Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 2 July (Tuesday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) inspected the Pyongyang Hosiery Factory and the Children’s Department Store in Pyongyang. KJU’s last reported public appearance was his inspection of recreation facilities on Rungna Island and a visit to the construction of the Breast Cancer Research Institute at Pyongyang Maternity Hospital. At his visit to hosiery factory and children’s shop, according to KCNA, KJU was accompanied by his uncle and National Defense Commission Vice Chairman Jang Song Taek, Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Department Director of Light Industry Pak Pong Ju, KWP Senior Deputy (1st Vice) Department Director of Propaganda and Agitation Ri Ch’ae-il and KWP Deputy Department Director Ryang Chong Song. Based on some recent observations in DPRK media and external media reporting on KJU’s activities, it is highly likely KJU was also joined by his younger sister and close aide, Kim Yo’-cho’ng.
According to Japan-based Radiopress, Kim Jong Un made 81 reported visits during the first six months of 2012. 40 of KJU’s appearances were linked to the Korean People’s Army [KPA]. Citing Radiopress, Kyodo reported that “the remaining 41 cases in the January-June period involved inspections to factories, amusement parks and other locations, as well as attendance to arts’ performances.” Based on Radiopress’ calculations, KJU was most often escorted by Jang Song Taek, at 61 events. Second and third to Mr. Jang were VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the KPA General Political Department) and VMar Ri Yong Ho (Chief of the KPA General Staff) who both serve as Vice Chairmen of the Party Central Military Commission.
KCNA reports on KJU’s visit to the hosiery factory:
The first leg of his guidance was the Pyongyang Hosiery Factory.
The factory visited by leader Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un on December 10, 2010 is a large modern hosiery producer.
During his field guidance to the factory, Kim Jong Il set forth the task to expand the hosiery production capacity and increase its production to 20 million pairs from 10 million pairs.
In hearty response to his noble intention the officials and other workers of the factory built a modern men’s hosiery shop with a capacity of 10 million pairs, which went operational, besides the women’s hosiery shop with a capacity of 10 million pairs.
Kim Jong Un went round the room devoted to the history of the factory.
Standing before a photo of Kim Jong Il providing field guidance to the factory, he recollected with deep emotion the day when he visited the factory, accompanying Kim Jong Il.
Noting that Kim Jong Il paid special attention to the factory, Kim Jong Un said Kim Jong Il would have been pleased more than any others if he had received a report that its production capacity was expanded.
Going round the women’s hosiery shop and the newly built men’s hosiery shop, he acquainted himself in detail with their technological equipment and production there.
Holding a pair of socks and drawing them up, he said that their quality are good and socks would not fall.
Very good is the performance of the packing machine the factory produced by itself and is using, he noted, praising Jo Su Gyong, a researcher of Pyongyang University of Mechanical Engineering, for the success in developing it.
Seeing the trademark “Choljjuk”, he noted that packing and trademark are very important and properly putting a trademark on any product would ensure its high value as a commodity. He underlined the need for the field of industrial art to perseveringly push forward the work to improve trademarks.
At the sample room he was pleased to see a variety of hosiery of beautiful colors, adding that people would like them. Seeing children’s hosiery, he told officials about pictures children like. There should be such trademarks, he added.
He called on the officials and workers of the factory to achieve great achievements in production and supply greater quantities of quality hosiery to the people, not forgetting the efforts made by Kim Jong Il for the development of the factory.
Only when manual work is totally eliminated in production processes, is it possible to boost the production with less labor force, he said, underscoring the need to positively realize automation and robotization, rationally organize labor and thus continue expanding production achievements.
Kim Jong Un also toured the Children’s Department Store in central Pyongyang. KCNA reports:
The next leg of his guidance was the Children’s Department Store.
He looked round various places of the store from the ground floor to the second floor to learn in detail about varieties of goods, quality and service plan.
He dropped in at the school things counter and learnt in detail about the quality of crayon, ball pen, mechanical pencil and other stationeries, drawing papers and notebooks. He gave precious instructions for the production and supply.
He asked about where the bicycles for children were made.
Watching balls hanging from the counter wall, he said it would be convenient for children to choose them in baskets.
Looking at varieties of peculiar playing apparatuses at the indoor playing ground, he said with a broad smile on his face that children would like to come to play there and when adults would visit the department store with children, they would come to the playing ground first.
On the first floor he underlined the need to arrange counters in a rational way as befitting the children’s department store. It would be nice to additionally set up counters selling toys helpful to the children’s intellectual development including those for picture puzzle.
At the underwear and rainbow-striped garment counters he underscored the need to pay deeper attention to producing and supplying goods sufficiently, not content with displaying them at the counters.
He learned in detail about smartness and quality of children’s footwear including high boots and taught one by one the notation of shoe sizes.
Seeing goods displayed at the rhythmic toys, cosmos hairpins, sports apparatuses and flower counters, he clarified issues arising in further improving the quality, shapes and colors of goods, etc. as required by the new century.