North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Kim Jong Un Attends Photo Op and Concert

Kim Jong Un (seated, 10th L) and members of the central leadership pose for a commemorative photo with war veterans visiting Pyongyang on the occasion of the 59th anniversary of “the victory in the Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War).” (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

DPRK state media reported on 30 July (Tuesday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) attended a commemorative photo session with veterans of the Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War).  His last reported public appearance was an inspection of the Ryugyo’ng Health Complex and the People’s  Open Air Ice Rink.  According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “expressed expectation and conviction that the war veterans would keep themselves in good health and pass on the younger generation as legacies the collectivism and popular heroism fully displayed by them in the war and thus encourage them to steadfastly carry forward the revolutionary cause of Juche, the revolutionary cause of military-first (Songun).”  The photo session was attended by nearly every member of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Central Committee Political Bureau, as well as veterans of the 88th Sniper Brigade Ri Ul Sol, Kim Chol Man and Hwang Sun Hui (widow of Ryu Kyong Su).

Kim Jong Un and members of the DPRK central leadership pose for a commemorative photograph with war veterans (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

KCNA reports:

Marshal Kim Jong Un, first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, first chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK and supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army, had a photo session with the war veteran delegates to the celebrations of the 59th anniversary of the victory in the great Fatherland Liberation War.

He warmly congratulated the war veterans who beat back the U.S. imperialists’ invasion in the hard-fought battles on which hinged the destiny of the country, honorably defended its freedom and independence and performed undying feats in the war under the guidance of the party and the leader.

He expressed expectation and conviction that the war veterans would keep themselves in good health and pass on the younger generation as legacies the collectivism and popular heroism fully displayed by them in the war and thus encourage them to steadfastly carry forward the revolutionary cause of Juche, the revolutionary cause of Songun.

Present there were Kim Yong Nam, Choe Yong Rim, Choe Ryong Hae, Hyon Yong Chol, Kim Jong Gak, Kim Kyong Hui, Jang Song Thaek, Pak To Chun, Kim Yong Chun, Kim Kuk Thae, Kim Ki Nam, Choe Thae Bok, Yang Hyong Sop, Ri Yong Mu, Hyon Chol Hae, Kim Won Hong, Ri Myong Su, O Kuk Ryol, Ju Kyu Chang, Ri Pyong Sam, Thae Jong Su and anti-Japanese war fighters including Ri Ul Sol, Hwang Sun Hui and Kim Chol Man.

Photo: Rodong Sinmun

Kim Jong Un (R) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (Ri So’l-chu) arrive for a concert of the Moranbong Band. The concert was “given. . . to celebrate the 59th anniversary of the victory in the Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War),” according to KCNA. (Photo: KCNA)

DPRK state media also reported on 30 July that Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju (Ri So’l-chu) attended a concert by the Moranbong Band, given to “celebrate the 59th anniversary of the victory in the Fatherland Liberation War.”  Attending the performance with KJU from the central leadership were VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Kim Kyong Hui (KJU’s aunt and KWP Secretary of Organization), Jang Song Taek (KJU’s uncle and Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission), Pak To Chun (KWP Secretary of Military and Machine-Building Industries), VMar Kim Yong Chun (Director of the KWP Civil Defense Department), Kim Ki Nam (KWP Secretary and Director of Propaganda and Agitation), Choe Tae Bok (KWP Secretary of Science and Education), Kim Yang Gon (KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Department), Kim P’yo’ng-hae (KWP Secretary and Director of Cadres’ Affairs), Kwak Pom Gi (KWP Secretary of Finance and Planning) and Mun Kyong Dok (Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang KWP Committee).  Also reported to be in attendance were “delegates of war veterans to the celebrations of the war victory day, artistes and university students in Pyongyang.”

Scene from a concert given by the Moranbong Band to commemorate the end of active hostilities of the Korean War (Photo: KCNA)

Kim Jong Un (2nd L) applauds during a Moranbong Band concert. Also in attendance is his wife Ri Sol Ju (L), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (2nd R) and KWP Secretary Kim Ki Nam (R) (Photo: KCNA)

According to KCNA, “when the female vocal sextet ‘Our Beloved Leader’ resounded with the image of tender-hearted Marshal Kim Jong Un taking care of the big family of the country and giving it happiness projected against the backdrop, the audience stood to give stormy applause.”  KCNA reports:

Kim Jong Un together with his wife Ri Sol Ju appeared in the auditorium.  The performance, which began with the playing of Patriotic Song, was given, divided into two parts–the historic process of the Fatherland Liberation War and joy of the war victory day.

Put on the stage amid the display of fireworks were colorful numbers such as light music and song “July 27, Our Victory-Day”, light music pieces “Star of General”, “To Decisive Battle” and “Advance and Advance”, female solo and pangchang “Song of Soldier”, female vocal duet “My Life”, female vocal trio “My Life and the Country”, female vocal sextet “Echo of War Victory”, light music and song “Are We Living Like in Those Days?”, light music “The Country Will Always Remember”, light music and song “Victors”, female vocal sextet “Masters of This Land Tell”, light music “Look at Us” and female vocal sextet “We Sing of the Party”.

The performers impressively showed that the war victory is the fruition of the Juche-oriented military idea, outstanding strategy and tactics and rare commanding art of President Kim Il Sung and is also the product of the might of close unity of the army and people of the DPRK around the party and the leader and their indomitable mental power.  Through the female vocal sextet “War Song of the Chinese People’s Volunteers” and theme song of Chinese TV Series “Mao Anying”, the performers gave a good artistic representation of the historic fact that armies and peoples of the two countries fought against the imperialists, their common enemy, at the cost of their lives.

The performers also played world famous songs including light music pieces “Chardash” and “Song of Gypsy”.

The audience gave ardent response whenever 11 performers and six singers showed genuine music world with high artistic skills.

When the female vocal sextet “Our Beloved Leader” resounded with the image of tender-hearted Marshal Kim Jong Un taking care of the big family of the country and giving it happiness projected against the backdrop, the audience stood to give stormy applause.

Kim Jong Un gave congratulations to the successful performance, waving back to the enthusiastically cheering performers and audience.

Present to see the performance were Choe Ryong Hae, Kim Kyong Hui, Jang Song Thaek, Pak To Chun, Kim Yong Chun, Kim Ki Nam, Choe Thae Bok, Kim Yang Gon, Kim Phyong Hae, Kwak Pom Gi, Mun Kyong Dok, delegates of war veterans to the celebrations of the war victory day, artistes and university students in Pyongyang.

Kim Jong Un (2nd R) and Ri Sol Ju (3rd R) applaud during the Moranbong Band concert. Also seen in attendance are VMar Choe Ryong Hae (R), VMar Kim Yong Chun (5th R) and Jang Song Taek (4th R) (Photo: KCNA)

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