North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Kim Jong Un Visits Gym & Pyongyang Folk Park

Kim Jong Un (front, C) talks with an employee of the Physical Exercise Center on Tongil Street in east Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

DPRK state media reported on 7 September (Friday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n), escorted by his wife Ri Sol Ju (Ri So’l-chu), visited the construction of a gym on T’ongil Street in east Pyongyang, and the Pyongyang Folk Park.  KJU’s last reported public appearance was his visit to families residing in the Ch’angjon Street Apartment Complex in central Pyongyang.  KJU’s first visit was to the Physical Exercise Center on T’ongil Street which was “built according to the direct initiative and plan of Kim Jong Un who is always deeply concerned for the promotion of people’s health and living standard.”  In attendance were VMar Choe Ryong Hae, VMar Kim Jong Gak, Kim Kyong Ok, Pak T’ae-so’ng, Hwang Pyong So and Ma Won Chun.  He toured the gym’s workout rooms and looking at the equipment, stating his preference for treadmills and exercises bikes.  According to KCNA he remarked, “Apparatuses for running and cycling exercises are good . . .  if not only school youth and children but office workers who work in rooms all day long take exercises and receive medical treatment at the center, they can devote themselves to the revolutionary work in good health.”

KCNA reports:

The Physical Exercise Center in Thongil Street is a modern one built according to the direct initiative and plan of Kim Jong Un who is always deeply concerned for the promotion of people’s health and living standard.

The center having a total floor space of13 749 square metres consists of a physical exercise room for health, underwater supersonic wave room, recovery room, table-tennis room, soft drink shop, etc.

It is well equipped with 138 sporting apparatuses of 61 kinds including apparatuses for running, cycling and paddling exercises and modern medical facilities.

Going round various places of the center, Kim Jong Un acquainted himself in detail with the apparatuses and their distribution and use project.

Making the rounds of the physical exercise rooms for health on the ground and first floors, he learned in detail about the features of apparatuses.

Seeing various kinds of physical exercise apparatuses one by one, he said it is important to rationally distribute the apparatuses as befitting the center for the people.

At the rooms, he said that in order to help working people to train their physical bodies by use of various sporting apparatuses, and receive medical treatment it is necessary to cooperate with experts to seek and positively apply scientific methods of using apparatuses suited to their age and physical characteristics.

At the recovery room he said when servants acquire expertise knowledge including physical treatment method, they can positively contribute to the promotion of people’s health and medical treatment.

At the physical exercise room for health on the second floor, he noted that it was arranged better than the rooms on the ground and first floors.

Apparatuses for running and cycling exercises are good, he said, noting that if not only school youth and children but office workers who work in rooms all day long take exercises and receive medical treatment at the center, they can devote themselves to the revolutionary work in good health.

Going round the underwater supersonic wave room furnished with modern supersonic wave equipment to stimulate each region of body and equipment for wet and dry steam bath and shower, he underlined to need provide service well so that working people may find the center effective for physical exercises and medical treatment.

It is the steadfast determination and will of the Workers’ Party of Korea to enable the best people in the world to fully enjoy wealth and prosperity under socialism, he said, calling for operating the center well so that the happy laughter of the people may be heard from the center.

He was accompanied by Choe Ryong Hae, Kim Jong Gak, Kim Kyong Ok, Pak Thae Song, Hwang Pyong So and Ma Won Chun.

Kim Jong Un (5th L) is briefed about the construction of the Pyongyang Folk Park. Also seen in attendance are Kim Yang Gon (L), Jang Song Taek (2nd L), Kim Kyong Ok (3rd L) and VMar Choe Ryong Hae (4th L) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol Ju also visited the Pyongyang Folk Park, described as “nearing completion.”  KJU visited the construction of the folk park in January 2012, and the park was also visited by DPRK Cabinet Premier Choe Yong Rim and KPA General Political Department (bureau) Director, VMar Choe Ryong Hae.  KJU was accompanied by VMar Choe as well as Jang Song Taek, Kim Jong Gak, Choe Tae Bok, Pak To Chun, Kim Yo’ng-il, Kim Yang Gon, Kim P’yo’ng-hae, Mun Kyong Dok, Kim Kyong Ok, Pak T’ae-so’ng, Hwang Pyong So, Kim Pyong Ho and Ma Won Chun.

The construction of the Pyongyang Folk Park, which has historical exhibitions and miniature replicas of a number of Pyongyang Buildings, was done by “soldier-builders” of KPA Large Combined Unit (taeyonhap pudae) #630.  After looking around displays and exhibitions of different phases of Korean history and seeing looking at replicas of the Grand People’s Study House, Kim Il Sung Square, the Korean Revolution Museum and Ku’msusan Memorial Palace of the Sun, Kim Jong Un told officials that “it is necessary to set up a miniature of Panmunjom symbolic of division so that people may harden their resolution to reunify the country in our generation without fail.”  Kim Jong Un also visited the Pyongyang Folk Museum where “he saw historic relics unearthed by soldier-builders of KPA Large Combined Unit 630 in the course of construction and pencil drawings done by them.”  After his tour of the folk park and museum, KJU said, “he missed Kim Jong Il very much. He said with deep emotion how happy he would have been, if he had accompanied Kim Jong Il who personally initiated its construction.”

A view of the Pyongyang Folk Park (Photo: KCNA)

Kim Jong Un also watched a brief musical presentation by KPA Large Combined Unit #630.  According to KCNA he “gave the highest appreciation to the large combined unit, saying it has performed shining labor feats on the forefront of socialist construction by powerfully demonstrating the revolutionary soldier spirit and the fighting spirit of devotedly implementing the leader’s instructions in the construction of the park.”  KJU also “extended thanks of the KPA Supreme Commander to the unit.”

KCNA reports:

The peculiar folk park covers a vast area around the site of the Anhak Palace on Mt. Taesong.

The park consists of the district for comprehensive education of history, district for the display of historic relics, modern district, folk village district, folk playing district, park district of Mt. Paektu and Mt. Kumgang and the management and operation district. It is an open-air history museum where visitors can see and experience at first hand the Korean history and folk custom.

After hearing a report from commanding officers that the park has been successfully completed, Kim Jong Un went round its various places.

At the education district at the entrance of the park, he went round visual boards for comprehensive education of history set up in the form of a large mural painting.

The Korean people have acquired an advantageous national identity, taking the road of independent development for a long historic period, he said, adding only when the younger generation know about this well, can they deeply grasp the Korean nation-first spirit.

At the district for the display of historic relics he saw round picture boards and primitive straw-thatched huts showing the lifestyle of primitive people, Mausoleum of King Tangun, dolmens and pipha-shape daggers during ancient Korea, Mausoleum of King Tongmyong, monument to the Mausoleum of King Kwanggaetho and Kumggang Temple Pagoda during Koguryo period, Miruk Temple Pagoda of Paekje, Hwangryong Temple Pagoda of Silla and a stone lantern during Palhae period.

Viewing structures of reduced sizes at the modern district such as Kim Il Sung Square, Grand People’s Study House, Korean Revolution Museum, Mansudae Art Theatre and West Sea Barrage not only from distance but at close range, he was satisfied to learn that the soldier-builders set right the defects mentioned by him when visiting there in January.

Seeing the structure depicting leader Kim Jong Il’s birthplace in the Paektusan secret camp, he underlined the need to plant trees appropriate for the building so that its environment may look like its original one and successfully conduct afforestation so that there may be a clear distinction among different lots.

Standing before a miniature of the Korean Revolution Museum, he said when people come there they would think of the statues of Generalissimos Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill, calling for successfully erecting their statues and group sculptures of subsidiary theme.

It is necessary to set up a miniature of Panmunjom symbolic of division so that people may harden their resolution to reunify the country in our generation without fail, he noted.

He gave an instruction to construct in the park miniatures of the Three-Revolution Museum and the People’s Theatre and other buildings newly built or those omitted as the area of the park is so vast.

Going round the folk village district, he was pleased to learn that typical structures belonging to the primitive age, period of ancient Korea, ancient period and periods of Koguryo and Koryo retain their former glory.

At the miniature of the government office of Koguryo, he said the building was constructed well on the principle of historicism, adding if models of soldiers of government army wearing uniforms of the Koguryo period are set up at the entrance to the government office, visitors will think of aspects of society in that period.

He also went round the Korean Folk Museum newly built inside the park.

After going round the Palhae Palace, he saw historic relics unearthed by soldier-builders of KPA Large Combined Unit 630 in the course of construction and pencil drawings done by them.

He said that going round the park nearing its completion, he missed Kim Jong Il very much. He said with deep emotion how happy he would have been, if he had accompanied Kim Jong Il who personally initiated its construction.

He called for managing and operating the park well to help people and school youth and children more deeply grasp the Juche character and national identity.

He underlined the need to build the world district, too, at the park so that they may have profound knowledge about history and tradition of other countries while seeing buildings of various countries of the world.

He enjoyed large reed ensemble “Song of devotedly defending the leader, looking up to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun” presented by soldier-builders of KPA Large Combined Unit 630.

He gave the highest appreciation to the large combined unit, saying it has performed shining labor feats on the forefront of socialist construction by powerfully demonstrating the revolutionary soldier spirit and the fighting spirit of devotedly implementing the leader’s instructions in the construction of the park. He, at the same time, extended thanks of the KPA Supreme Commander to the unit.

He was accompanied by Choe Ryong Hae, Jang Song Thaek, Kim Jong Gak, Choe Thae Bok, Pak To Chun, Kim Yong Il, Kim Yang Gon, Kim Phyong Hae, Mun Kyong Dok, Kim Kyong Ok, Pak Thae Song, Hwang Pyong So, Kim Pyong Ho and Ma Won Chun.

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