North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

KJI Birthday Commemorated

Ku'msusan Memorial Palace was the setting of a meeting of the KPA and renaming ceremony on 16 February 2012 (Photo: KCNA)

On 16 February (Thursday) Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) and other members of the central leadership commemorated what would have been Kim Jong Il’s official 70th birthday at Ku’msusan Memorial Palace.  The main event was a renaming ceremony whereby Ku’msusan was renamed Palace of the Sun, in advance of displaying KJI’s remains once the preservation process is complete.  Speaking at the ceremony were SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam and Chief of the KPA General Staff Ri Yong Ho.  Kim publicized the decision to rename the palace, while Ri spoke about the political loyalty of the Korean People’s Army [KPA].   After the speeches, a cavalcade of MLRS, armored personnel carriers, towed missiles, KPA personnel and members of the Worker-Peasants’ Red Guard processed through Ku’msusan Plaza.

KCNA reports:

Kim Yong Nam, Choe Yong Rim, Ri Yong Ho, Kim Kyong Hui, Kim Yong Chun, Kim Jong Gak, senior party, state and army officials, commanders of the KPA services and arms, officials of the party, armed forces, power bodies, social organizations, ministries and national institutions, men and officers of the Korean People’s Army and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces, officials in the fields of science, education, culture and arts, public health and media, persons of distinguished services and labor innovators also attended.

Present there on invitation were overseas Koreans including the delegation of the Koreans in Japan for commemorating the Day of the Shining Star and the chief of the Pyongyang mission of the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front, diplomatic envoys and representatives of international organizations and members of military attaches corps here.

They observed a moment’s silence for Kim Jong Il.

A joint decision of the Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the DPRK National Defence Commission, the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People’s Assembly and the DPRK Cabinet was made public to rename the Kumsusan Memorial Palace the “Kumsusan Palace of the Sun”.

A ceremony of the service persons of the three services of the KPA followed.

All the participants paid highest respects to the portrait of smiling Generalissimo Kim Il Sung and the portrait of smiling Generalissimo Kim Jong Il, the founder and builder of the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK.

A 21 gun-salute boomed amid the playing of “Song of General Kim Il Sung” and “Song of General Kim Jong Il”.

Chief of KPA General Staff Ri Yong Ho, member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the C.C., the WPK, made an address.

He, reflecting the iron faith and will of the KPA, the army of the President and Kim Jong Il and the army of the Supreme Commander, pledged to share the destiny with the party forever even though the earth might break down, the sky fall and the land collapse.

Then the portrait of smiling Kim Jong Il entered the plaza, escorted by columns of colors.

Columns of the units of the three services of the KPA marched by, carrying flags of the Supreme Commander, the WPK and the military to the tune of music of a brass band.

Kim Jong Un held his hand to salute them.

The columns of multiple launch rocket system, missiles and armored cars passed through the plaza.

At the end of the march, he waved back to the enthusiastic, cheering masses.

A view of the rostrum in front of Ku'msusan Memorial Palace on 16 February 2012 (Photo: KCNA)

Political Bureau Presidium Member and Chief of the KPA General Staff, VMar Ri Yong Ho (5th L) delivers a keynote address at a meeting of the KPA service branches on 16 February 2012 (Photo: KCNA)

A BTR rolls through Ku'msusan Plaza at a meeting commemorating Kim Jong Il's birthday on 16 February 2012 (Photo: KCNA)

Prior to the KPA meeting and naming ceremony, KJU along with members of the central leadership and a variety of DPRK elites visited a portrait of KJI mounted on marble in one of Ku’msusan’s reception rooms.  Among the elites who queued up were the inaugural recipients of the Order of Kim Jong Il, including his widow Kim Ok.

Kim Jong Un stands in front a portrait of Kim Jong Il inside Ku'msusan Memorial Palace

A woman who resembles Kim Ok (R), KJI's last known wife and a manager at the National Defense Commission, looks at a portrait of KJI after bowing to the image with other DPRK elites on 16 February 2012

KCNA reports:

Accompanying him were Kim Yong Nam, Choe Yong Rim, Ri Yong Ho, Kim Kyong Hui, Kim Yong Chun, Kim Ki Nam, Choe Thae Bok, Yang Hyong Sop, Kang Sok Ju, Jang Song Thaek, Kim Jong Gak, Kim Yang Gon, Kim Yong Il, Pak To Chun, Choe Ryong Hae, Thae Jong Su, Kim Phyong Hae, Mun Kyong Dok, Ju Kyu Chang, U Tong Chuk and Kim Chang Sop, officials of the C.C. and the Central Military Commission of the WPK and the DPRK National Defence Commission, staff members of the KPA Supreme Command, commanding officers of KPA large-combined units, chief secretaries of the provincial committees of the WPK, and leading officials of ministries and national institutions.

The chief of the guards of honor of KPA three services and the Worker-Peasant Red Guards made a salute to the portrait of smiling Generalissimo Kim Jong Il.

Seen before the portrait was a floral basket in the joint name of the Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the WPK, the DPRK National Defence Commission, the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly and the Cabinet of the DPRK.

Written on the ribbons of the floral basket were letters reading “The great leader Comrade Kim Jong Il is immortal”.

Kim Jong Un, together with senior party, state and military officials, paid deep respects to Kim Jong Il in humble reverence while looking up to his portrait.

 

An image of Kim Jong Il's office building is projected during this song performance at a concert commemorating his birthday (Photo: KCNA)

Kim Jong Un and the central leadership also attended a birthday concert, given by the U’nhasu Orchestra.  Yonhap reports:

The new leader attended an orchestra concert, apparently held on Friday, along with top members of the ruling elite, according to Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency.

“Kim Jong-un waved to the enthusiastically cheering audience. The audience observed a moment’s silence in memory of Kim Jong-il in the humblest reverence,” KCNA said.

“Its performers represented the unbounded yearning and reverence of the service personnel and the people for Kim Jong-il who laid an eternal foundation for the prosperity of the country and its people’s happiness, undergoing for decades all sorts of sufferings which nobody else in this world has ever experienced,” it said.

On Friday (17 February) members of the central leadership congregated at the Mokran House for “a splendid reception.”  Like the unveiling ceremony of the Kim equestrian statuary at Mansudae Art Studio, neither Kim Jong Un nor Kim Kyong Hui were reported to have attended this event.  Among the named banquet attendees were “staff members of the Political Bureau.”  The last known mention of Political Bureau staff was at a similar banquet commemorating the party’s official anniversary on or around 11 October 2011, which was the same time KJI was dictating his “behests.”

Present there were Kim Yong Nam, member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the C.C., the WPK and president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK, Choe Yong Rim, member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the C.C., the WPK and premier, Ri Yong Ho, member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the C.C., the WPK and chief of the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army (KPA), Kim Yong Chun, member of the Political Bureau of the C.C., WPK and vice-chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission and minister of the People’s Armed Forces, Kim Ki Nam and Choe Thae Bok, members of the Political Bureau and secretaries of the C. C., the WPK, Yang Hyong Sop, member of the Political Bureau of the C.C., WPK and vice-president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, Ri Yong Mu, member of the Political Bureau of the C.C., WPK and vice-chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission, O Kuk Ryol, member of the C.C., WPK and vice-chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission, Kang Sok Ju, member of the Political Bureau of the C.C., WPK and vice-premier of the Cabinet, Jang Song Thaek, alternate member of the Political Bureau of the C.C., the WPK and vice-chairman of the National Defence Commission, Kim Jong Gak, alternate member of the Political Bureau of the C.C., the WPK and first vice-director of the General Political Bureau of the KPA, Kim Yang Gon, Kim Yong Il, Pak To Chun and Choe Ryong Hae, alternate members of the Political Bureau and secretaries of the C.C., the WPK, Kim Rak Hui, alternate member of the Political Bureau of the C.C., WPK and vice-premier of the Cabinet, Thae Jong Su and Kim Phyong Hae, alternate members of the Political Bureau and secretaries of the C.C., WPK, Mun Kyong Dok, alternate member of the Political Bureau and secretary of the C.C., the WPK and chief secretary of the Pyongyang City Committee of the WPK, Ju Kyu Chang, alternate member of the Political Bureau and department director of the C.C., the WPK, U Tong Chuk and Kim Chang Sop, alternate members of the Political Bureau of the C.C., the WPK, and staff members of the Political Bureau of the C.C., the WPK, members of the C.C., the WPK, members of the Party Central Military Commission, leading officials of the NDC and armed forces organs, officials of ministries and national institutions, men and officers of the KPA and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces and others.

Ri Yong Ho made a speech there.

He said it was the greatest honor of the service personnel and people of the DPRK and the great fortune of Kim Il Sung’s nation that they have lived and made revolution, holding Generalissimo Kim Jong Il in high esteem as the sun of their destiny and their father.

The army and people of the DPRK will always remember Generalissimo Kim Jong Il who performed the undying feats on behalf of the times and history as a human being, revolutionary and the people’s father, he noted, and continued:

The history of Kim Jong Il’s Songun revolutionary leadership is given steady continuity thanks to the dear respected Kim Jong Un.

The world will clearly see what historic miracles Songun Korea will perform under the leadership of Kim Jong Un after letting Kim Jong Il lie in state.

At the reception a performance was given by artistes of the Wangjaesan Art Troupe.

A large loyalty rally of DPRK students and youths was held at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang on 14 February 2012 (Photo: KCNA)

Meanwhile, earlier this week, the Kim Il Sung Youth League and Korean Children’s Union conducted several events including initiation ceremonies, study tours and regional meetings.  On Tuesday (14 February), the KISYL held a mass loyalty rally for Kim Jong Un at KIS Stadium:

Speeches followed a report by Ri Yong Chol, first secretary of the Central Committee of the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League.

The reporter and speakers said Kim Jong Il was born in Mt. Paektu, a holy mountain of revolution, being possessed of all personalities and qualities as befitting a great man. He wisely led the army and people of the DPRK till the last moments of his life, thereby performing undying feats on behalf of the era and history, they added.

They recalled that the fatherly General strengthened the league into the ranks of vanguard going with the August name of President Kim Il Sung and wisely led it so that it can creditably fulfill its mission and role as reliable political reserves of the Party.

They called upon all youths to uphold Kim Jong Il as an eternal sun of Songun Korea for all ages and materialize his lifelong desire.

They vowed to take the lead in the drive for realizing the Workers’ Party of Korea’s strategy for the prosperity of the country upholding the flame of Hamnam, keeping in mind his priceless aphorism that youths are prime-movers who make the whole country alive.

They appealed to hold high the torch of revolution bequeathed by Kim Jong Il and be loyal to Kim Jong Un and accomplish the revolutionary cause of juche, the cause of songun revolution, loudly singing “Korean Youth March”.

Attending the meeting were Choe Thae Bok, Choe Ryong Hae, officials concerned and those of the youth league and youth and students here.

Similar meetings took place in each city and county of the DPRK.

Members of the Kim Il Sung Youth League at loyalty rally on 14 February 2012 (Photo: KCNA)

While senior officials attended the central report meeting for KJI’s birthday on Wednesday, earlier that day the Korean Children’s Union held its own national meeting at the Taekwando Hall in Mangyo’ngdae.  In 2011, some KCU-related events were held outside Ku’msusan Memorial Palace.

Attending the meeting were representatives of the KCU from all provinces, schoolchildren in Pyongyang and pupils joining it.

Present there on invitation were Choe Thae Bok, Yang Hyong Sop, Choe Ryong Hae, Mun Kyong Dok and officials concerned, officials of party organs and the youth league in

Pyongyang, war veterans and persons of merit.

Ri Yong Chol, first secretary of the C.C., the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League, in his report said that Kim Jong Il who always paid deep attention to the work for bringing up successors to the revolution led the KCU members to make long journeys for the songun revolution under the leadership of the party.

The reporter called on all KCU members to actively learn from the glorious childhood and youthhood of Kim Jong Il to study hard and sincerely take part in their organizational life and thus establish sense of organization and discipline to prepare themselves as pillars of songun Korea.

Then followed an admission ceremony of the KCU.

Led by Choe Ryong Hae, secretary of the C.C., the Workers’ Party of Korea, pupils admitting the KCU took an oath.

Officials, war veterans and persons of merit put red ties around their necks and pinned KCU badges on their chests.

Congratulatory speeches were made by Pak Chan Su, lecturer at the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, Pang Sung Son, principal of Pyongyang Secondary School No. 1, and Labor Hero and People’s Sportswoman Jang Kyong Ok.

The speakers told them to hold father Kim Jong Il in high esteem forever and become genuine KCU members intensely loyal to the dear respected Kim Jong Un.

Synchronized swimmers performing a routine at an exhibition titled "Yearning Will Last Forever" at Ch'angkwang Health Complex in central Pyongyang on 15 February 2012 (Photo: KCNA)

2 comments on “KJI Birthday Commemorated

  1. Pingback: KJI Birthday Commemorated | Korea Watch

  2. Brad Howard
    02/19/2012

    This is a fascinating video. It appears to be video footage from Kumsusan edited into footage from another location (Mirim?)

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