Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 17 October (Wednesday) and 18 October (Thursday) that senior officials of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP], Korean People’s Army [KPA], DPRK Government, Ministry of People’s Security [MPS] and various workers’ and social organizations delivered floral wreaths and paid condolence calls at Cambodia’s embassy in Pyongyang after the death of the former King of Cambodia Norodom Sihanouk, who passed away in Beijing on 15 October (Monday).
On 17 October floral wreaths were delivered by the KWP International Affairs Department, the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces, the Ministry of People’s Security, the Ministry of Physical Culture and Sports, the General Federation of Trade Union’s Central Committee and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs General Bureau of Diplomatic Corps Affairs. KWP Secretary and Director of International Affairs Kim Yong Il, along with deputy (vice) directors of the IAD, paid a condolence call at the Cambodian Embassy and Kim wrote a condolence message in the memorial book. Minister of the People’s Armed Forces, VMar Kim Jong Gak, and Vice Minister and Deputy Director of the KPA General Political Department (bureau), Gen. Pak Jae Gyong, visited the embassy on behalf of the KPA. According to KCNA, “participants observed a moment’s silence in memory of the deceased before making an entry in the mourners’ book.” On 16 and 17 October, ambassadors, diplomatic personnel and “representatives of international organizations” visited the Cambodian Embassy where KCNA reported that “they made an entry in the mourners’ book.”
On 18 October floral baskets and condolence callers from Korean Democratic Women’s Union’s [KDWU] Central Committee, the Ministry of Culture, the Korean Taekwon-do Commitee, the Mansudae Art Studio and Korea Film Studios went to the Cambodian Embassy. Among those visiting the embassy were Vice Chair of the KDWU Chae Chun Hui, Vice Minister of Culture Han Chol, Vice Chairman of the Korea Taekwon-do Committee Pae Nung Man “and other officials concerned.” KCNA reported that “they paid silent tribute to the deceased and made entries in the mourner’s book.”
Also, on 18 October, KCNA reported that the DPRK Government has declared 23 October 2012 as a day of mourning for with the country’s flag ordered to be hung at half-mast (half staff). In making the declaration the DPRK Government identified former King of Cambodia Nordom Sihanouk as “a friend of the Korean people and a prominent international statesman who made great contributions to developing the traditional friendly and cooperative relations between the DPRK and Cambodia and the Non-Aligned Movement and accomplishing the cause of global independence.”