North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Kim Jong Un Visits Air Force Unit #378 (Corrected)

KPA Supreme Commander and acting chairman of the Party Central Military CommissionKim Jong Un (2nd L) looks at foodstuffs at a mess hall of KPA Air Force Unit #378, conducted by KPA Air Force Commander Gen. Ri Pyong Chol (2nd R) (Photo: KCNA, Yonhap)

Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) conducted an inspection and supervised the flight training of Korean People’s Army [KPA] Air Force [KPAF] Unit #378, which was reported by DPRK media on 27 January.  He was accompanied by Jang Song Taek (National Defense Commission [NDC] Vice Chairman, KPA General, etc.), Pak To Chun (NDC Member and Party Secretary), Gen. Kim Myong Kuk (Party Central Military Commission [CMC] Member and chief of the General Staff Operations Bureau), Gen. Kim Won Hong (CMC Member and chief of the Military Security Command), Gen. Pak Jae Gyong (Deputy Director of the KPA General Propaganda Department and Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces) and Gen. Ri Pyong Chol (CMC Member and commander of the KPA Air Force).

Members of the central leadership applaud while watching the Western Area Aviation Club. Behind Kim Jong Un (L-R) are: Gen. Kim Myong Kuk; Gen. Pak Jae Gyong; Pak To Chun; Gen. Jang Song Taek; and Gen. Kim Won Hong (Photo: KCNA)

Jong Un previously visited the same unit and observed its exercises in December 2011, when he accompanied Kim Jong Il who was seemingly on a farewell inspection tour of KPA units.  His visit was reported one day after ROK Marines participated in live fire artillery exercises on two islands near the Northern Limit Line [NLL] that were shelled by the KPA on 23 November 2010.  The visit also occurred after it was announced that the annual Key Resolve joint US-ROK military exercises would be staged for two weeks beginning on 27 February.

KCNA reports:

After receiving a salute, he acquainted himself with the unit’s performance of guard duty and guided the flight training of pilots.

Watching the bold and dynamic performance by pilots, he, his face beaming with a broad smile, praised them for their success in training.

He congratulated all the pilots on their success in training, expressing great satisfaction with the fact that they have prepared themselves to be competent fighter pilots by undergoing dynamic flight training in a state of high alert, bearing deep in mind that training precisely means combat.

No enemy dares intrude into Songun Korea, our country is standing high as an invulnerable bulwark and socialist fortress and the sky above it will always remain clear and blue as its territorial air is being defended by the dependable and proud pilots, he said.

Then he went round a bedroom, mess hall and lecture rooms of the pilots of the sub-unit under the unit.

The stars of the color badge the commanding officers are bearing are not a symbol of any treatment but an expression of trust in the responsibility they have assumed before the country and the revolution, he noted, saying that if they do not know the weight of the stars, they cannot claim they have qualifications as commanding officers.

He called upon the commanding officers to think of the party’s particular trust reflected in the stars even when they face difficulties in rounding off their combat preparations and settling the issue of the soldiers’ living and to run and run till the soles of their boots are worn out, not forgetting the trust.

He gave the leading members and staff members of the Supreme Command accompanying him the tasks to be fulfilled to finish the combat preparations of the People’s Army.

He had a photo session with the service personnel of the unit. Then he took hands of the commanding officers of the unit and told them to conduct training better in good health.

Members of KPA Air Force Unit #378 pose for a commemorative photograph with Kim Jong Un (14th L) (Photo: KCNA-Yonhap)

Members of KPA Air Force Unit #378 pose for a commemorative photograph with Kim Jong Un (7th L). Also in attendance from the central leadership are: Gen. Pak Jae Gyong (3rd L); Gen. Ri Pyong Chol (4th L); Gen. Kim Myong Kuk (4th R); Gen. Kim Wo'n-hong (3rd R); Pak To Chun (2nd R); Jang Song Taek (R) (Photo: KCNA-Yonhap)

Before his visit to KPA Air Force Unit #378, KJU’s last reported public appearance was viewing a demonstration by the Western Area Aviation Club.  KCNA reports:

He watched a demonstration of wireless control model gliders and highly praised players of the aviation club for showing well the aviation technique they have acquired in their day-to-day training.

Model glider game is one of the air sports events requiring rich engineering knowledge and high technique, he said, calling for widely organizing popular model glider matches giving people a wealth of knowledge, burning passion and strong aspiration to reach higher.

He watched a demonstration by parachutists.

Watching with keen interest if participants in the match for accurate group dropping on the designated zone successfully perform their duties, he sent applause, congratulating them whenever high points were shown on the electronic displayer.

He was satisfied to see the participants in the group acrobatic dropping game dropping in formations in a brief span of time under difficult conditions.

Model glider match and parachuting match are spreading worldwide along with the rapid development of air technique, he said, underlining the need to further develop the air sports as required by the songun era in order to demonstrate the dignity and honor of the country with gold medals in international tournaments and prepare the school youth and children and working people fully enough to actively contribute to labor and national defence.

At the end of matches, he met players and highly praised all of them for parachuting well.

Once again praising all the players for exhibiting a high level of air sports technique, he had a photo session with them.

After being told that the aviation club has couples of parachutists, he invited couples Jon Chol Gu and Kim Song Sim and Kim Hyong Jun and Kang Hye Sim to stand by him and had a picture taken with them again.

He expressed expectation and conviction that the coaches and players in the field of air sports including the above-said aviation club would positively contribute to further developing the nation’s air sports.


Mangyo'ngdae Revolutionary School (Photo: Google image)

Kim Jong Un’s also visited Mangyo’ngdae Revolutionary School on the occasion of the Lunar new year.  He was accompanied by school alums VMar Kim Yong Chun (NDC Vice Chairman and Minister of the People’s Armed Forces) and Gen. Hyon Chol Hae (Director of the NDC Standing Committee [Presidium]) as well as Gen. Pak Jae Gyong, Ri Jae Il (Deputy Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department) and Col. Gen. Hwang Pyong So (Deputy Director Organization Guidance Department).  KCNA reports:

He approached the students with tears in their eyes and patted their red cheeks. He warmly took their hands, kindly asking why they did not wear gloves in such cold weather.

He went round the statue of President Kim Il Sung standing at the school.

The President and leader Kim Jong Il paid deep attention to the students of the school to train them as a backbone of the revolution, always thinking of them, he said.

Noting that the students of the school are the precious treasures of the revolution as they will always take the lead in upholding the Songun revolutionary leadership of the WPK, he underlined the need to train them as men strong in faith always sharing the destiny with the Party just as their fathers and mothers did.

He made the rounds of the room for education in the revolutionary history and the room devoted to the history of the school.

Standing before the uniforms of students, he said the red bands on sleeves carry profound meanings. He earnestly told them not to forget the noble desire of the great persons of Mt. Paektu reflected in them.

He went round different lecture rooms and laboratories having modern educational environment and scientific and educational facilities under the care of the WPK to learn in detail about the education at the school.

He looked round the bedrooms of students, mess hall, children’s union room and youth league room to learn about their living.

He urged the school to conduct educational work well so that all its students may steadfastly succeed to the revolution, not forgetting their origin.

Walking the compound of the school after dusk fell, he asked about what kind of turf was put on the playground. He said he would send good turf to the school and kindly proposed covering outdoor basketball and volleyball courts with rubber mat.

He moved to the gymnasium, telling officials to look round everything despite pressure of time. Feeling the floor with his hand, he said it was necessary to smoothen it better so that the students may not have their knees hurt while exercising. Underlining the need to build the gymnasium better, he said he would send designers.

At an e-library, he saw with keen attention students using computers and took measures for the operation of the computer network.

At their hall he sat on a chair used by them and said it was built well. He learned in detail about its acoustic conditions.

Noting that his visit to the school made him feel as if he had come to his birthplace, adding it offered him an opportunity to renew his determination to carry the revolution to completion.

He set forth important tasks which would serve as guidelines for the education and management of the school having a noble mission to bring up a backbone force, core force which will steadfastly succeed to the Korean revolution.

Kim Jong Un greets students of Mangyo'ngdae Revolutionary School (Photo: KCNA-Yonhap)

Kim Jong Suk (Kim Cho’ng-suk), mother of Kim Jong Il and wife of Kim Il Sung, was featured prominently in the school’s historical exhibition.  She took an interest in the administration of the school’s early days, when it was located outside the city, and attended school events.  Her last surviving child and the Mangyo’ngdae Family’s invisible member, Kim Kyong Hui is most certainly busy as she has neither been reported nor observed in DPRK media since early January.  Meanwhile, the party’s publicity apparatus released a 20 minute film of Jong Un’s visit to the school.  The Associated Press released selected highlights of the film which can be viewed here.  Urminzokkiri offers the entire video, if one is inclined toward Ri Chun Hui’s dulcet voiceover.

The video below might not be legal to access in some countries.

7 comments on “Kim Jong Un Visits Air Force Unit #378 (Corrected)

  1. Pingback: Kim Jong Un Visits Air Force Unit #378 | Korea Watch

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  4. Pingback: Kim Jong Un Visits Air Force Unit #378 (Corrected) | Korea Watch

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  6. Pingback: North Korean Economy Watch » Blog Archive » Kim Jong-un’s January 2011

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