North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

KWP’s 66th Birthday

The Korean Workers’ Party turned 66 on 10 October (Monday).  A delegation of senior party, army and government leaders visited the Kumsusan Memorial Hall, to pay their respects to Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-song).  Concerts and dance parties were held in Pyongyang and the provinces.  DPRK elites and citizens visited KIS statues to offer floral tributes.  Due to ongoing construction in the Mansudae area in Pyongyang, floral tributes to the KIS Statue have been moved to the campus of KIS University.

KIS University President and Minister of Higher Education, Song Ja Rip (R) places a floral bouquet at the foot of the KIS statue on the university's campus on the 66th anniversary of the Korean Workers' Party (Photo: KCNA)

KCNA reports that Pyongyang had “a festive mood”:

Streets are decorated with WPK and national flags, red banners and placards reading “Celebration of October 10” and “Great Party, Motherly Party.”

Many people visit statues of President Kim Il Sung on Ryongnam Hill and in other places of the city with floral baskets and bunches in their hands.

The Party Founding Museum and the Party Founding Memorial Tower are crowded with people.

Through the visit they learn more about the feats the President performed in founding the WPK and developing it into a popular party based on the working masses.

The Mansudae Art Troupe, National Symphony Orchestra and other art troupes are busy with preparations for celebration performances.

Mass media have introduced feats of the three commanders of Mt. Paektu — President Kim Il Sung, leader Kim Jong Il and anti-Japanese war hero Kim Jong Suk — in party building and party activities, as well as achievements made by the Korean people in socialist construction.

Pyongyangites participate in a dancing party on the plaza in front of Pyongyang Indoor Statdium (Photo: KCNA)

The Lao Embassy in the DPRK hosted a reception on 8 October (Saturday) to commemorate the KWP’s anniversary, as well as the recent visit to the DPRK by Lao President Choummaly Sayasone.  CC KWP Secretary and Director of International Affairs, Kim Yong Il (Kim Yo’ng-il) attended the event on behalf of the central leadership.

Chaleune Warinthrasak said in his speech at the reception that the friendly relations between Laos and the DPRK provided by Kaysone Phomvihane and President Kim Il Sung have a long history.

The current meeting between Choummaly Sayasone and leader Kim Jong Il was a great event in boosting the bilateral relations, he noted.

The Lao party, government and people will make positive efforts to boost the relations between the two countries.

Kim Yong Il noted in his speech that the meeting between Kim Jong Il and President Choummaly Sayasone served as a historic event which demonstrated the vitality of the friendly and cooperative relations between the DPRK and Laos.

He referred to the positive struggle waged by the Lao people to defend the socialist gains, consolidate the people’s democratic system and strengthen the state power as a whole.

Kim Jong Il received an anniversary message from embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad:

The message said: Allow me to extend heartfelt congratulations, on behalf of the leadership of the Baath Arab Socialist Party, the Syrian Arab people and myself, to you, the leadership of the WPK and the fraternal Korean people on the 66th birthday of the WPK. And please accept my best wishes for successes of you and members of the leadership of your party in their work as well as for the Korean people’s progress and prosperity.

I, availing myself of this good opportunity, would like to express belief that the friendly and cooperative relations between Syria and the DPRK will continue to grow stronger in the interests of the peoples of the two friendly countries.

Kim Jong Il has yet to take the time celebrate the party’s 66th anniversary.  Having returned from a brief excursion to South Hamgyo’ng, he has conducted several on-the-spot-guidance tours north of and east of Pyongyang.  After visiting a synthetic leather factory in P’yo’ngso’ng, a daily necessities factory in Raknang, Pyongyang, and the Central Tree Nursery  north of the capital city, KJI inspected a “newly built” factory that produces solar equipment.  During last year’s party anniversary, KJI ferried his successor and son, Kim Jong Un, through several events, including a KPA parade in KIS Square.  Last year’s anniversary included a visit by PRC senior official Zhou Yongkang.  Despite a lack of senior Chinese officials visiting the DPRK for this year’s party anniversary, PRC support for the country remains strong.  Tokyo Shimbun reports that the two countries will hold joint search-and-rescue (SAR) exercises in the West Sea (Yellow Sea) some time next year.

A 10 October 2011 KCTV image of Kim Jong Il visiting a solar equipment factory near Pyongyang. Also seen in attendance is NDC Member and director of the party's 2nd Machine-Building Industry Department, Ju Kyu Chang (R) (Photo: KCTV-Yonhap)

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