munn also sat near him.

American basketball players first played a demonstration game amid great attention of the audience.

They showed a variety of special basketball skills to be highly acclaimed.

Then a mixed game of DPRK and American players took place amid elated atmosphere.

Divided into red and white teams, the players carried out fierce seesaw battle.

In the first and second rounds, the red team players won 60:47 with long-distance shooting, dunk shot and other skills.

The audience enthusiastically cheered the players as they showed amazing skills.

During breaks, women’s brass band presented glamorous rhythmic formations.

National dances by Korean women artistes and a demonstration performance of Taekwon-Do players added to the cheerful mood.

Korean basketball players played the game well with American players of their teams in a coordinated way by fully displaying their techniques. American players made a good job of the game to give good impressions to the audience.

The white team combined man-to-man defence and fast break. The game ended in a draw 110:110.

Kim Jong Un and Dennis Rodman talk (L)during a banquet hosted by the DPRK Olympic Committee at a banquet hall (possibly Mokran House) in the central party complex in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un and Dennis Rodman talk (L)during a banquet hosted by the DPRK Olympic Committee at a banquet hall (possibly Mokran House) in the central party complex in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Rodman and members of the basketball delegation attended a banquet in the central party complex, hosted by the DPRK Olympic Committee..  According to one the US attendees at the banquet, they dined on a 10-course meal, including sushi and turkey (a fairly common menu when the DPRK elite host receptions for major international visitors and delegations).  One US attendee at the banquet tweeted “Um…so Kim Jong Un just got the whole…crew wasted, no really that happened.”  According to KCNA Kim Jong said that he ” was pleased they visited Pyongyang to provide young people of the DPRK who are fond of basketball with an opportunity of enjoying the nice game” and “expressed his expectation that such sports exchange would be activated, contributing to promoting mutual understanding between the peoples of the two countries.”  Kim Jong Un “welcomed their visit to the DPRK, hoping that through the visit they would become familiar with the DPRK people, especially with basketball fans.”  According to KCNA Dennis Rodman said that “it was the greatest pleasure for him to meet with Kim Jong Un and his wife for the first time for Americans,” “hoped the sports exchange would continue between the two countries” and “wished Kim Jong Un good health, heartily thanking him for warm hospitality.”

VICE provided several images of the game and the KJU-Rodman interaction.

During the 1 March 2013 Korean Central Television [KCTV] news broadcast  Kim Jong Un’s attendance at the basketball game and banquet with Dennis Rodman and the US basketball delegation was reported by senior anchorwoman Ri Chun Hui. Later into the broadcast, there were news items which showed Rodman and members of the Globetrotters visiting the Rungra Dolphinarum, the Globetrotters visiting sites in Pyongyang and Dennis Rodman departing the DPRK from Pyongyang Sunan Airport.

KCTV anchorwoman Ri Chun Hui broadcastingDPRK state media's account of KJU's attendance at a basketball game and a banquet hosted by the DPRK Olympic Committee, attended by Dennis Rodman, members of the Harlem Globetrotters and other members of the US delegation (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

KCTV anchorwoman Ri Chun Hui broadcastingDPRK state media’s account of KJU’s attendance at a basketball game and a banquet hosted by the DPRK Olympic Committee, attended by Dennis Rodman, members of the Harlem Globetrotters and other members of the US delegation (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un arriving at Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Stadium for a 28 February 2013 exhibition basketball game and greeting those in attendance (Photos: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un arriving at Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Stadium for a 28 February 2013 exhibition basketball game and greeting those in attendance (Photos: KCTV screengrab)

Dennis Rodman arrives at Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013.  At the left in the images is Ri Sol Ju, Kim Jong Un's wife (Photo: KCTV screengrabs)

Dennis Rodman arrives at Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013. At the left in the images is Ri Sol Ju, Kim Jong Un’s wife (Photo: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un greets other members of the US basketball delegation (L) and talks to Dennis Rodman in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un greets other members of the US basketball delegation (L) and talks to Dennis Rodman in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un (4th R) and Dennis Rodman (3rd R) watch the Harlem Globetrotters demonstrate various techniques and tricks.  Also in attendance are Jang Song Taek (3rd L) and Ri Sol Ju (4th L) (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un (4th R) and Dennis Rodman (3rd R) watch the Harlem Globetrotters demonstrate various techniques and tricks. Also in attendance are Jang Song Taek (3rd L) and Ri Sol Ju (4th L) (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Members of the Harlem Globetrotters demonstrate various tricks prior to a scrimmage between DPRK and US basketball players (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Members of the Harlem Globetrotters demonstrate various tricks prior to a scrimmage between DPRK and US basketball players (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un and Dennis Rodman (C) watch a basketball game between teams of US and DPRK players at Ryugnyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un and Dennis Rodman (C) watch a basketball game between teams of US and DPRK players at Ryugnyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

View of basketball games of US and DPRK basketball players in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTC screengrabs)

View of basketball games of US and DPRK basketball players in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTC screengrabs)

Basketball game between US and DPRK players (above) and officials at foreign embassies and non-governmental organizations (below) at Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Basketball game between US and DPRK players (above) and officials at foreign embassies and non-governmental organizations (below) at Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Halftime show at a US-DPRK basketball game showing an ogum dance routine (L), a brass band ensemble (C) and taekwondo demonstration (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Halftime show at a US-DPRK basketball game showing an ogum dance routine (L), a brass band ensemble (C) and taekwondo demonstration (R) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

A Korean dance routine featuring the ogum during halftime at a 28 February 2013 game of US and DPRK players (L).  Kim Jong Un's mother, Ko Yong Hui performed a similar routine when she was a member of the Mansudae Art Troupe in the 1970s (Photos: KCTV screengrab, KWP Propaganda and Agitation Department Culture Section)

A Korean dance routine featuring the ogum during halftime at a 28 February 2013 game of US and DPRK players (L). Kim Jong Un’s mother, Ko Yong Hui performed a similar routine when she was a member of the Mansudae Art Troupe in the 1970s (Photos: KCTV screengrab, KWP Propaganda and Agitation Department Culture Section)

Second half of a basketball game played between US and DPRK players in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Second half of a basketball game played between US and DPRK players in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Overview of Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium, the venue for a 28 February 2013 basktball game between DPRK and US  players.  Employees of foreign embassies and non-governmental organizations in the DPRK, watching the game (Photos: KCTV screengrab)

Overview of Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium, the venue for a 28 February 2013 basktball game between DPRK and US players. Employees of foreign embassies and non-governmental organizations in the DPRK, watching the game (Photos: KCTV screengrab)

Dennis Rodman (arrow) speaks after an exhibition basketball game between DPRK and US players in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Dennis Rodman (arrow) speaks after an exhibition basketball game between DPRK and US players in Pyongyang on 28 February 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un receives a Harlem Globetrotters uniform after the game.  Also seen in attendance is KJU's uncle Jang Song Taek (R), Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission and Chairman of the DPRK Physical Culture and Sports Commission (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un receives a Harlem Globetrotters uniform after the game. Also seen in attendance is KJU’s uncle Jang Song Taek (R), Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission and Chairman of the DPRK Physical Culture and Sports Commission (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Overview of a banquet hall in the KWP Central Committee complex in central Pyongyang, the venue of a banquet hosted for the US basketball delegation by the DPRK Olympic Committee (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Overview of a banquet hall in the KWP Central Committee complex in central Pyongyang, the venue of a banquet hosted for the US basketball delegation by the DPRK Olympic Committee (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju dine with Dennis Rodman.  Seated between KJU and Rodman is an English-language interpreter (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju dine with Dennis Rodman. Seated between KJU and Rodman is an English-language interpreter (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un converses with Dennis Rodman (L) then engages in a round of toasts with Rodman (C) and other guests (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un converses with Dennis Rodman (L) then engages in a round of toasts with Rodman (C) and other guests (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un talks with a US citizen of the basketball delegation.  Seen in the background R is Jang Song Taek (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un talks with a US citizen of the basketball delegation. Seen in the background R is Jang Song Taek (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un greets members of the US basketball delegation at a banquet hosted by the DPRK Olympic Committee (top and middle) and KJU and Dennis Rodman bow (below) prior to Rodman's departure from the banquet hall (Photos: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un greets members of the US basketball delegation at a banquet hosted by the DPRK Olympic Committee (top and middle) and KJU and Dennis Rodman bow (below) prior to Rodman’s departure from the banquet hall (Photos: KCTV screengrab)

Dennis Rodman (L) embraces Kim Jong Un (R) prior to departing a banquet hosted in the central party complex by the DPRK Olympic Committee.  Seen in the background, L, is DPRK basketball star Ri Myong Hun (a.k.a. Michael Ri) (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Dennis Rodman (L) embraces Kim Jong Un (R) prior to departing a banquet hosted in the central party complex by the DPRK Olympic Committee. Seen in the background, L, is DPRK basketball star Ri Myong Hun (a.k.a. Michael Ri) (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Former NBA player and hall of famer Dennis Rodman (foreground) gives a double "thumbs-up" after arriving at the Rungra Dolphinarium on 1 March 2013 (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Former NBA player and hall of famer Dennis Rodman (foreground) gives a double “thumbs-up” after arriving at the Rungra Dolphinarium on 1 March 2013 (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Dennis Rodman, Harlem Globetrotters and other members fo the US basketball delegation watch and participate in a show at the Rungra Dolphinarium in Pyongyang on 1 March 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Dennis Rodman, Harlem Globetrotters and other members fo the US basketball delegation watch and participate in a show at the Rungra Dolphinarium in Pyongyang on 1 March 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Harlem Globetrotters and members of the US basketball delegation visit a health complex in Pyongyang on 1 March 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Harlem Globetrotters and members of the US basketball delegation visit a health complex in Pyongyang on 1 March 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Members of the Harlem Globetrotters tour the Indoor Ice Rink and Pyongyang Skate Park on 1 March 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Members of the Harlem Globetrotters tour the Indoor Ice Rink and Pyongyang Skate Park on 1 March 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Dennis Rodman shakes hands with Son Kwang Ho  (L) and other DPRK officials (R) prior to departing the DPRK on1 March 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Dennis Rodman shakes hands with Son Kwang Ho (L) and other DPRK officials (R) prior to departing the DPRK on1 March 2013 (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un Visits Ku’msusan and Attends Statue Unveiling Ceremony at Mangyongdae Revolutionary School

16 Feb
Kim Jong Un (C) pays his respects to statues of his father Kim Jong Il and his grandfather Kim Il Sung at Kumsusan in Pyongyang on 16 February 2013.  (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un (C) pays his respects to statues of his father Kim Jong Il and his grandfather Kim Il Sung at Kumsusan in Pyongyang on 16 February 2013. (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

DPRK state media reported on 16 February (Saturday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the Ku’msusan Memorial Palace of the Sun and attended a statue unveiling ceremony at Mangyo’ngdae Revolutionary School to commemorate Kim Jong Il’s birthday.  KJU’s last reported public appearance was his attendance and participation at a watch presentation ceremony.  KJU’s first visit was to pay his respects to the remains of his father, late leader Kim Jong Il, at Ku’msusan.    He was accompanied by his wife Ri Sol Ju.  Also in attendance were VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Jang Song Taek, Gen. Hyon Yong Chol, Kim Kyong Hui, Pak To Chun, VMar Kim Yong Chun, VMar Hyon Chol Hae and members of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Central Military Commission [CMC], the DPRK National Defense Commission, members of the Korean People’s Army Supreme Command staff and senior KPA commanders Ju Kyu Chang, Gen. Kim Kyong Ok, Gen. Yun Jong Rin, Col. Gen. Choe Pu Il, Col. Gen. Ri Yong Gil, Col. Gen. Son Chol Ju, Lt. Gen. Ryom Chol Song, Col. Gen. Jo Kyong Chol, Gen. Yun Tong Hyon, Gen. Kang Phyo Yong, Gen. Ri Pyong Chol, Lt. Gen. Kim Rak Gyom, Lt. Gen. Pak Jong Chon, Col. Gen. Kim Chun Sam, Col. Gen. Kim Yong Chol and Col. Gen. Jon Chang Bok, among others.

A floral basket from Kim Jong Un in front of statues of his grandfather Kim Il Sung and father Kim Jong Il at Ku'msusan in Pyongyang on 16 February 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

A floral basket from Kim Jong Un in front of statues of his grandfather Kim Il Sung and father Kim Jong Il at Ku’msusan in Pyongyang on 16 February 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un and assembled company visited the statue hall for a ceremony at which an honor guard saluted the statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il and a sereis of floral baskets were placed before the statues.  KJU “entered the hall of immortality where Kim Jong Il lies in state” and “together with the participants, made bows to Kim Jong Il in the humblest reverence.”  After paying their respects, Kim Jong Un and members of the central leadership visited the exhibition of KJI’s personal affects and personal vehicles.

Kim Jong Un (4th R)  and members of the central leadership stand in front of statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il during an unveiling ceremony on the campus of Mangyo'ngdae School on 16 February 2013.  Among those in attendance in this image are: Gen. O Kuk Ryol (L), VMar Ri Yong Mu (2nd L) Kim Kyong Hui (3rd L), Kim Ki Nam (4th L), Choe Yong Rim (6th L), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (2nd R) and Jang Song Taek (R) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un (4th R) and members of the central leadership stand in front of statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il during an unveiling ceremony on the campus of Mangyo’ngdae School on 16 February 2013. Among those in attendance in this image are: Gen. O Kuk Ryol (L), VMar Ri Yong Mu (2nd L) Kim Kyong Hui (3rd L), Kim Ki Nam (4th L), Choe Yong Rim (6th L), Mangyo’ngdae School principal O Ryong Thaek (7th L), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (2nd R) and Jang Song Taek (R) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

A statue of late DPRK founder and president Kim Il Sung and late leader Kim Jong Il unveiled on the campus of the Mangyo'ngdae Revolutionary School in Pyongyang on 16 February 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

A statue of late DPRK founder and president Kim Il Sung and late leader Kim Jong Il unveiled on the campus of the Mangyo’ngdae Revolutionary School in Pyongyang on 16 February 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un later visited Mangyo’ngdae Revolutionary School on Saturday where new statues of Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung were unveiled and dedicated.  The statues depict KJI and KIS and embracing Mangyo’ngdae School students.  Attending the ceremony with KJU were DPRK Cabinet Premier Choe Yong Rim, Director of the KPA General Political Department VMar Choe Ryong Hae, NDC Vice Chairman and KWP Administration Department Director Jang Song Taek, Chief of the KPA General Staff Gen. Hyon Yong Chol, Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Gen. Kim Kyok Sik, KWP Secretary and Department Director Kim Kyong Hui, KWP Secretary and Department Director Kim Ki Nam, NDC Vice Chairman and KWP Civil Defense Department Director VMar Kim Yong Chun, NDC Vice Chairman VMar Ri Yong Mu, NDC Vice Chairman Gen. O Kuk Ryol, 1st Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces and Director of the KPA General Logistics Department VMar Hyon Chol Hae and immediate past Minister of the People’s Armed Forces, Gen. Kim Jong Gak along with “officials of the party and armed forces organs, staff members and students of the school and its graduates, officials of units and military academies at all levels, service personnel of the KPA, military family members and officials and employees of the units who contributed to the erection of the statues and Pyongyangites.”

Ceremony unveiling a new statue of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il on Mangyo'ngdae Revolutionary School's campus in Pyongyang on 16 February 2013 (Photos: Rodong Sinmun)

Ceremony unveiling a new statue of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il on Mangyo’ngdae Revolutionary School’s campus in Pyongyang on 16 February 2013 (Photos: Rodong Sinmun)

The new statue (L) replaces an older statue of Kim Il Sung that had been on Mangyo'ndae Revolutionary School campus for a number of years.  The old KIS statue can seen in these images from Kim Jong Un's visit to the school in early 2012 (C) and in the background in a photo from a DPRK publication from the 1960s (R) (Photos: Rodong Sinmun, KCTV screengrab and Foreign Languages Publishing House)

The new statue (L) replaces an older statue of Kim Il Sung that had been on Mangyo’ndae Revolutionary School campus for a number of years. The old KIS statue can seen in these images from Kim Jong Un’s visit to the school in early 2012 (C) and in the background in a photo from a DPRK publication from the 1960s (R) (Photos: Rodong Sinmun, KCTV screengrab and Foreign Languages Publishing House)

Choe Yong Rim, VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Jang Song Taek, Gen. Hyon Yong Chol, Gen. Kim Kyok Sik, Kim Ki Nam, O Ryong Taek and Kim Song Pong formally unveiled the KJI and KIS statues.  After the ceremonious unveiling of the statues floral baskets from Kim Jong Un, the KWP Central Committee and Central Military Commission and DPRK National Defense Commission (sent jointly), the KPA General Political Department, the KPA General Staff, the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces, various KPA units and KPA military schools and training center were placed before the statues.  According to KCNA, ceremony participants “paid tribute to the Generalissimos in humblest reverence.”  Choe Ryong Hae delivered the ceremony’s keynote address.  According to a gist in KCNA Choe said:

Kim Jong Il deemed it as an important work for giving steady continuity to the bloodline of revolution to educate the children of revolutionary martyrs from the first day of his revolutionary leadership and paid deep attention to the work of the school in the grim days of leading to victory the confrontation with the U.S. and the struggle for defending socialism under the uplifted banner of Songun.

It was the unanimous desire of all teachers and pupils of the school and service personnel of the KPA to erect the statue of Kim Jong Il at the school where people erected Kim Il Sung’s statue for the first time in Korea at the initiative of anti-Japanese war hero Kim Jong Suk who took into consideration the ardent desire of the schoolers to see Kim Il Sung every day.

The ardent desire of the teachers and pupils and all service personnel has become a brilliant reality thanks to the intense loyalty and meticulous guidance of Marshal Kim Jong Un.

Rosy is the future of the children of revolutionary martyrs, the speaker said, calling for waging a dynamic struggle to reunify the country and accomplish the Juche-based revolutionary cause of Songun under the leadership ofKim Jong Un, the banner of eternal victory of the great Paektusan nation, as befitting the descendants of Generalissimo Kim Il Sung and the soldiers and disciples of Generalissimo Kim Jong Il.

After the speaking program, according to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “warmly acknowledged the cheers of all the participants.”

Kim Jong Il (L) and his mother Kim Jong Suk on a visit to Mangyo'ngdae Revolutionary School (R) in (ca.) 1947

Kim Jong Il (L) and his mother Kim Jong Suk on a visit to Mangyo’ngdae Revolutionary School (R) in (ca.) 1947 (Photo: Foreign Languages Publishing House/Party History Institute)

Image of the Kim Family in 1946.   In this image are Kim Jong Suk (L, seated), Kim Jong Il (2nd L) Kim Kyong Hui (3rd L), Kim Il Sung (4th L, seated) Kim Pyong Il (4th L) and of the children's caretakers, possibly Hong Ki-yo'n (5th L)

Image of the Kim Family in 1946. In this image are Kim Jong Suk (L, seated), Kim Jong Il (2nd L) Kim Kyong Hui (3rd L), Kim Il Sung (4th L, seated) Kim Pyong Il (4th L) and of the children’s caretakers, possibly Hong Ki-yo’n (5th L)

Leadership Notes

According to the official chronicles Kim Jong Il was born in a small wood house near Mt. Paektu on 16 February 1942.  According to Russian records, Kim Jong Il was born in February 1941 on a military base in Khabarovsk which housed members of the 88th Sniper Brigade under the Soviet Far East Command, of which KJI’s parents Kim Il Sung (1912-1994) and Kim Jong Suk (1917-1949) were members.  KJI grew up among Koreans, Korean-Chinese and Russians stationed on the base and was called by his Russian name Shura (or Yuri)  In his early childhood, KJI saw very little of Kim Il Sung, who traveled to Moscow twice or who was otherwise recovering from injuries and illnesses.  In 1944 Kim Jong Suk gave birth to a second son, Kim Pyong Il (whose Russian name was Alexandre), who died in 1947 after he drowned in a water retention pond at the family’s residence in Pyongyang.  In 1946, in Pyongyang, Kim Jong Suk gave birth to her last surviving child, daughter Kim Kyong Hui, currently a KWP Secretary and Department Director and one of the most powerful members of the DPRK elite.  Kim Jong Suk passed away in September 1949 due to complications from an extra-uterine pregnancy.

In an interesting move to commemorate the official 71st anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s birth, a new statue of KJI and his father was unveiled on the campus of the Mangyo’ngdae Revolutionary School.  There are a number of statues of Kim Il Sung (and as of 2012, KJI) around the DPRK, since the inception of the cult around Kim Il Sung and the Mangyo’ngdae Family (KIS, KJI, KJS and KJU).  However, the construction of the first known KIS statue and its dedication were initiated by Kim Jong Suk with the first KIS statue placed on the campus of the Mangyo’ngdae Revolutionary School in 1947 (“where the statue of the Suryo’ngnim [KIS] was reverently built for the first time in our country by the suggestion of Comrade Kim Jong Suk–an anti-Japanese hero–who kindly took note of the ardent wish of the students of the school who want to see the fatherly leader every day”).

Pyongyang watchers might also note the manner of dress of members of the core leadership at the visit to Ku’msusan and the statue dedication.  On the visit to Ku’msusan, senior male officials were attired in variants of the KPA dress uniform.  At the statue unveiling ceremony, some senior officials were attired in the clothing of senior party officials.  Also note that at Ku’msusan, Jang Song Taek stands at Kim Jong Un’s left in the image (Ri Sol Ju stands at KJU’s right), the same position at which he stood when KJU visited the memorial palace on 24 December 2012.

Jang Song Taek (in a KPA dress uniform) at KJU's visit to Ku'msusan on 16 Feburary 2013 (L) and on 24 December 2012 (R) (Photos: Rodong Sinmun)

Jang Song Taek (in a KPA dress uniform) at KJU’s visit to Ku’msusan on 16 Feburary 2013 (L) and on 24 December 2012 (R) (Photos: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Gak visits Ku'msusan on 16 February 2013 (L) and attends a national report meeting commemorating KJI's birth anniversary on 15 February 2013 (Photos: Rodong Sinmun and KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Gak visits Ku’msusan on 16 February 2013 (L) and attends a national report meeting commemorating KJI’s birth anniversary on 15 February 2013 (Photos: Rodong Sinmun and KCTV screengrab)

One of the most notable senior officials attending both events was Gen. Kim Jong Gak.  Gen. Kim (who was seemingly reduced in rank from Vice Marshal) joined KJU on his visit to Ku’msusuan and stood in the front row with KJU and other senior officials.  Kim Jong Gak also attended the national report meeting commemorating KJI’s at Pyongyang Indoor Stadium on 15 February (Friday), where he was seated on platform (rostrum) in the front row.  In November Kim Jong Gak was removed from his previous position as Minister of the People’s Armed Forces, and replaced by Gen. Kim Kyonk Sik.

Documentary Film on KJU’s Security Orgs Visits During August to November 2012

22 Jan

DPRK state media over the weekend release a documentary film of Kim Jong Un’s visiting Korean People’s Army [KPA] sites, interactions with members of internal security agencies and and attending KPA-based performances and sports events.

The first scenes of the documentary film show Kim Jong Un, joined his wife Ri Sol Ju and senior KPA and party officials visiting the statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il on the campus of the Ministry of People’s Armed Forces.

(Photos: KCTV screengrab)

(Photos: KCTV screengrab)

Commemorative photo taken in front of the KIS-KJI statues at the Ministry of the People's Armed Forces.  In this image (L-R): Hwang Pyong So, VMar Kim Jong Gak, Ri Sol Ju, Kim Jong Un, Gen. Choe Ryong Hae and Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Commemorative photo taken in front of the KIS-KJI statues at the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces. In this image (L-R): Hwang Pyong So, VMar Kim Jong Gak, Ri Sol Ju, Kim Jong Un, Gen. Choe Ryong Hae and Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un visited the KPA Exhibition of Arms and Equipment, and toured its E-Library.

(Photos: KCTV screengrab)

(Photos: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un (L) at a computer workstation at the KPA Exhibition of Arms and Equipment E-Library (Photos: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un (L) at a computer workstation at the KPA Exhibition of Arms and Equipment E-Library (Photos: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un examines an artillery piece (L) and stands at the entrance of the KPA Exhibition of Arms and Equipment (Photos: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un examines an artillery piece (L) and stands at the entrance of the KPA Exhibition of Arms and Equipment (Photos: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un, Ri Sol Ju and members of the central leadership attended a performance by the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces All-Woman Brass Ensemble

(Photos: KCTV screengrab)

(Photos: KCTV screengrab)

(Photos: KCTV screengrab)

(Photos: KCTV screengrab)

After the KPISF all-woman brass ensemble performance, Kim Jong Un talked with members of the central leadership (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

After the KPISF all-woman brass ensemble performance, Kim Jong Un talked with members of the central leadership (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

KJU, Madame Ri and members of the central leadership attended a performance of the KPA Brass Band .

(Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

(Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un smokes a cigarette after the KPA Brass Band performance (top) and talking to officials (Photos: KCTV screengrab)

Kim Jong Un smokes a cigarette after the KPA Brass Band performance (top) and talking to officials (Photos: KCTV screengrab)

KJU visits the headquarters of the Ministry of State Security to view the statue of Kim Jong Il.

(Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

(Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un, Ri Sol Ju and several close aides watch a shooting competition and women’s volleyball game

(Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

(Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

(Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

(Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un and a number of senior party and KPA officials visited the equestrian company of KPA Unit #534.  Kim Jong Il visited the unit in November 2008 as he recuperated from his stroke.  During his visit Kim Jong Un instructed that the equestrian grounds be turned over to the management of the State Physical Culture and Sports Commission, so it can be used by DPRK civilians.

(Photos: KCTV screengrab)

(Photos: KCTV screengrab)

(Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

(Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

(Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

(Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Kim Jong Un visited the Ministry of State Security’s headquarters, where he posed for commemorative photographs with MSS personnel and met senior MSS management.

(Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

(Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

KJU attended a commemorative photograph session with participants at a meeting of local police officials of the Ministry of People’s Security and Korean People’s Internal Security Forces.

(Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

(Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

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