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Former DPRK Courts’ Boss Kim Pyong Ryul Dies

6 Nov
Kim Pyong Ryul (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Pyong Ryul (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Pyong Ryul, a member of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Central Committee and immediate past president of the DPRK Supreme Court (DPRK Central Court) died on 4 November (Monday) at the reported age of 83.  Kim’s death was announced in DPRK state media through an obituary published by the KWP Central Committee.  According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) sent a floral wreath to Kim Pyong Ryul’s funeral “to express deep condolences over his death.”

Kim Pyong Ryul began his career during the late 1950s as a guidance officer in the KWP Education Department (currently part of the KWP Science Education Department).  He held successive positions in the Education Department working as a section chief, deputy and senior deputy (1st vice) director.  In 1968 Kim was appointed Chief Secretary of the North P’yo’ngan KWP Provincial Committee, a position he held until 1989.  In 1974 he was interim Chairman of the North P’yo’ngan Provincial People’s Committee.  Kim traveled to the former Soviet Union in 1972 as member of a KWP-DPRK Government delegation and to China in 1979 at the head of delegation from North P’yo’ngan Province.  In 1989 ill health compelled him to resign as North P’yo’ngan’s leading party official and he moved to Pyongyang to receive medical treatment at the Ponghwa Clinic.  In 1990 Kim was appointed Chief KWP Secretary of the Central People’s Committee (currently the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium).  In 1991 Kim was promoted to the military rank of Lieutenant General and appointed to serve as member of the Guard Command’s Political Bureau.

At the first session of the 10th SPA in September 1998, Kim Pyong Ryul was appointed Chief Justice and President of the DPRK Central Court (Supreme Court) and a member of the SPA Legislation Committee.  He was reappointed head of the court at the first session of the 11th SPA in September 2003 and the 12th SPA in April 2009.  In 2005 he led a delegation of DPRK attorneys to participate in a lawyers’ conference in Beijing.  Kim also signed legal cooperation and extradition agreements with Vietnam in 2002, China in 2003, Ukraine in 2004 and Russia in 2006.  In January 2010, he accompanied late leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) on a visit to the Court’s renovated offices and its new courthouse.  By 2012, Kim Pyong Ryul was semi-retired.  He vacated his seat on the SPA Legislation Committee and became an advisor to the Supreme Court.

Kim Pyong Ryul was the son of Kim Jung Gwon, a member of the Wangqing County Young Communist League who participated with late DPRK president and founder Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng)  in anti-Japanese guerrilla activities in northeastern China and died in the early 1930s.  Kim attended Mangyo’ngdae Revolutionary School, served for several months during the Fatherland Liberation (Korean) War and studied at the Czech Technical University in Prague during the mid-1950s.  He was elected a member of the Party Central Committee at the 5th Party Congress in 1970 and he was first elected a deputy (delegate) to the SPA in 1972.  He retained both positions until his death.  He was promoted to KPA Lt. General in 1991 and was promoted to General in October 1995.  Kim retired from the KPA in 1998 ahead of his appointment to the DPRK Supreme Court.  Kim had close ties to the Kim Family.  He was a diligent worker with a pragmatic personality who was quite effective in implementing policy.

DPRK, China Prosecutors’ Offices Sign Cooperation Memo

5 Nov
Hu Zejun, Deputy Procurator-General of China, poses for a commemorative photo with delegation of the DPRK Supreme Prosecutor's Office on 28 October 2013 (Photo: Xinhua).

Hu Zejun, Deputy Procurator-General of China, poses for a commemorative photo with delegation of the DPRK Supreme Prosecutor’s Office on 28 October 2013 (Photo: Xinhua).

A delegation from the DPRK Supreme Prosecutor’s Office (f.k.a. the Central Public Prosecutor’s Office) met with Chinese Deputy Procurator (Attorney) General Hu Zejun on 28 October.  The DPRK delegation included 1st Vice Director Lt. Gen. Ri Chol, other Supreme Prosecutor’s Office officials and DPRK Ambassador to China Ji Jae Ryong.    At the meeting, the DPRK and PRC signed a memorandum of understand on cooperation between the DPRK Supreme Prosecutor’s Office and the PRC Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

According to Chinese state media, Hu Zejun said that “North Korea is China’s friendly neighbor and  Friendship between the two peoples have a profound historical basis. Sino-Korean diplomatic ties have existed for more than 64 years.   The bipartisan leaders of the two countries maintain close communication, both in law enforcement to further strengthen judicial exchanges and cooperation, and have achieved gratifying results.  I believe that your Excellency’s current visit will further promote the existing good relations between the procuratorial organs.”  Hu briefed the DPRK delegation on functions and missions of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and said it was using revised criminal and civil statues to “strengthen legal supervision, safeguard social fairness and justice to play a more active role.”  After the meeting, a signing ceremony was held to ink the memorandum of understanding on cooperation.  Hu said that the MOU was signed “to deepen exchanges and cooperation” and that the agreement “marked the judicial cooperation between the two sides and entered a more substantive phase.”  Hu said that “Chinese prosecutors are willing to take this opportunity to promote comprehensive development and friendly relations with North Korea.”  Ri Chol said that the “the DPRK attaches great importance to exchanges and cooperation with the Chinese procuratorial organs, will seriously implement the memorandum of understanding on cooperation and consensus reached at the meeting and cooperation between procuratorial organs to achieve new progress.”

 

 

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.

Banquet and Concert Given for Mongolian President

29 Oct
Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and his wife watch a concert given in his honor by the elite Mansudae Art Troupe at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater on 28 October 2013 (Photos: Rodong Sinmun).

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and his wife watch a concert given in his honor by the elite Mansudae Art Troupe at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater on 28 October 2013 (Photos: Rodong Sinmun).

The DPRK Government hosted a banquet and staged a concert in Pyongyang on 28 October (Monday) for Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and senior Mongolian officials on a four-day visit to the country.  The government’s banquet was hosted by the Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang.  Among those in attendance from the DPRK were SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam, Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun, Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam, Minister of Physical Culture and Sports Ri Jong Mu, Chairwoman of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries Kim Jong Suk, Vice Chief of the Korean People’s Army General Staff Col. Gen. O Kum Chol, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Pak Kil Yon, Vice Minister of Land and Marine Transport Kwak Il Ryong, DPRK Ambassador to Mongolia Hong Kyu and Chairman of the DPRK-Mongolia Friendship Association and Vice Chairman of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries Kim Jin Bom.  Among those in attendance from the Mongolian government were President Elbegdorj and his wife, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Luvsanvandan Bold, Mongolian Ambassador to the DPRK Manibadrakh Ganbold, Minister of Industry and Agriculture Khaltmaa Battulga, Secretary-General of the National Security Council Tsagaandari Enkhtuvshin, Chief of the General Staff of the Mongolian Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Tserendejid Byambajav, Vice Minister of Road Transport Khabshai Erjan, Presidential National Security and Foreign Policy Advisor Lundeg Purevsuren, Presidential Advisor for Mass Liaison and Mass Policy Amgalanbaatar Ganbaatar, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Pureb Altangere and officials and staff on the Mongolian Embassy in the DPRK.

Kim Yong Nam spoke on behalf of the DPRK Government.  According to KCNA, Kim said:

This is a significant year marking the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries and the 25th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung’s (Kim Il-so’ng) second visit to Mongolia.

The Mongolian president’s visit to the DPRK marks an important occasion in boosting the traditional relations of friendship and cooperation between the two countries, which were provided and developed by the preceding leaders, as required by the new era. The exchange of delegations at various levels and visits have become brisk in various fields including politics, economy, military affairs and sports and support and cooperation in the international arena have grown stronger than ever before.

We rejoice as our own over the fact that the friendly government and people of Mongolia have achieved the rapid socio-economic development of the country and raised the international position of their country by pursuing an independent and multi-faceted foreign policy under the leadership of the president. And we sincerely hope that everything will go well in Mongolia in the days to come.

We will as ever make all efforts to positively develop the friendly and cooperative relations with Mongolia having a long history and tradition.

Mongolian President  Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj spoke on behalf of the Mongolian Government.  According to KCNA, President Elbegdorj said:

I am pleased that the official talks between the two countries were held in a candid and friendly atmosphere and consensus was reached on all issues discussed at the talks.

All issues agreed upon between the two countries would make a substantial contribution to enriching the bilateral relations of friendship and cooperation in new areas and positively developing them in the mutual interests.

The Mongolian people are pleased that the preceding leaders of state and government of Mongolia and His Excellency Kim Il Sung and His Excellency Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il), great leaders of Korean people, laid the cornerstone of traditional friendly relations between Mongolia and the DPRK and the bilateral cooperation is steadily improving in the fields of politics, economy, culture and humanitarianism.

I am sure that the Korean people will successfully achieve prosperity and progress of the country, their happiness and regional peace and stability in close cooperation with the international community.

I wish the hard-working Korean people greater successes in carrying out the cause of peaceful reunification of the country and its prosperity under the leadership of Marshal Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n), first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, first chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK and supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army.

According to KCNA, “the banquet proceeded in an atmosphere overflowing with friendly sentiments.”

The Mansudae Art Troupe also staged a performance in honor of President Elbegdorj and the Mongolian delegation at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater.  Kim Yong Nam, DPRK officials and Pyongyangites attended the concert.  Songs performed included “Fortune of Korea,” “Our Leader Loved by the People,” “Ardent Desire,” and Mongolian songs “Remember My Mother” and “I Love Mongolia.”  According to KCNA,  “the performers represented the boundless reverence of the army and people for Marshal Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) who is carving out a bright future of Korea.”  After the performance a floral basket to the Mansudae Art Troupe was delivered on President Elbegdorj’s behalf.

Mongolia, DPRK Sign Economic Agreements

29 Oct
Mongolian Minister of Industry and Agriculture Khaltmaa Battulga (L) shakes hands with DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam (R) after signing an economic cooperation agreement at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Mongolian Minister of Industry and Agriculture Khaltmaa Battulga (L) shakes hands with DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam (R) after signing an economic cooperation agreement at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Following a meeting of senior DPRK and Mongolian government officials at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on 28 October (Monday), the two countries signed two economic agreements, along with a technology exchange agreement.  DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam and Mongolian Minister of Industry and Agriculture Khaltmaa Battulga signed a cooperation agreement on industry and agriculture.  Chairwoman of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries Kim Jong Suk and Mongolian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Luvsanvandan Bold signed a cooperation agreement on cultural and sports exchanges and tourism.  DPRK Vice Minister of Land and Marine Transport Kwak Il Ryong and  Mongolian Ambassador to the DPRK Manibadrakh Ganbold signed an agreement on cooperation in the road and transportation sectors.  Jong Song Chang Deputy (vice) General Director of the DPRK General Bureau of Software Industry and Ambassador Ganbold on behalf of theMongolian IT, Post and Telecommunications Bureau signed a 2013 to 2015 technology exchange agreement “in the field of IT.”

DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam and Mongolian Minister of Industry and Agriculture Khaltmaa Battulga sign an economic cooperation agreement in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photos: KCNA screen grabs).

DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam and Mongolian Minister of Industry and Agriculture Khaltmaa Battulga sign an economic cooperation agreement in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photos: KCNA screen grabs).

Chair of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries Kim Jong Suk and Mongolian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Luvsanvandan Bold sign an agreement on sports and cultural exchanges and tourism in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photos: KCNA screen grabs).

Chair of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries Kim Jong Suk and Mongolian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Luvsanvandan Bold sign an agreement on sports and cultural exchanges and tourism in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photos: KCNA screen grabs).

Deputy Director-General of the DPRK General Bureau Software Industry Jong Song Chang and Mongolian Ambassador to the DPRK Manibadrakh Ganbold sign a technology exchange agreement effective from 2013 to 2015 in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photos: KCNA screen grabs).

Deputy Director-General of the DPRK General Bureau Software Industry Jong Song Chang and Mongolian Ambassador to the DPRK Manibadrakh Ganbold sign a technology exchange agreement effective from 2013 to 2015 in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photos: KCNA screen grabs).

Mongolian President Arrives in Pyongyang and Meets with Kim Yong Nam

28 Oct
Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (L) shakes hands with SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam (R) after arrving at Pyongyang Airport on 28 October 2013 for a four-day visit to the DPRK (Photo: KCNA).

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (L) shakes hands with SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam (R) after arrving at Pyongyang Airport on 28 October 2013 for a four-day visit to the DPRK (Photo: KCNA).

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and a delegation of senior Mongolian government officials arrived in Pyongyang on 28 October (Monday) for a four-day visit ending on 31 October.  President Elbegdorj’s visit will commemorate the 65th anniversary of DPRK-Mongolian relations and lead to the expansion of the countries’ bilateral ties.  Greeting Elbegdorj at Pyongyang Airport were Kim Yong Nam (President of the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA]), Pak Ui Chun (Minister of Foreign Affairs), 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), Kwang Il Ryong (Vice Minister of Land and Marine Transport), Hong Kyu (DPRK Ambassador to Mongolia), Kim Jin Bom (Vice Chairman of the Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries and Chairman of the DPRK-Mongolia Friendship Association) and other DPRK officials.  Also greeting President Elbegjorj at the airport was Mongolian Ambassador to the DPRK Manibadrakh Ganbold.

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj reviews an honor guard of the KPA and Worker-Peasant Red Guards (L) and receives a floral bouquet after arriving in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj reviews an honor guard of the KPA and Worker-Peasant Red Guards (L) and receives a floral bouquet after arriving in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA).

Elbegdorj was accompanied by his wife, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Luvsanvandan Bold, Minister of Industry and Agriculture Khaltmaa Battulga, Secretary General of the National Security Council Tsagaandari Enkhtuvshin, Chief of the General Staff of the Mongolian Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Tserendejid Byambajav, Vice Minister of Road Transport Khabshai Erjan,  Presidential National Security and Foreign Policy Advisor Lundeg Purevsuren, Presidential Advisor for Mass Liaison and Mass Policy Amgalanbaatar Ganbaatar,  Secretary of State for the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Pureb Altangerel and other Mongolian government officials.  During the welcoming ceremony for the Mongolian delegation, President Elbegdorj reviewed an honor guard consisting of the KPA’s three service branches and the Worker-Peasant Red Guards.  Representatives of DPRK women workers and children of Mongolian diplomatic staff stationed in the DPRK presented floral bouquets to Elbegdorj and his wife.

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and a senior Mongolian Government delegation (R) meet with Kim Yong Nam and senior DPRK officials at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA)

Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and a senior Mongolian Government delegation (R) meet with Kim Yong Nam and senior DPRK officials at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on 28 October 2013 (Photo: KCNA)

Following the delegation’s arrival, Elbegdorj and senior Mongolian officials met with SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang.  Attending the meeting from the DPRK were Pak Ui Chun, Ri Jong Mu (Minister of Physical Culture and Sports), Kim Jong Suk (Chairwoman of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries), Pak Kil-yo’n (Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs), Kwang Il Ryong, Hong Kyu and other DPRK officials.  According to KCNA, “both sides exchanged views on the issue of boosting the bilateral relations of friendship and other issues of mutual concern” during the meeting and the “talks took place in a friendly atmosphere.”

Munsu Water Park Opens

16 Oct
View of opening ceremony opening the Munsu Water Park in east Pyongyang on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

View of opening ceremony opening the Munsu Water Park in east Pyongyang on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The Munsu Water Park, a water amusement park in east Pyongyang that has been under construction since February 2013, opened with a ceremony on 15 October (Tuesday).  Ceremony participants included Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier), Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Kim Ki Nam (Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary), Mun Kyong Dok (Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang KWP Committee), Ro Tu Chol (DPRK Vice Premier and Chairman of the State Planning Commission), “officials of the party, armed forces and power organs, working people’s organizations, ministries and national institutions, soldier-builders, people from all walks of life, school youth and children, the chief of the Pyongyang Mission of the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front and overseas Koreans” along with “diplomatic envoys of various countries, representatives of international bodies and military attaches with their wives, staff members of foreign embassies here and foreign guests staying in the DPRK.”

A plaster statue of late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il created by the Mansudae Art Studio in the lobby of an indoor swimming pool at Munsu Water Park in east Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

A plaster statue of late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il created by the Mansudae Art Studio in the lobby of an indoor swimming pool at Munsu Water Park in east Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Senor DPRK officials hold a ceremonial red ribbon being cut by representatives of Pyongyang's population during a ceremony opening the Munsu Water Park in east Pyongyang on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Senor DPRK officials hold a ceremonial red ribbon being cut by representatives of Pyongyang’s population during a ceremony opening the Munsu Water Park in east Pyongyang on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Overview of the Munsu Water Park in east Pyongyang during its opening ceremony on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Overview of the Munsu Water Park in east Pyongyang during its opening ceremony on 15 October 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Pak Pong Ju delivered a speech formally opening the Munsu Water Park.  According to KCNA, Pak said “the water park is the edifice built thanks to KPA service personnel’s spirit of devotedly carrying out any project and their fighting traits as they are ready to flatten even a high mountain at a go in hearty response to the order of the supreme commander” and “stressed the need for officials and employees of the water park to serve the people in the spirit of devoted service to them and take good care of all facilities so as to glorify forever Kim Jong Un’s (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) leadership exploits and make sure that the party’s warm love for the people reaches the working people and school youth and children.”  A ceremonial ribbon was cut by representatives of students, children, Pyongyang citizens, the Korean People’s Army [KPA] units who constructed the swimming complex and Mun Kyong Dok.  According to KCNA, “people from all walks of life and school youth and children participating in the ceremony were deeply admired to go round different places of the Munsu Water Park successfully built as a leisure complex for the people to be proud of before the world.”

The Munsu Water Park (which has previously been identified as the Munsu Wading Pool and the Munsu Swimming Complex during its construction) is the third large construction project in Pyongyang to open this week.  On 13 October (Sunday) KWP Secretary and Supreme People’s Assembly Chairman Choe Tae Bok (Choe T’ae-pok) presided over two separate ceremonies which opened the Okryu (Ongyu) Children’s Hospital and Ryugyo’ng Dental Hospital.

Jon Yong Jin Presents Letter of Credence and Meets with Venezuelan Officials

10 Oct
DPRK Ambassador Jon Yong Jin (L) meets with the chairmen of the Venezuelan National Assembly Commission on Foreign Policy, Sovereignty and Integration Yul Jabour (C) and Julio Chávez (R) on 4 October 2013 (Photo: Prensa AN).

DPRK Ambassador Jon Yong Jin (L) meets with the chairmen of the Venezuelan National Assembly Commission on Foreign Policy, Sovereignty and Integration Yul Jabour (C) and Julio Chávez (R) on 4 October 2013 (Photo: Prensa AN).

DPRK Ambassador Jon Yong Jin visited Venezuela during 2 to 4 October.  Jon is the DPRK Ambassador to Cuba and Venezuela is one of Jon’s numerous nonresident postings in the Caribbean and South America.  On 2 October Jon was part of a group of foreign diplomats who presented their letters of credence to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro Moros.  According to KCNA, Maduro “expressed the belief that the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries would grow stronger on the principle of mutual respect and in the bilateral interests.”

DPRK Ambassador Jon Yong Jin (C) and an unkown DPRK diplomatic official (L) meet with Yul Jabour (R), a chairman of the Venezuelan National Assembly's Commission on Foreign Policy, Sovereignty and Integration on 4 October 2013 (Photo: Cojedes-PSUV).

DPRK Ambassador Jon Yong Jin (C) and an unkown DPRK diplomatic official (L) meet with Yul Jabour (R), a chairman of the Venezuelan National Assembly’s Commission on Foreign Policy, Sovereignty and Integration on 4 October 2013 (Photo: ANTV/Cojedes-PSUV).

On 3 October, Jon and other DPRK officials met with the chairmen of the Venezuelan National Assembly’s Commission on Foreign Policy, Sovereignty and Integration, Yul Jabour and Julio Chávez.  According to ANTV, Jon Yong Jin expressed the DPRK’s support of Venezuela’s decision to expel three United States [US] diplomats from the country on 30 September and said “it was the measure of an independent country which we support.”  Jon also said that in the event of a US attack on Venezuela, the DPRK would “not hesitate to join the fight against the Empire to defend national sovereignty and the Bolivarian Revolution.”  Jon also expressed the DPRK’s rejection of “the interventionist policy being conducted by the US through its embassies.”  According to Prensa AN, Jon Yong Jin stated that the DPRK attaches a high priority to military affairs in its ideology and “that is why our nation has become a military power, whose driving force are the masses.”  Jon also remarked that the DPRK did not possess nuclear weapons to attack other countries, but a defensive measure “to stop the US intention to start a nuclear war” and that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) “said that if a single American bullet falls into our territory , we will launch a missile towards the island of Guam and another aimed at the White House .”

Yul Jabour told Jon that Venezuela attached “special importance” to expanding DPRK-Venezuela relations to “strengthen ties between the people against the ‘dangers that loom’ for those that who declare themselves anti-imperialist and defend their right to self-determination.”  Jabour “appreciated the support and solidarity” of the DPRK Ambassador and he said that the National Assembly was “developing the legal context to deepen relations between the two countries.”

 

DPRK Ambassador Presents Credentials to President of Iceland

8 Oct
DPRK Ambassador Pak Kwang Chol (L) presents his diplomatic credentials to Icelandic President in Reyjkavik on 2 October 2013 (Photo: Office of the President of Iceland).

DPRK Ambassador Pak Kwang Chol (L) presents his diplomatic credentials to Icelandic President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson (R) in Reyjkavik on 2 October 2013 (Photo: Office of the President of Iceland).

DPRK Ambassador Pak Kwang Chol (Pak Kwang-ch’o’l) presented his letter of credence to the President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson in Reykjavik on 2 October.  Pak is resident DPRK Ambassador to Sweden and Iceland is one of his six nonresident missions.  According to the Office of the President of Iceland, during the meeting Grímsson and Pak discussed “discussed Iceland’s experience in fisheries and geothermal energy” and how about development training programs available through United Nations University program within the Icelandic Development Corporation.  According to KCNA, Grímsson “wished the DPRK successes in its efforts for improving the people’s well-being and achieving the socio-economic development, expressing the belief that the friendly relations between the two countries would continue to grow on good terms.”

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