North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Opening of Ryugyong Health Complex, Ice Rink and Skate Park Held

DPRK Premier Choe Yong Rim delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the Ryugyong Health Complex, ice rink and skate park in east Pyongyang on 9 November 2012 (Photo: KCNA/KCTV screengrab)

Participants at a 9 November 2012 opening ceremony for the Ryugyong Health Complex, People’s Open Air Ice Rink and a skate park assemble on Chuch’esasangtap Street in east Pyongyang (Photo: KCNA)

DPRK state media reported on 9 November (Friday) that the Ryugyong Health Complex, People’s Open-air Ice Rink and the Pyongyang Skate Park was formally opened.  The ceremony was attended by DPRK Cabinet Premier Choe Yong Rim, Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary Choe Tae Bok, Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang City (municipal) KWP Committee Mun Kyong Dok, DPRK Cabinet Vice Premier and State Planning Commission Chairman Ro Tu Chol, senior officials of the DPRK Government and other institutions, the facilities’ employees, citizens of Pyongyang and Korean People’s Army [KPA] service members and officers who took part in constructing the facilities.  On 3 November, DPRK state media reported that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) toured the facilities, prior to opening.  The ceremony and tour of the facilities was covered by BBC World.

Members of the central leadership attending the 9 November 2012 opening ceremony of the Ryugyong Health Complex, an ice rink and skate park. Among those seen in attendance are: Mun Kyong Dok (3rd L) Kim Ki Nam (4th L), Choe Tae Bok (2nd R) and Ro Tu Chol (R) (Photo: KCNA/KCTV screengrab)

Korean People’s Army service members attend the opening ceremony of the Ryugyong Health Complex, an ice rink and skate park in east Pyongyang on 9 November 2012 (Photo: KCNA/KCTV screengrab)

View of the opening ceremony of the Ryugyong Health Complex in east Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Participants applaud during a 9 November 2012 opening ceremony for the Ryugyong Health Complex, People’s Open Air Ice Rink and skate park (Photo: KCNA)

A view of a skate park in east Pyongyang formally opened on 9 November 2012 (Photo: KCNA)

A view of the People’s Open Air Ice Rink in east Pyongyang (Photo: KCNA)

A view of bathing facilities in the Ryugyong Health Complex in east Pyongyang (Photo: KCNA)

A sauna at the Ryugyong Health Complex in east Pyongyang (Photo: KCNA)

According to KCNA the Ryugyong Health Complex (see an aerial image here) has a “a total floor space of 18 379 square meters has modern facilities for bathing, hairdressing, beauty and massage treatment and fitness exercises” and it can serve “7,200 people a day.”  The People’s Open Air Ice Rink “has a total floor space of 6 469 square meters” and the Skate Park “has a total floor space of more than 1 3300 square meters.”  Both the ice rink and skate park are constructed to serve skaters “all year round.”

DPRK Premier Choe Yong Rim (2nd R) is briefed about the skate park on the Taedong River on 9 November 2012 (Photo: KCNA)

DPRK Premier Choe Yong Rim delivered the ceremony’s keynote speech in which he said “that the facilities are a product of the wise leadership and devoted efforts of leader Kim Jong Il and the dear respected Marshal Kim Jong Un and that they were built by service personnel and people through their patriotic efforts to devotedly carry out the plans and intentions of the party and the leader.”  KCNA reported that Choe “called upon all the officials and employees to take good care of the service facilities and equipment and minutely organize their service and operation in the spirit of rendering devoted service to the people and thus ensure that the WPK’s loving care reaches all of them.”

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