North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Kim Jong Un Conducts Field Inspections of Two KPA Units

Kim Jong Un (front row, 11th L) poses for a commemorative photograph with members of KPA Unit #552. Also seen in this image are KWP Deputy Department Directors Kim Pyong Ho (front row, 6th L), Hwang Pyong So (front row, 7th L) and VMar Choe Ryong Hae (front row, 6th R) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

DPRK state media reported on 6 August (Monday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) conducted a field inspection of elements of Korean People’s Army [KPA] Unit #552.  KJU’s last reported public appearance was his visit to the Combined Stock Farm in the Ungok area of South P’yo’ngan Province.  The field inspection began with a photo-op and a small ceremony at which he presented an assault rifle and a pair of binoculars.  Kim Jong Un was briefed about the unit’s training, political education/indoctrination and the inventory and maintenance of its munitions and equipment.  According to KCNA, “he underlined the need to pay primary attention to politico-ideological education, noting that military service is like finishing a course of a revolutionary university.  He called for exerting efforts for strengthening the revolutionary education and class education as well as moral education, in particular, so that soldiers may successfully play their roles in society.”

Kim Jong Un (R) shakes hands with officers of elements of KPA Unit #552 after arriving for his field inspection of the unit. (Photo: KCNA)

Kim Jong Un salutes a woman service member of KPA Unit #552 after presenting her with an assault rifle during an arrival ceremony (Photo: KCNA)

Kim Jong Un also toured the kitchen, mess hall and the unit’s bean farm.  During his inspection, he visited an all-women company who gave a brief concert.  According to KCNA, at the end of the inspection, KJU “expressed the expectation that the commanding officers and soldiers would join efforts to establish strong army discipline and fully demonstrate the combatant spirit and appearance as the most elite powerful revolutionary army.”  At his inspection, Kim Jong Un was accompanied by VMar Choe Ryong Hae (chief of the KPA General Political Department [bureau]), VMar Hyon Chol Hae (Senior Deputy [1st Vice] Minister of the People’s Armed Forces and director of the KPA General Logistics Department), Col. Gen.  Jon Chang Bok and Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] deputy (vice) department directors Kim Pyong Ho and Hwang Pyong So.  Also in attendance with KJU was his wife Ri Sol Ju (Ri So’l-chu); this marked Ri’s first reported public appearance at a field inspection of a KPA unit.

Kim Jong Un reads educational materials during his inspection of KPA Unit #552. Seen behind him L is VMar Choe Ryong Hae, director of the KPA General Political Department (bureau) (Photo: KCNA)

Kim Jong Un (L) talks with women service members of KPA Unit #552, whilst inspecting living quarters (Photo: KCNA)

KCNA reports:

He warmly waved back to the enthusiastic cheers of its service personnel.

He gave them a pair of binoculars and an automatic rifle as gifts and had a photo session with them, expressing expectation and belief that they would defend the very dear socialist country as firm as an iron wall.

He acquainted himself with the performance of the unit’s duty and looked round the room for commanding the duty, special study room, etc.

He received a report that the sub-unit is preparing its officers and soldiers as all-round fighters capable of performing any difficult combatant duties assigned to them.

He said that the commanding officers should acquire capability to make a prompt analysis and decision on combat situation and create favorable circumstances.

He underscored the need to find out anything required for rounding off combat preparedness and take thorough measures and minutely modify and supplement combat documents so that all soldiers may be well versed in their combat duties.

Noting that unexpected circumstances may be created in a modern warfare frequently and all of a sudden, he underlined the need to be well informed about the enemy to beat him by a Juche-oriented war method.

He then acquainted himself with the management of combat and technical equipment.

He learned with deep attention about whether combat and technical equipment are always maintained in such a way as to fully display their efficiency under any difficult circumstances.

He went round a mess hall and non-staple food store of the sub-unit.

The sub-unit is included in the list of those units which did bean farming well last year, he said, adding it is good to regularly provide every soldier with at least 200g of bean every day. He called for doing bean farming well this year, too.

He visited a company of women soldiers under the sub-unit.

Kim Jong Un tours a mess hall during his field inspection of elements of KPA Unit #552 (Photo: KCNA)

He looked round an education room, their bedroom, wash-cum-bath room and other places of the company to take deep care of their living.

He underlined the need to pay primary attention to politico-ideological education, noting that military service is like finishing a course of a revolutionary university.

He called for exerting efforts for strengthening the revolutionary education and class education as well as moral education, in particular, so that soldiers may successfully play their roles in society.

He watched an art performance given by soldiers of the company at the resting place.

Members of an all-woman company under KPA Unit #552 give an art performance during Kim Jong Un’s field inspection of the unit. Photo: KCNA)

Kim Jong Un (seated, front row 2nd L) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (seated, front row, L) watch a performance by an all-women company under KPA Unit #552 (Photo: KCNA)

He was very pleased to watch it, saying they are very good in their ideological and mental qualities and they do not allow any evil idea to come into their minds. That is why we say Songun culture is good, he added.

Walking the compound of the barracks reminiscent of a park, he praised the sub-unit for sprucing them up well as required by the Songun era.

He expressed the expectation that the commanding officers and soldiers would join efforts to establish strong army discipline and fully demonstrate the combatant spirit and appearance as the most elite powerful revolutionary army.

He was accompanied by KPA Vice Marshal Choe Ryong Hae, director of the KPA General Political Bureau, KPA Vice Marshal Hyon Chol Hae, first vice-minister of the People’s Armed Forces, KPA Col. General Jon Chang Bok and Hwang Pyong So and Kim Pyong Ho, vice-department directors of the C.C., the WPK.

Kim Jong Un greets members of KPA Air and Anti-Air Force Unit #1017. (Photo: KCNA-Yonhap)

DPRK state media reported on 7 August (Tuesday) that Kim Jong Un conducted a field inspection of KPA Air and Anti-Air Forces [KPAF] Unit #1017, which has the title of O Jung Hup-led 7th Regiment.  Part of this inspection included KJU supervising the unit’s training exercises.  After the training exercises, he said, “that the sky over the country will always be blue and safe thanks to the reliable pilots firmly defending the inviolable territorial air of the socialist country as an impregnable fortress.”  He met with the pilots who participated in the exercises and then inspected part of Unit #1017’s air fleet.  According to KCNA, KJU said that, “pilots and maintenance personnel should take good care of the planes, precious hardware in defending the socialist country, and ensure flight at a moment’s notice.”

Kim Jong Un (L) supervises the flight training of KPA Air and Anti-Air Forces Unit #1017. Also seen in attendance (2nd L) behind him is Gen. Ri Pyong Chol, commander of the KPA Air Force and a member of the Party Central Military Commission. In the foreground R is KJU’s wife Ri Sol Ju (Photo: KCNA-Yonhap)

Kim Jong Un also “expressed great expectation and belief that the servicepersons of the unit will put spurs to rounding off the combat preparedness to firmly safeguard the sky over the country.”  KJU was accompanied by VMar Choe Ryong Hae, VMar Hyon Chol Hae and KWP deputy department directors Kim Pyong Ho and Hwang Pyong So.  His wife, Ri Sol Ju also attended the field inspection.

During his field inspection he was greeted and accompanied by Gen. Ri Pyong Chol (Ri P’yo’ng-ch’o’l), commander of the KPA Air Force.  DPRK state media reported that Gen. Ri and a KPAF delegation departed for the Russian Federation on 7 August (Tuesday); Gen. Ri visited Russia with Kim Jong Il in August 2011.

KCNA reports:

He was greeted on the spot by KPA Air Force General Ri Pyong Chol, commander of the air and anti-air forces of the KPA, and other commanding officers of the unit.

He received a salute before mounting the commanding post.

After receiving the report about the training program, he guided the flight training there.

At the balcony of the commanding post, he watched for a long time the training of pilots.

He praised the pilots for doing the training well, saying that the sky over the country will always be blue and safe thanks to the reliable pilots firmly defending the inviolable territorial air of the socialist country as an impregnable fortress.

He stressed the need to train them as death-defying corps in sky and able combat pilots capable of skillfully coping with modern warfare.

He met with the pilots who took part in the training and encouraged them.

He went to the runway and looked around planes.

The pilots and maintenance personnel should take good care of the planes, precious hardware in defending the socialist country, and ensure flight at a moment’s notice, he said.

He expressed great expectation and belief that the servicepersons of the unit will put spurs to rounding off the combat preparedness to firmly safeguard the sky over the country.

He was accompanied by KPA Vice Marshal Choe Ryong Hae, director of the KPA General Political Bureau, KPA Vice Marshal Hyon Chol Hae, first vice-minister of the People’s Armed Forces, and Hwang Pyong So and Kim Pyong Ho, vice department directors of the Central Committee of the WPK.

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