Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 12 October (Friday) that a meeting was held at the 25 April House of Culture to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the foundation of the Mangyo’ngdae and the Kang Pan Sok Revolutionary Schools. Attending the meeting were DPRK Premier Choe Yong Rim (Mangyo’ngdae, Class of ’47), Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department (bureau) VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Mangyo’ngdae, Class of ’67), Chief of the KPA General Staff Hyon Yong Chol and Korean Workers’ Party Secretary [KWP] Kim Kyong Hui along with “anti-Japanese revolutionary fighters, teaching staff and cadets of the revolutionary schools and their graduates.”
A letter from Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) titled “Children of Revolutionary Martyrs Should Become Dependable Backbone of Songun Revolution that Gives Steady Continuity to Bloodline of Mangyongdae, Bloodline of Mt. Paektu” was read at the meeting. Following the KJU letter, Mangyo’ngdae Revolutionary School principal O Ryong Taek delivered the meeting’s opening speech. According to KCNA O said the letter “serves as important guidelines to be held fast to in the education of the children of the revolutionary martyrs at present when the work to carry out the revolutionary cause of Juche has entered a new historical phase.”
KCNA reported that other speakers at the meeting said KJU’s letter “serves as a militant banner encouraging the struggle for the final victory of the great Paektusan power” and that “many children whose revolutionary parents laid down their lives in the struggle for the liberation, freedom and independence, prosperity and development of their countries and nations in the world, but the world knows no such bereaved children as those of Songun (so’ngun; military-first) Korea who lead the most worthwhile and fruitful life under deep care of the great leaders and great party.” After the speeches, according to KCNA, the meeting participants “renewed their pledge to take the lead in the sacred struggle to carry forward and accomplish the Juche (chuch’e) revolutionary cause, Songun (so’ngun; military-first) revolutionary cause started on Mt. Paektu in hearty response to the historic letter.”
Operated by the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces [MPAF], the Mangyo’ngdae Revolutionary School was established in 1947 in present-day Taedong County, South P’yo’ngan Province as a school for war orphans. In 1948 the school migrated to Mangyo’ngdae in western Pyongyang, where the late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) was born and spent his early childhood. After the school’s relocation, the first KIS statue was dedicated on its campus. Ostensibly designated as a school for the descendants of north Koreans killed during annexation and the Second World War (Second Sino-Japanese War), the student body primarily consists of the children of DPRK party, military and government elites. The school has classes from Kindergarten to Senior Middle School. A number of DPRK elites attended the Mangyo’ngdae Revolutionary School including Kim Jong Il, Choe Tae Bok, Gen. O Kuk Ryol and VMar Kim Yong Chun. Kim Jong Nam’s deceased maternal cousin Ri Il Nam also studied at Mangyo’ngdae Revolutionary School.
The Kang Pan Sok Revolutionary School was established in September 1958, as part of post-Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War) reconstruction. It is located 4 km (2 miles) from Mangyo’ngdae Revolutionary School. It was named after Kang Pan Sok, Kim Il Sung’s mother during the 1960s in conjunction with cultural construction of Kim family veneration. Technically, the Kang Pan Sok Revolutionary School has entered its 54th year of operation. It seems that the country has used the formal anniversary of the foundation of Mangyo’ngdae Revolutionary School as a pretext to honor the ideological concept behind the revolutionary schools. Concurrent anniversary celebrations for the revolutionary schools were also held on 13 October 2007.