North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Kim Jong Un Attends Banquet and Concert Commemorating Military-First Anniversary

Members of the DPRK central leadership attend a banquet jointly hosted by the Party Central Military Commission and the National Defense Commission commemorating the 52nd anniversary of songun leadership (Photo: KCNA)

DPRK state media reported that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) attended a banquet and concert commemorating the 52nd anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s military-first (songun) leadership. According to the country’s official chronicles the songun era commenced on 25 August 1960 when a youthful Kim Jong Il inspected the Ryu Kyong Su 105thTank Division.  Kim Jong Un’s last reported public appearance was his field inspection of the Persimmon Company subordinate to Korean People’s Army [KPA] Unit #4302.  KJU attended the banquet, jointly hosted by the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Central Military Commission and the DPRK National Defense Commission [NDC] escorted by his wife Ri Sol Ju (Ri So’l-chu).  According to KCNA, when Kim and Ri entered the banquet hall, “all the participants enthusiastically welcomed them.  They extended highest glory and warmest thanks to the Supreme Commander, who is inspecting the eastern sector of the front to decisively frustrate the enemies’ frantic moves for a new war, shouldering upon himself the destiny of the country and the nation.”  Attending the banquet were “officials of the Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the WPK and the NDC of the DPRK, commanding officers of the ground, naval, air and anti-air and strategic rocket forces of the KPA and commanders of combined units in the eastern sector of the front.”

Members of the central leadership in attendance at the commemorative banquet: 1. Jang Song Taek 2. VMar Kim Yong Chun 3. Kim Kyong Hui 4. VMar Choe Ryong Hae 5. Ri Sol Ju 6. Kim Jong Un 7. VMar Hyon Yong Chol 8. VMar Kim Jong Gak 9. Gen. O Kuk Ryol (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

During the banquet, Kim Jong Un delivered a speech prior to a round of toasts.  According to KCNA, in his remarks, KJU said, “The U.S. and the south Korean puppet army are staging large-scale war drills for aggression targeted against us even with forces of their allies involved, posing a grave threat to our security.  During my inspection of units on the forefront in the southwestern sector of the front I already issued an order to the KPA to keep itself highly alerted against the reckless moves of the enemies and follow them with high vigilance. If the enemies fire even a single shell on our inviolable territory and territorial waters, the KPA should deal prompt deadly blows at them and the whole army should turn out as one and lead the battle to an all-out counter-offensive for accomplishing the great cause of national reunification. I issued this order to the whole army and examined the operational plan for implementing it and finally signed it.”

Kim Jong Un delivers a speech during a banquet commemorating the 52nd anniversary of military-first (songun) leadership (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

KCNA reported a gist of Kim Jong Un’s banquet speech:

Songun all his life, built up an invincible military power and provided the might of the great unity between the army and people to be envied by the whole world and thus placed the dignity of the country and its people on the highest level in the history of the nation. These exploits will remain shining forever, he stressed.

He, reflecting the unanimous desire of all the service personnel of the KPA and people, paid highest tribute and extended eternal glory to Kim Jong Il, who dedicated himself to Songun journeys for patriotic devotion to the country and its people, burning his heart with warmth and love for them all his life.

“I am pleased to be amongst you comrades-in-arms in the eastern sector of the front on this significant day at a time when the enemies are busy with provocative drills for a war of aggression under our nose,” he said, and continued:

“August 25, along with April 25, is a historic day to go down in the history of the building of our revolutionary armed forces and the history of our country. The might of the KPA proud of being a powerful revolutionary army of Mt. Paektu with tremendous capability and the dignity of our country, a world-class military power and a full-fledged nuclear weapons state, would be unthinkable without this day.

It is the firm determination and will of the Workers’ Party of Korea to defend the security of the country and the gains of revolution and build a reunified thriving nation on this land, tightly holding the arms of Songun provided by Generalissimo Kim Jong Il with so much effort, making journeys for the Songun revolutionary leadership all his life.

The U.S. and the south Korean puppet army are staging large-scale war drills for aggression targeted against us even with forces of their allies involved, posing a grave threat to our security.

During my inspection of units on the forefront in the southwestern sector of the front I already issued an order to the KPA to keep itself highly alerted against the reckless moves of the enemies and follow them with high vigilance. If the enemies fire even a single shell on our inviolable territory and territorial waters, the KPA should deal prompt deadly blows at them and the whole army should turn out as one and lead the battle to an all-out counter-offensive for accomplishing the great cause of national reunification. I issued this order to the whole army and examined the operational plan for implementing it and finally signed it.

The courageous officers and men of the KPA, upon receiving this order, occupied their battle positions to cope with the reckless moves of the U.S. and the south Korean puppet forces and are now waiting for a final order for charge for a life-and death-battle against the enemies.

There is a limit to our patience.

‘Counter a provocation with a prompt counterattack and a war of aggression with a great, just war for national reunification!’ This is our principled stand and steadfast will.

We will not remain an onlooker to the enemies’ frantic moves for aggression but make every possible effort to protect the destiny of the country and the nation.

It is the truth proved by history that no force on earth can overpower the people who are all out for the cause of justice.

If another war breaks out on this land due to the U.S. and the south Korean puppet forces’ intolerable actions, though we do not want it, the war will only bring a shameless doom to them and our great nation will greet a new bright day of national reunification.

Only victory and glory will be in store for us advancing under the uplifted immortal banners bearing portraits of the great Comrade Kim Il Sung and Comrade Kim Jong Il with broad smile on their face.

Availing myself of this meaningful opportunity, I would like to renew once again the firm resolution to steadfastly and invariably keep to the path of Songun traversed by Comrade Kim Jong Il, arms in arms and shoulder to shoulder with you, for our country and revolution.”

A rosy future is in store for the Korean people, he said, calling for holding more tightly the arms of revolution to protect their happiness and safety and the dignity of the power of Mt. Paektu.

Kim Jong Un proposed a toast to the final victory of the revolutionary causes of Juche and Songun pioneered by Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il and led by them successfully, to the health of the commanders and commanding officers of combined units present and all servicepersons and to the victorious advance of the powerful revolutionary army of Mt. Paektu.

Members of the central leadership attend a concert by the Moranbong Band commemorating the 52nd anniversary of military-first leadership (Photo: KCNA)

Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol Ju also attended a concert by the Moranbong Orchestra.  Also in attendance were VMar Choe Ryong Hae, VMar Hyon Yong Chol, Kim Kyong Hui and her husband Jang Song Taek, VMar Kim Jong Gak, VMar Hyon Chol Hae, Gen. Kim Won Hong, Gen. Ri Myong Su, Gen. O Kuk Ryol and Col. Gen. Kim Chang Sop.

Members of the central leadership attending the Moranbong Band’s concert. 1. Gen. Ri Myong Su 2. VMar Hyon Chol Hae 3. Kim Kyong Hui 4. VMar Choe Ryong Hae 5. Ri Sol Ju 6. Kim Jong Un 7. VMar Hyon Yong Chol 8. Jang Song Taek 9. VMar Kim Jong Gak 10. Gen. Kim Won Hong (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

According to KCNA, “The performers made an impressive artistic representation of the fact that it was thanks to the great exploits of Kim Jong Il who protected the destiny of the country and the nation and glorified socialist Korea as an invincible power with his Songun politics that there are the great tradition and heritage for carrying forward the cause of the Songun revolution, the basic blood vein of Kim Il Sung’s Korea.  The performance made the stage and auditorium prevail with enthusiasm and joy as it was characterized by a good harmony in all elements for musical representation and replete with revolutionary and militant spirit.”

Moranbong Band performance during the commemorative concert (Photo: KCNA)

KCNA reports:

Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army Kim Jong Un, first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and first chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, who is inspecting the eastern sector of the front, enjoyed together with KPA service personnel a field performance given by the Moranbong Band to celebrate the August 25, the 52nd anniversary of leader Kim Jong Il’s start of the Songun revolutionary leadership.

Marshal Kim Jong Un appeared in auditorium together with his wife Ri Sol Ju.

Among the audience were senior party and army officials including Choe Ryong Hae, Hyon Yong Chol, Kim Kyong Hui, Jang Song Thaek, Kim Jong Gak, Hyon Chol Hae, Kim Won Hong, Ri Myong Su, O Kuk Ryol and Kim Chang Sop, commanding officers of the ground, naval, air and anti-air and strategic rocket forces of the KPA, commanders of the combined units in the eastern sector of the front, airmen and soldiers of the Kamnamu Company (a company under persimmon trees).

The performance began with the playing of the national anthem. Put on the stage were such colorful numbers as light music and song “Victors”, light music “Look at Us”, female quartet “You Are Mother”, and female sextet “We Sing of Party”.

The performers made an impressive artistic representation of the fact that it was thanks to the great exploits of Kim Jong Il who protected the destiny of the country and the nation and glorified socialist Korea as an invincible power with his Songun politics that there are the great tradition and heritage for carrying forward the cause of the Songun revolution, the basic blood vein of Kim Il Sung’s Korea.

The performance made the stage and auditorium prevail with enthusiasm and joy as it was characterized by a good harmony in all elements for musical representation and replete with revolutionary and militant spirit.

When female sextet “Song of Coastal Artillery Women” was presented, the soldiers of the above-said company mounted the stage and joined the performers in singing the song, strikingly demonstrating their stamina to deal retaliatory sledge hammer blows at the U.S. imperialists and the south Korean puppet forces getting frantic in their war drills to block the advance of the DPRK.

The Supreme Commander recognized familiar soldiers of the company and showed his thumb in appreciation of their singing. He extended warm congratulations to the dynamic and optimistic soldiers.

Their repertoire also included new songs such as female solo and pangchang “Golden Cushion”, female quartet “Let’s Dash Ahead toward Morrow” and female duet and pangchang “Let’s Become Roots”.

The performance reached its climax when female solo and pangchang “Ardent Wish”, a new song reflecting the mind of all servicepersons and people wishing for the good health of Kim Jong Un, who is making a long journey of field guidance to KPA units, was presented and his benevolent image was projected on the screen.

The performance ended with female sextet “Our Leader Loved by People”.

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