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Jon Pyong Ho Funeral Held

10 Jul
Jon Pyong Ho's state awards, titles and commemorative watches displayed at the foot of his casket (Photo: KCTV).

Jon Pyong Ho’s state awards, titles and commemorative watches displayed at the foot of his casket (Photo: KCTV).

Members of Jon Pyong Ho's family attend his funeral at the Sojang Club in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCTV).

Members of Jon Pyong Ho’s family attend his funeral at the Sojang Club in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCTV).

Members of Jon Pyong Ho's national funeral committee on 10 July 2014 in the front row (L-R): Kim Ki Nam (at microphone), Ro Tu Chol; Kang Sok Ju; Pak To Chun; Choe Ryong Hae; Kim Yong Nam; VMar Hwang Pyong So; Gen. Hyon Yong Chol; Gen. Kim Wo'n-hong (Photo: KCTV).

Members of Jon Pyong Ho’s national funeral committee on 10 July 2014 in the front row (L-R): WPK Secretary of Propaganda and Agitation Kim Ki Nam (at microphone); DPRK Vice Premier and State Planning Commission Chairman Ro Tu Chol; WPK Secretary for International Affairs Kang Sok Ju; WPK Secretary for Machine-Building Industry Pak To Chun; WPK Secretary for Workers’ Organizations Choe Ryong Hae; SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam; KPA General Political Department Director VMar Hwang Pyong So; Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Gen. Hyon Yong Chol; and, Minister of State Security Gen. Kim Wo’n-hong (Photo: KCTV).

The state funeral and burial ceremony for the former Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Secretary of Munitions Industry and DPRK National Defense Commission [NDC] Member Gen. Jon Pyong Ho (1926-2014) was held in Pyongyang on 10 July (Thursday).  Attending the funeral were Kim Yong Nam (Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium President), VMar Hwang Pyong So (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department) and other members of Jon’s national funeral committee, along with various officials and functionaries of the WPK, KPA, DPRK Government, the DPRK’s military industrial complex, the Pyongyang City WPK Committee and members of Jon’s family.  The service began with a moment of silence for Jon, who casket was carried out of the Sojang Club as mourning music played.

Jon Pyong Ho's grandson bearing a photo of Jon whilst members of the national funeral committee escort Jon's casket from the Sojang Club in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCNA).

Jon Pyong Ho’s grandson bearing a photo of Jon whilst members of the national funeral committee escort Jon’s casket from the Sojang Club in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCNA).

Burial ceremony of Jon Pyong Ho at the Patriotic Martyrs' Cemetery in Ryongso'ng District in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCNA).

Burial ceremony of Jon Pyong Ho at the Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery in Ryongso’ng District in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCNA).

A floral wreath from Kim Jong Un is brought to the burial service by members of a KPA honor guard (Photo: KCNA).

A floral wreath from Kim Jong Un is brought to the burial service by members of a KPA honor guard (Photo: KCNA).

The funeral cortege departed for the Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery in Ryongso’ng District in Pyongyang.  According to KCNA, the cortege route was lined by DPRK citizen who “expressed deep condolences over the loss of Jon Pyong Ho who devoted himself to the victory of the revolutionary cause of Chuch’e, the revolutionary cause of So’ngun (Military-First) till the last moments of his life, possessed of intense loyalty to the party and the leader.”  At Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery a burial service was held.  Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Gen. Hyon Yong Chol delivered a eulogy.  In his eulogy, according to KCNA, Gen. Hyon remarked that  “the death of such a veteran revolutionary as Jon Pyong Ho is a big loss to the WPK and the Korean people because he passed away at a time when the dignity and might of the DPRK are being fully demonstrated and a bright prospect for the Korean revolution is unfolding thanks to the So’ngun leadership of Marshal Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n).  Though Jon Pyong Ho passed away, the feats he performed for the party and the revolution, the country and its people will last forever.”

Minister of the People's Armed Forces Gen. Hyon Yong Chol delivers a eulogy at a burial ceremony for Jon Pyong Ho on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCTV).

Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Gen. Hyon Yong Chol delivers a eulogy at a burial ceremony for Jon Pyong Ho on 10 July 2014 (Photo: KCTV).

Members of Jon Pyong Ho's national funeral committee attending the burial ceremony, in the front row (L-R): WPK Secretary and SPA Chairman Choe T'ae Bok; WPK Secretary for International Affairs Kang Sok Ju; Minister of State Security Gen. Kim Wo'n-hong; Minister of People's Security Gen. Choe Pu Il; WPK Secretary for Cadres' Affairs Kim P'yo'ng-hae; and, WPK Secretary for Planning and Finance Kwak Pom Gi (Photo: KCTV).

Members of Jon Pyong Ho’s national funeral committee attending the burial ceremony, in the front row (L-R): WPK Secretary and SPA Chairman Choe T’ae Bok; WPK Secretary for International Affairs Kang Sok Ju; Minister of State Security Gen. Kim Wo’n-hong; Minister of People’s Security Gen. Choe Pu Il; WPK Secretary for Cadres’ Affairs Kim P’yo’ng-hae; and, WPK Secretary for Planning and Finance Kwak Pom Gi (Photo: KCTV).

Senior officials of the DPRK's military industrial complex attend a burial ceremony for Jon Pyong Ho at Patriotic Martyrs' Cemetery in Ryongso'ng District, Pyongyang, on 10 July 2014.  Among those in attendance is Hong Sung Mu (right) (Photo: KCTV).

Senior officials of the DPRK’s military industrial complex attend a burial ceremony for Jon Pyong Ho at Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery in Ryongso’ng District, Pyongyang, on 10 July 2014. Among those in attendance is Hong Sung Mu (right) (Photo: KCTV).

Following the eulogy Jon’s remains were interred and “bereaved families of the deceased and members of the state funeral committee spread earth on the grave.”  Floral wreaths from Kim Jong Un, the WPK Central Committee, the Party Central Military Commission [CMC], the DPRK National Defense Commission, the SPA Presidium, the DPRK Cabinet, the KPA General Political Department, the KPA General Staff, the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces and other party, government and security institutions were placed in front of Jon’s grave.  The burial service participant then engaged in another moment of silence.

Members of Jon Pyong Ho's family and members of his national funeral committee bow during a graveside service at Patriotic Martyrs' Cemetery in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Members of Jon Pyong Ho’s family and members of his national funeral committee bow during a graveside service at Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery in Pyongyang on 10 July 2014 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Floral wreaths surround Jon Pyong Ho's grave in the Patriotic Martyrs' Cemetery in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Floral wreaths surround Jon Pyong Ho’s grave in the Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Jon Pyong Ho (1926-2014)

8 Jul
Jon Pyong Ho (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Jon Pyong Ho (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Former Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Secretary and Director of the WPK Munitions Industries Department and Member of the DPRK National Defense Commission Gen. Jon Pyong Ho passed away on 7 July 2014 from a heart attack at the age of 88.  With over five decades working in the DPRK’s munitions industry, Jon was a key figure in the DPRK’s development of ballistic missiles, nuclear weapons and space programs, supervising the country’s nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, test launches of the Taepodong missile in 1998 and 2006 and a 2009 launch of the U’nha-2.  He was instrumental in the establishment of the Second Economy Commission [SEC], which is responsible for the production of conventional arms and weapons of mass destruction [WMDs].  He was a member of the SEC at its inception in 1971 and served as Vice Chairman and Chairman of the SEC.  Jon effectively retired from active involvement in the DPRK’s weapons industries as 2012 and had served as honorary curator of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] Museum of Weapons and Equipment.

Jon will be waked at the Sojang Club in the Pot’onggang District in Pyongyang on 9 July (Wednesday) and his funeral and burial will be held on 10 July (Thursday).

State Funeral Committee for Jon Pyong Ho (Photo: NK Leadership Watch/Rodong Sinmun).

State Funeral Committee for Jon Pyong Ho (Photo: NK Leadership Watch/Rodong Sinmun).

Jon Pyong Ho was a member of a squad of teenaged and twenty-something close protection escorts from 1945 to 1947 for the late DPRK President and founder, Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng), and his wife Kim Jong Suk (Kim Cho’ng-suk).  He knew the late leader Kim Jong Il (1941-2011) and his sister Kim Kyong Hui (Kim Kyo’ng-hu’i) when they were small children.  His official career began at the Kanggye General Tractor Plant, a leading DPRK arms manufacturer in Chagang Province, during the Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War).  During the 1950s and 1960s Jon Pyong Ho held a series of industrial and political management positions at munitions factories under the DPRK Cabinet.  He also held concurrent positions in the WPK Organization Guidance Department where he worked to consolidate Kim Il Sung’s command and control over munitions production.

Until the early 1970s the research, development and production of convention and advanced weapons in the DPRK was dispersed among a series of Cabinet, KPA and WPK factories and research institutes.  Holding the position of deputy (vice) director of the WPK Machine-Building Industry Department and alternate (candidate) membership on the WPK Political Bureau, Jon was instrumental in consolidating these production and research sites under one central authority, the WPK Second Economy Commission (WPK Second Economic Committee).  Jon became a member of Second Economy Commission and served as its Director-General throughout the 1970s.  He was elected a full member of the WPK Central Committee at the 6th Party Congress in October 1980.  In 1982 he was appointed Chairman of the Second Economy Commission and deputy to the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] .  Throughout the 1980s Jon supervised the DPRK’s acquisition of numerous weapons systems, as well as sales to foreign countries.  He was elected WPK Secretary for Munitions Industries and Director of the WPK Munitions Industries Department (Machine-Building Industry) in 1986.  In 1988, he was elected a full member of the WPK Political Bureau.

Jon Pyong Ho's death announcement as published in the 9 July 2014 edition of Rodong Sinmun.

Jon Pyong Ho’s death announcement as published in the 9 July 2014 edition of Rodong Sinmun.

In 1990, Jon Pyong Ho was elected a member of the DPRK National Defense Commission and appointed Director of the WPK Military Policy Inspection Department.  In 1994, as the DPRK prioritized military spending and arms production over the development of the civilian economy, Jon was appointed Director of the WPK Economic Policy Inspection Department.  He was a member of the funeral committee for DPRK President Kim Il Sung in July 1994.  In 1998 he was elected a member of the Party Central Military Commission [CMC].  Jon was also a member of the Three Person Committee, a group of key policymakers involved in macroeconomic planning focused on allocating resources for arms production.  During the 1990s Jon led negotiations and arrangements for the DPRK’s acquisition of centrifuge and enrichment technology and expertise from Pakistan.

In 2010, Jon vacated his positions at the top of the DPRK’s military industrial complex.  At the 3rd Party Conference on 28 September 2010 Jon retained his membership on the WPK Political Bureau, however he was replaced as WPK Secretary, WPK Central Committee Department Director and CMC Member.  In 2010 he assumed the position of Political Director of the DPRK Cabinet and Chief Secretary of the DPRK Cabinet WPK Committee.  In 2011 he was replaced by Pak To Chun as a member of the NDC.  Jon Pyong Ho continued to make occasional public appearances and was a member of the funeral committee organized for Kim Jong Il in December 2011.  In 2012 Jon Pyong Ho retired all of his political positions and was appointed honorary curator of the KPA Museum of Weapons and Equipment.

Jon Pyong Ho was born into a hard scrabble life to an itinerant farming family in Chagang Province in 1926.  He was a diligent student and studied in the DPRK Russia. He completed graduate coursework in mechanical engineering.  Jon was a savvy operator and manager in the DPRK’s political culture and a talented writer.  He was a consensus-builder among his colleagues in the DPRK’s military industrial complex, had a calm demeanor and was reportedly pleasant in both social and professional interactions.  Several of Jon’s children and in-laws work in the party and government.

KCNA’s obituary of Jon Pyong Ho

 

Pyongyang, July 9 (KCNA) — General of the Korean People’s Army Jon Pyong Ho, honorary curator of the KPA Museum of Weapons and Equipment, died of acute myocardial infraction at 19:00 on July 7, Juche 103 (2014) at the age of 88.

Jon was a veteran revolutionary who devoted his all to the victory of the revolutionary cause of Chuch’e true to the So’ngun (Military-First) leadership of the party and the leader.

Born into a poor peasant’s family in Jonchon County of Jagang Province on March 20, 1926, he grew up to be an able official under the loving care of the party and the leader after the liberation of the country and devoted all his life to the defence industry.

From October 1945 he served in the guards company under the loving care of President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and anti-Japanese war hero Kim Jong Suk (Kim Cho’ng-suk). He bravely fought to protect the headquarters of the revolution at the cost of his life from the desperate moves of the enemies inside and outside the country.

Working as a process engineer, department chief and chief engineer of a munitions factory from September 1952 to July 1970, he made a positive contribution to ensuring the munitions production in the wartime and hastening the victory in the Fatherland Liberation War.

He devotedly worked to defend the sovereignty of the country and the gains of the revolution by thoroughly implementing the line of simultaneously developing the economic construction and defense capabilities laid down by the President.

Holding the posts of vice department director, department director and secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea from August 1970 and director of the Political Bureau of the Cabinet and chief secretary of its Party Committee from June 2010 to March 2012, he made a special contribution to turning the KPA into the powerful elite revolutionary army equipped with modern offensive and defensive means and converting the DPRK into a satellite producer and launcher and a nuclear weapons state and devoted himself to carrying out the WPK’s line and policy of economic construction.

Working as honorary curator of the KPA Museum of Weapons and Equipment from May 2012, he devoted all his wisdom and enthusiasm to the work for conveying the undying revolutionary exploits the peerless great persons of Mt. Paektu performed in the field of defence industry to the posterity.

He worked as alternate member, member of the C.C., the WPK and as alternate member and member of the Political Bureau of the C.C., the WPK from November 1970 to April 2012.

He was elected a deputy to the 7th Supreme People’s Assembly and worked as a deputy until the 12th SPA. He worked as a member of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK for a long period.

He was awarded high state orders and citations including two Orders of Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and Order of Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il), the highest orders of the DPRK, the title of Twice Hero of the DPRK and the title of Labor Hero for the distinguished feats he performed for the party and revolution, the country and its people.

An obituary of Jon Pyong Ho was released in the joint name of the Central Committee of the WPK and the National Defence Commission of the DPRK on July 7.

It said that though Jon passed away, the exploits he performed on behalf of the party and revolution and the country and its people will shine long.

The Central Committee of the WPK and the NDC of the DPRK announced that the late Jon would be accorded a state funeral, and formed a funeral committee with supreme leader Kim Jong Un as its chairman and 88 officials including Kim Yong Nam, Pak Pong Ju and Hwang Pyong So as its members.

 

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).

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