Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 29 October (Monday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) attended a concert given by the Moranbong Band in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the foundation of Kim Il Sung Military University and the soccer (football) finals of the 12th annual People’s Sports Contest. KJU’s last reported public appearance was attending a commemorative photo-op with the faculty and staff of KIS Military University. This was the first reported public appearance of KJU’s wife Ri Sol Ju (Ri So’l-chu) since her husband’s visit to construction work at Pyongyang Folk Park in early September.
Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol Ju first attended a concert given by the Moranbong Band in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the Kim Il Sung Military University. Attending the concert with them were VMar Choe Ryong Hae, VMar Hyon Yong Chol, Jang Song Taek, VMar Hyon Chol Hae, Gen. Kim Won Hong, Gen. Ri Myong Su, KIS Military University President Gen. Ryo Chun Sok, along with “teachers, cadets and graduates of the university, officials of various military schools and military families” and “diplomatic envoys and representatives of international bodies and officials of foreign embassies here and foreign guests staying in the DPRK.”
The performance began with a playing of the DPRK’s national anthem. KCNA reported that the Moranbong Band “sang high praises of the peerless military-first (so’ngun) brilliant commanders who brought up the officers and men of the KPA to be loyal fighters defending the country, the revolution, socialism and the people’s happiness with arms by carrying forward the traditions of arms of Mt. Paektu, and pace-setters in thoroughly carrying out the instructions of the leaders, true to the party’s cause.” According to KCNA “audience was moved by the refined artistic representation, good ensemble, rich voice and solemn sound of musical instruments, brilliant stage decor and peculiar lighting” and that the audience “presented bouquets to the performers who showed the new phase of development of Juche (chuch’e) arts.”
Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol Ju then attended the soccer finals of the 12th People’s Sports Contest at Kim Il Sung Stadium. Attending the game with them were VMar Choe Ryong Hae, VMar Hyon Yong Chol, Kim Kyong Hui, Jang Song Taek, Kim Yang Gon, Kim P’yo’ng-hae, Ju Kyu Chang and Mun Kyong Dok along with “officials of party and armed forces organs, ministries and national institutions and in the field of sports, sports persons, sports fans and people from all walks of life in Pyongyang. They watched the 25 April Team play the So’nbong Team. KCNA reported that the 25 April Team defeated the Ri Myong Su Team, and the So’nbong Team defeated the Maebong Team during semi-final matches.
During halftime, KJU met with and congratulated DPRK athletes and coaches who participated in the London 2012 Summer Olympics. According to KCNA, “he met sports persons and coaches who exalted the honor of the country by proving successful at the 30th Olympic Games and heard with satisfaction their pledge to bag more gold medals at future international games. He had a photo taken with them.” The soccer game resumed and the 25 April Team defeated the So’nbong Team 2-1.
After the game, Kim Jong Un “he called footballers and coaches of the two teams and referees and shook their hands one by one. He praised them for playing the match very well and expressed expectation that they would take the lead in building a sports power.” KCNA reported that KJU made sure that a prize-awarding ceremony was held with splendor. KJU also “set forth highly important tasks which would serve as a guiding principle for rapidly developing the nation’s sports,” called “for raising public awareness of sports and boosting state assistance, he urged the officials, in particular, to pay deep attention to sports and render substantial help in this field.”
KJU said that “sports play a role which nothing can substitute for in exalting the country’s dignity and infusing national pride and self-esteem into the people” and “underlining the need to give rise to a hot sports wind throughout the country and thus demonstrate the honor of Juche (chuch’e) Korea with spectacular successes in matches.”