Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Following up two visits to Korean People’s Army [KPA] units, DPRK media reported on 22 January (Sunday) that KPA Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited KPA Unit #671. Yonhap reports:
North Korea’s new leader Kim Jong-un made yet another visit to a military unit, his fifth this month, according to a state media report Sunday, as the young successor tries to consolidate his power after the death of his father Kim Jong-il.
Kim visited the Command of Large Combined Unit 671 and “waved back to the enthusiastically cheering service personnel” before having his photo taken with them, the official (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
“He stressed the need to further improve the command and management of the unit and establish steel-like military discipline through the concerted efforts of the commanding officers and soldiers and thus fully demonstrate the militant spirit and appearance as the most elite revolutionary forces,” KCNA said.
“He expressed his expectation and belief that the servicepersons of the large combined unit would display the heroic mettle in the sacred service to defend the country,” it continued.
The report marked the fifth visit Kim has made to a military unit this month and suggests the young leader, believed to be in his late 20s, is seeking to solidify his grip on power in a nation where military backing is considered the backbone of the country’s autocratic rule.
Kim rose to power last month after his father Kim Jong-il died on Dec. 17.
He was accompanied by CMC Members Gen. Kim Myong Kuk and Gen. Kim Won Hong, as well as his uncle, NDC Vice-chairman Jang Song Taek. Jang Song Taek’s last public appearance was his attendance of a music and dance performance at the 25 April House of Culture, which was reported on 9 January.