Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 16 October (Tuesday) that a ceremony to mark the completion and open the T’ongil Street Fitness Center was held. Attending the ceremony were Director of the Korean People’s Army General Political Department (bureau), VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Minister of the People’s Armed Forces, VMar Kim Jong Gak, Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary of Propaganda and Agitation (publicity and information) Kim Ki Nam and KWP Secretary for Science and Education Choe Tae Bok, along with “officials concerned, officials of the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces, soldier-builders, officials and employees of the center and Pyongyang citizens.” The T’ongil Street Fitness Center has been under construction for several months and was visited in May 2012 by VMar Choe Ryong Hae. Kim Jong Un made an unreported, unofficial visit to the fitness center’s construction during May 2012, and conducted a formal inspection of its construction in early September.
VMar Kim Jong Gak delivered the fitness center’s opening ceremony’s keynote speech. According to KCNA VMar Kim “underscored the need for officials and workers to make innovations in different fields of building a thriving nation, cherishing the benevolence of Kim Jong Un who spares nothing for improving the people’s health and living standard.” After the fitness center’s opening ceremony, KCNA reported that “the participants looked round the center.”