Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 14 December (Friday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the General Satellite Command and Control Center in Sanum-dong in northern Pyongyang, one hour after he “gave a final written order regarding the launch of the second version of the Kwangmyo’ngso’ng-3 [KMS-3] to Korean Committee for Space Technology at 8 a.m. on December 12, 2012.” Attending the launch of the U’nha-3 with KJU were DPRK National Defense Chairman [NDC] and Director of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Administration Department, Jang Song Taek (Chang So’ng-t’aek), and KWP Secretary of Machine-Building and Military Industries and NDC Member, Pak To Chun (Pak To’-ch’un). KJU’s last reported public appearance was his meeting at the KWP #1 Office Complex with members of a Communist Party of China [CPC] delegation led by Li Jianguo.
After arriving at the GSCCC KJU “learned about the preparations for the launch and issued an order on the launch and keenly observed the whole processes of the launch” and he “expressed great satisfaction over the successful launch of the satellite by our scientists and technicians and highly estimated their feats.” KJU thanked personnel of the Korean Committee for Space Technology [KCST] on behalf of the KWP Central Committee. According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un said that:
The second version of scientific and technological satellite Kwangmyongsong-3 is Juche satellite in every aspect as it was developed and manufactured by the DPRK with its own strength, technology and wisdom. Successful and accurate entry of the satellite into its pole-to-pole trajectory further consolidated the status of the DPRK as a space power and demonstrated that the country has reached the highest level in terms of cutting-edge science and technology.
The successful launch of the satellite served as an occasion that showed at home and abroad the unshakable stand of the WPK and the DPRK government to exercise the country’s legitimate right to use space for peaceful purposes and to develop the country’s science, technology and economy.
The launch was successful even though it was made in the winter time when difficult scientific and technological problems arise. This is a proud victory that demonstrated the high level the country’s science and technology have reached.
Kim Jong Un “stressed the need to continue to launch satellites in the future, too, to develop the country’s science, technology and economy” and “set forth important tasks” to “bring about a fresh turn in scientific researches into space and satellite launch field based on the successful launch of the second version of satellite Kwangmyo’ngso’ng-3.” According to KCNA, KJU “repeatedly spoke highly of the ardent loyalty and patriotic devotion made by scientists and technicians who greatly contributed to strikingly displaying the might of science and technology of Chuch’e Korea to the world.” After the launch and making his remarks, Kim Jong Un poses for commemorative photographs with KCST managers and personnel at the GSCCC.