Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
As DPRK 1st Deputy (Vice) Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan settled into his Beijing accommodation, DPRK media reported on 22 February that Kim Jong Un and Jang Song Taek visited a bullet factory and the Meari Shooting Gallery.
Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army Kim Jong Un, supreme leader of the Workers’ Party of Korea and people of the DPRK, provided field guidance to the Sporting Bullet Factory.
The factory, built in February of 1996 on the direct initiative of leader Kim Jong Il, produces sporting bullets for developing the defence sports.
There is in its compound the Meari Shooting Gallery conducive to the cultural and emotional life of the people.
Kim Jong Un first went round the sporting bullet production processes.
Going round chemical, physical and other laboratories and bullet production processes ranging from bullet material production to bullet assembling, he acquainted himself in detail with bullet production and technical specifications and performance of equipment.
In order to make good successes in shooting game, one of the defence sports events in which marksmen compete in hitting targets in different distances by use of various types of sporting guns, it is necessary to let marksmen shoot a lot, he said, adding that to this end the factory should mass-produce sporting bullets for marksmen.
In order to increase the production of sporting bullets and improve their quality, it is imperative to modernize the factory as required by the new century, he said, taking steps to do so.
Then he went round various places of the Meari Shooting Gallery including the indoor and outdoor shooting ranges to learn about its management and operation and service there.
He looked at the sporting gun which Kim Jong Il personally used when providing field guidance and viewed with deep attention the shooting platform, target board, viewing seats and others.
Personally firing a gun, he learned in detail about the concentration of the sporting bullets produced at the factory, luminous intensity and soundproofing at the shooting range.
He said that the good management and operation of the gallery constitute an important work for thoroughly carrying out the behests of Kim Jong Il on improving the cultural and emotional life of the people.
He underscored the need to update the factory in a short span of time and successfully rebuild the gallery as required by the songun era, setting forth specific tasks and ways to do so.
He was accompanied by Jang Song Thaek, alternate member of the Political Bureau of the C.C., the WPK and vice-chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission.
The phrases “gun barrel” and particularly “gun barrel youth” were utilized in political essays and editorials promoting Kim Jong Un’s succession, prior to his major public debut in September 2010. The training and practice of “defense sports” is routinely promoted in DPRK media to both civilians and Korean People’s Army [KPA] personnel. The DPRK received several medals in shooting at the World Military Games in Brazil during July 2011.
This was Kim Jong Un’s second reported public appearance since the Political Bureau announced on 20 February that the 4th Party Conference (Meeting of Party Representatives) would convocate in the middle of April. On 21 February KCNA reported that KJU inspected KPA Unit #842, which according to Yonhap is a missile command element in South P’yo’ngan Province.
He gave soldiers of the unit a pair of binoculars and an automatic rifle as gifts before having a photo session with its service personnel.
He first went round the room dedicated to the history of the unit.
After hearing detailed explanation about the organization and development of the unit, he saw photos of successive commanding officers of the unit and recollected with deep emotion the dedications and tireless efforts of President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il recorded in its history.
The unit could grow to be a-match-for-a hundred combat unit capable of beating back the enemy’s surprise attack at one blow under the wise leadership and deep care of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, he said.
Praising the unit for conducting effective education through the room dedicated to its history, he stressed the need for its service personnel to perform feats in the efforts to round off the preparations for combat and bolster its fighting capability, always keeping in mind the glorious history of the unit.
He went round military study rooms to acquaint himself with the combat preparations of the unit.
He was satisfied to learn that all the commanding officers and soldiers are preparing themselves as a-match-for-a hundred stalwart fighters capable of performing any difficult duties in modern warfare.
Looking with deep attention at combat operation plans and sand tables, he clearly indicated important tasks for exerting efforts for combat preparations in the light of the enemy’s scenarios for aggression, methods of combat actions and characteristics of arms equipment.
He set forth the tasks to be implemented by the unit, hearing a detailed report on the terrain of the area where it is stationed, defence theatre, combat and technical equipment and the deployment of forces.
Then he went round a service personnel’s hall, library and other facilities for ideological and cultural education to learn in detail how politico-ideological education is conducted among soldiers.
He once again noted with appreciation that the unit is conducting political education in a unique manner after successfully building facilities for ideological and cultural education as required by the characteristic features of its soldiers and all of them are leading an ample cultural and emotional life. He called for paying primary attention to the politico-ideological education at all times.
He took deep care of the living of the service personnel, making the rounds of a mess hall, kitchen, non-staple foodstuff store and other logistic facilities.
He was pleased to hear the resolution made by the commanding officers to successfully conduct combat and political training and make thorough preparations and thus turn the unit into today’s O Jung Hup-led 7th Regiment.
He took hands of commanding officers one by one, reluctant to part from him, and told them to visit the unit often, wishing them good health and success in their trainings.
He was accompanied by KPA General Pak Jae Gyong and KPA Lieut. General Ri Tu Song.