Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported that Kim Jong Un and other members of the DPRK central leadership attended the opening of a butcher-cum-fish monger called the Mansugyo Meat and Fish Shop on Wednesday (25 April). Also in attendance with Kim Jong Un were Kim Kyong Hui, Jang Song Taek, VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Mun Kyong Dok, Kim Yong Nam, VMar Kim Jong Gak, Choe Yong Rim, VMar Ri Yong Ho, Kim Yang Gon, Kang Sok Ju, Yang Hyong Sop, Choe Tae Bok, Kim Ki Nam, Gen. Kim Kyong Ok and Gen. Kim Yong Chol.
The Mansugyo Meat and Fish Shop built on the bank of picturesque Pothong River in Pyongyang started its business on Wednesday.
The 3-storey shop covers 5 000 plus square meters.
Its ground floor has counters of fresh and frozen fish and processed fish while the first floor counters of meat including beef, pork, goose, turkey and quail and processed foodstuff.
The second floor has a restaurant serving steak.
The opening ceremony was held on Wednesday.
The dear respected Kim Jong Un appeared at the shop to congratulate its opening.
Attended there were Kim Yong Nam, Choe Yong Rim, Choe Ryong Hae, Ri Yong Ho and other senior party, state and army officials and officials concerned.
Looking round the interior of the shop, Kim Jong Un expressed great satisfaction with the solider builders having built the shop to be loved by the people.
He ardently said leader Kim Jong Il would have seen the shop with the highest service level.
He advanced tasks to manage and operate the shop.
He visited the shop construction site in January and indicated the orientation and ways for construction, underlining the need to provide the best convenience to the consumers.
Kim Jong Un’s presence at the ribbon cutting and tour of the premises established the shop’s opening as a #1 event. However, KJU was not observed cutting the ceremonial ribbon in front of the shop’s entrance; instead the ribbon was cut by his aunt, Kim Kyong Hui (party secretary for light industry) and Mun Kyong Dok, Pyongyang KWP Secretary, among others. This activity (or lack thereof) contrasts with his cutting the ceremonial ribbon to open the KPA Arms and Equipment Exhibition. This indicates that Kim Jong Un still has a passive public role on economic affairs, while retaining an active role in security and military matters.
With recent statements by the KPA Supreme Command excoriating and threatening South Korean political leaders, the prominent position of Gen. Kim Yong Chol at KJU’s side may incite queasiness in some Pyongyang watchers. Gen. Kim heads the Reconnaissance General Bureau, whose mission is anti-ROK military and intelligence operations.
Kim Jong Un was also reported as having attended a commemorative photo session with the personnel involved in the construction of the KPA Arms and Equipment Exhibition. The photo-op was KJU’s last reported public appearance. KCNA reports:
Kim Jong Un waved back to the soldier-builders enthusiastically cheering him, overcome with excitement, and extended a warm salute to them.
He warmly congratulated them and had a photo taken with them.
He repeatedly praised them for their laudable exploits, noting that they successfully built the exhibition as a gift to leader Kim Jong Il, greatly contributing to adding shine to the Songun revolutionary exploits performed by the great persons of Mt. Paektu, helping the service personnel of the KPA and people deeply grasp the history of the army of the WPK and thus encouraging them in their efforts to build a thriving socialist nation.
Kim Jong Un expressed belief that the solider-builders would make a positive contribution to the cause of building a thriving nation by fully displaying patriotic devotion and popular heroism in the defence of the country and socialist construction in the future, too.
Present at the photo session were senior officials of party and armed forces organs Choe Ryong Hae, Ri Yong Ho, Kim Jong Gak, Jang Song Thaek, Kim Yong Chun, Kim Ki Nam, Pak To Chun, Hyon Chol Hae, Kim Won Hong, Ri Myong Su, Ju Kyu Chang, Kim Chang Sop, Ri Pyong Sam, Choe Pu Il, Son Chol Ju, Pak Jae Gyong, Kim Yong Chol, Jo Kyong Chol, Yun Tong Hyon, Kim Su Hak and Ri Jae Il.