North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Culture Minister Appointed

Filmmakers and cast members of A Promise in Pyongyang, a feature film co-produced by DPRK and Chinese studios, attend a preview of the film at Taedongmun Cinema in Pyongyang on 27 June 2012 (Photo: KCNA)

State Film Commission Chairman and April 25 Film Studios’ chief Hong Kwang Sun has been appointed Minister of Culture in the DPRK Cabinet.  Yonhap News Agency reported on 27 June (Wednesday) that Hong was identified as the DPRK’s cultural minister in an essay he wrote in Wednesday’s edition of  Rodong Sinmun.  According to Yonhap, “in the article

Outgoing Minister of Culture An Tong Chun speaks at a Kimilsungia/Kimjongilia ceremony in February 2010

Hong praised Kim (Jong Un) for dedicating everything to bring happiness and prosperity to the communist country.”  Hong’s career has progressed since Kim Jong Un emerged publicly as Kim Jong Il’s successor in 2010.  In September 2010 Hong was the leading official of the Pyongyang International Film Festival.  During the 3rd Party Conference on 28 September 2010, he was elected an alternate (candidate) member of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Central Committee.  In October 2010 he delivered the keynote speech at the Pyongyang premiere of Brotherhood, a DPRK-produced feature on the entry and participation of the Chinese People’s Volunteers in the Korean (Fatherland Liberation) War.  Hong Kwang Sun was also a member of Kim Jong Il’s Funeral Committee, ranked #151 in the committee list disseminated on 19 December 2011.  Hong replaces former novelist An Tong Chun, who had been appointed cultural minister in January 2010.

News of Hong Kwang Sun’s cabinet appointment occurred as the DPRK unveiled a preview of Promise in Pyongyang on Wednesday.  The feature film is a co-production with a Chinese studio.  Hong was not present at the preview, according to KCNA, but it was attended by his vice-minister, Pak Chun Nam, various DPRK filmmakers and officials, as well as, “members of the Chinese film delegation headed by Tong Gang, director of the film management bureau of the Chinese State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, Ambassador Liu Hongcai and staff members of the Chinese embassy here, Chinese people staying in the DPRK and Chinese students studying here.”

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June 2012