Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 4 September (Tuesday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (Ri So’l-chu) visited families who reside at the Ch’angjon Street Apartment Complex in central Pyongyang. KJU’s last reported public appearance was his attendance at a concert by the Korean People’s Army [KPA] Brass Band. KJU and RSJ’s visit to the Ch’angjon Street apartments was similar to visits made by members of the country’s central leadership in early July. He toured the apartments before sitting and talking with the residents and presenting housewarming gifts. KJU’s first visit was to the apartment of Sim Tong Su and his wife, where sit with the Sim and his wife. He presented them with several housewarming gifts. According to KCNA, at the end of visiting with the Sim Family, Kim Jong Un said, “This is a worthwhile visit.”
KJU and RSJ then visited the family of Pak Sung Il and Jang Sun Nyo. After talking with Pak, his son and other family members, KJU initiated a toast. After the toast, according to KCNA, Ri Sol Ju “presented the dishes personally cooked by her and let the children taste them and kindly taught how to prepare them.” Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol Ju’s final visit was to Mun Kang Sun and his wife, who are both textile workers. According to KCNA the couple was married in May. KJU talked with Mun and his wife about their plans to have children and according to KCNA, “he laughed a hearty laugh, hearing their wishes to get a son and a daughter who will resemble her mother, hero weaver.” KJU toasted the couple and gave them housewarming presents.
The first leg of his visit was the family of Sim Tong Su, teacher at Pyongyang University of Mechanical Engineering who lives in flat no. 1 on the second floor from the first entrance of Neighborhood Unit 1 of Jongro-dong in Changjon Street.
The new apartment houses in Changjon Street are the ones to which leader Kim Jong Il paid deep attention from sites to designing and building, he said, adding if he were alive, he would visit them before any others.
After looking round every room, he sat down on the floor of the room unreservedly and had a talk with family members.
He kindly asked them if they liked the new flat, saying he wished to visit apartment houses after being told by senior officials that all settlers liked their new flats and at last spared time to come there. He said he was pleased to hear the family members like everything not only the structure of the flat but its furniture.
Saying that it is a custom of Koreans to visit a new house with a box of matches, he added he brought with him household articles as he could not come there with a match box alone.
I have brought with me “Collections of World Famous Juvenile Stories”, he said, asking them to keep them well and hand them over to grandsons to be born. It is not good for eyes if one watches a wide-screen TV from a short distance, he noted. He cheerfully laughed when watching the family members pleased to see a set of vessels.
When he asked them if they have only daughters, he was pleased to hear that a son is now serving in the Korean People’s Army.
Learning that the wife is a teacher at a secondary school and all her daughters are teachers, he said with satisfaction that they are a family of educationists.
Devotion and sincerity of teachers are not to be seen now just as the roots of a big tree are not seen but they will find their manifestation when their students will contribute to the prosperity of the country when grown up, he said, noting this family is a patriotic one devoting itself to bringing up the rising generation of the country. This is a worthwhile visit, he added.
Wishing the family members success in their future work, he offered a toast to them with his loving care before having a photo taken with them.
The next leg of his visit was the family of Pak Sung Il, a worker of the City Beautification Office in Central District, who is residing in Flat No. 2 on the second floor.
Taking hands of the family members greeting him with great excitement, he asked them about their jobs. He entered the room, pleased to hear that all of the family members are workers.
He took deep care of their living down to all details as their real father would do. He unreservedly sat down with them who settled in a modern flat with all amenities and had a talk with them.
Taking on his lap the second son of Pak Sung Il and patting him on his cheek, he asked him to which school he goes, how old he is and asked Pak if he had only one son.
He said it was pity to hear that his first son, a third-year student of a secondary school, had not yet come back from school.
He entered a living room and a study room for children. When seeing a painting drawn by the second son, he kindly taught what should be done to finish the painting.
Pak said he could not believe after moving to the flat that it was their flat as they had lived in a single-room flat in the past and now they have a five-room flat. Hearing that the flat is very nice as it is furnished with all kinds of high quality furniture, Kim Jong Un said he was pleased that the masters of the flat liked it.
It is the socialist system in the DPRK that the interests of the people are placed above everything else and all the policies of the party and the state are enforced to serve the people, he said, adding with deep emotion how greatly Kim Jong Il would be pleased if he had seen this reality.
After receiving greetings offered by the first son back home very late, he was very glad to see him and kindly asked him where he had been to.
Being told by him that he came back from a football group training, he heard about his determination to become a football player in the future and hoped his wish would come true.
Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju also offered toasts to Pak Sung Il and his wife and presented them with gifts.
Ri Sol Ju presented the dishes personally cooked by her and let the children taste them and kindly taught how to prepare them.
Kim Jong Un had a picture taken with Pak Sung Il-Jang Sun Nyo family, wishing them happiness in the new flat.
He visited the newly wed family of labor hero Mun Kang Sun, a worker of the Kim Jong Suk Pyongyang Textile Mill, residing in flat No. 1 on the first floor.
After being told that they had a wedding ceremony in May last and received a new flat two months later, he asked with smile if they are happy and how many babies they wish to have in the future.
He laughed a hearty laugh, hearing their wishes to get a son and a daughter who will resemble her mother, hero weaver.
Hearing the workers’ family say words fail to describe how nice their new flat is, he said, adding he feels easy about at the apartment houses in Changjon Street as all people like them so much.
He offered toasts to the newly wed couple, had a picture taken with them and gave them household articles as souvenirs.
Before leaving the flat, he kindly took the hands of the couple with tears rolling down their cheeks, he wished them happiness, adding that he would come to see a baby any time when he passes Changjon Street.