Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 2 March 2012 (Friday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) inspected what KCNA identifies as the Korean People’s Army’s [KPA] “Strategic Rocket Force Command” northeast of Pyongyang between Kangdong and So’ngch’o’n Counties. Reported to be in attendance were VMar Ri Yong Ho (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Gen. Pak Jae Gyong, Ri Jae Il (Senior Deputy Director, Party Propaganda and Agitation Department) and Hwang Pyong So (Deputy Director, Party Organization Guidance Department).
He was greeted by commanding officers of the command.
After receiving a salute, he looked round the monument to the on-the-spot instructions of President Kim Il Sung and the monument to the field guidance of leader Kim Jong Il, conducted by commanding officers.
He made the rounds of military targets, the room for the study of military affairs and military lecture rooms to acquaint himself with the unit’s performance of duty, training and normal combat preparedness.
He expressed great satisfaction over the fact that the unit has conducted dynamic trainings for firmly arming its service personnel with the WPK’s Juche-oriented idea of military strategy and tactics and war methods after successfully building a room for study of military affairs and military lecture rooms meeting the need of a modern warfare and a drill ground for undergoing trainings under the simulated conditions of an actual battle.
He praised the unit for having in place apparatuses helpful to sufficiently giving education with the help of vivid visual aid, education combined with practice and education in actions and conducting effective trainings under the simulated conditions of a battle.
He told the service personnel of the unit to make thorough-going preparations for battles, aware that nothing is more important for the army whose mission is to protect the destiny of the country and the nation with arms than making preparations for battles, and reduce the citadel of the enemy to a sea in flames by merciless firing strikes if it goes into action.
He went round an education room, bedroom and wash-cum-bath house of the company honored with the title of twice three-revolution red flag under the unit and its mess hall and daily provision store.
He looked round the Unjong Health Complex built by the unit itself.
He had pictures taken with the servants of the complex and the service personnel of the unit separately.
He planted memorial trees together with service personnel of the unit.
He planted Picea Koraiensis and Magnolia Kobushi which he had brought with him in the place where the monument to the on-the-spot instructions of Kim Il Sung and the monument to the field guidance of Kim Jong Il are standing.
He underlined the need for the KPA to plant and cultivate more trees around its units to turn the areas where they are stationed into pleasure grounds and recreation centers.
During his inspection of the rocket command, Kim Jong Un, the members of the central leadership who accompanied him and the unit commanders, planted trees in observation of the country’s tree-planting day on 2 March. This presented the opportunity for Pyongyang image makers to recreate another “generation after generation” image.
This inspection was Kim Jong Un’s first public appearance since the 29 February 2012 announcement that the DPRK would suspend nuclear and long-range missile testing in exchange for US-provided nutritional assistance. KJU’s inspection occurred after the DPRK issued another statement (through the KPA Supreme Command) threatening “sacred war” against South Korea. Yonhap reports:
The latest harsh rhetoric comes despite cautious optimism following a nuclear deal between North Korea and the United States. It also came hours after South Korea’s point man on North Korea urged Pyongyang to accept Seoul’s recent offers for talks.
The North claimed Friday that a South Korean army unit in the western port of Incheon scrawled unspeakable defamatory words below portraits mocking the North’s leaders carelessly hung on walls and doors.
The Supreme Command of the Korean People’s Army warned in a statement that it “will indiscriminately stage its own-style sacred war to wipe out the group of traitors.”
The North’s “sacred war with main emphasis on physical attack” would continue until all acts hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership of the North are brought to an end, according to the statement carried by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.
North Korea has recently ratcheted up verbal threats against South Korea over its ongoing military exercises with the U.S. that Pyongyang says are rehearsals for a northward invasion.
A South Korean military unit in Incheon posted two photos of North Korea’s late leader Kim Jong-il and his youngest son, new leader Kim Jong-un, inside a building with a sign that read “let’s kill Kim Jong-un,” according to local media.
Defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said in Seoul that it is “very inappropriate” for the North to issue a threat, noting Seoul did not protest any of the North’s slandering. He also said the North’s warning is “not worthy of a response.”
North Korea has frequently called South Korean President Lee Myung-bak a “traitor” for having aggravated inter-Korean ties.
The North has bristled at any outside criticism of its leader and has made similar verbal threats against the South for leaflets over the past several months, although no actual attack has occurred.
Also revealed in the same Yonhap report was the construction of a new statue of Kim Jong Il, which will stand in front of the Museum of the Korean Revolution on Mansu Hill next to the one of Kim Il Sung. There have been several reports of both DPRK citizens and foreign delegations bringing flowers to pay respect to the KIS Statue on Ryongnam Hill near KIS University, most recently railway officials visiting the country to attend a regional meeting of the Organization of Railways Cooperation.
Koryo Tours’ Hannah Barraclough writes:
A new statue of Kim Jong Il on a horse was unveiled at Mansudae Art Studio on the 15th Feb. It has been placed alongside the one already existing there of Kim Il Sung on a horse. It also appears that they are making a new large statue of Kim Jong Il which will go on Mansu Hill next to the one of Kim Il Sung there which is currently covered up. This is expected to be completed by April. Nick and I visited this new statue but we were unable to get any photos – you can see images here though