Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
The Korean Workers’ Party is officially sixty-four years old. Perhaps the 12 October missile tests were a commemoration not only of the KWP, but its steadfast support for songun chongch’i. The KWP subsidized a fireworks display held around East Pyongyang near the Party Founding Monument. Floral baskets were placed in front of Kim Il-sung statues in Pyongyang and the provinces, Workers’ Organizations’ art groups entertained, and titles (Order of KIS, Labor Hero) were passed out. On Friday, Kim Jong-il attended a concert at Mansudae Art Theater featuring some of his favorite domestic singing groups–the Mansudae Art Troupe, Unhasu Orchestra and the pop-classical Samjiyon Band. Samjiyon Band (a spin-off of the Mansudae Art Troupe) is one of the DPRK’s music groups that entertains General-Secretary Kim at the banquets and dinner parties he hosts at his residences. There is neither photography nor video of General-Secretary’s appearance, but I will look for the next installment of the monthly Guidance Tour films where previous theater appearances have turned up. Finally, SPA Presidium President Kim Yong-nam, Premier Kim Yong-il and NDC Vice Chair/Minister of the PAF VMAR Kim Yong-chun lead a group of senior Party and State officials on a political education re-fresher course through the Party Founding Museum. Nice to see Kim Yong-nam in the role of note taker for a change.
On Monday morning, it was back to business when Rodong Sinmun called for heroism among the North Korean population on the newly launched labor mobilization effort, the 100-Day Campaign (was the missile test the starting gun on this?). And not to pick nits, but if this is about building a “strong and prosperous state” for 2012, wouldn’t it make more sense to just launch a 900-Day Battle Campaign and be done with it?