Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 17 December (Monday) that the Korean People’s Army [KPA] held a memorial rally on the plaza in front of the Ku’msusan Memorial Palace to commemorate the one year anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Il and to pledge their loyalty to KJI’s son and successor, current DPRK supreme leader Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n). Attending the rally from the KPA’s high command were Director of the KPA General Political Department (bureau) Choe Ryong Hae, Chief of the KPA General Staff Hyon Yong Chol, Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Kim Kyok Sik and 1st Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces and Director of the KPA General Logistics Department Hyon Chol Hae. Also in attendance were “other officials of the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces” and KPA officers and service members.
The meeting began with “a ceremony of the entrance of the military band of the KPA amid the solemn playing of music “The Leader Will Always Be with Us” and “The General Is Immortal as Sun.” Choe Ryong Hae delivered the keynote speech in which, according to KCNA, he remarked that “all the soldiers who came to the Ku’msusan Palace of the Sun pay high tributes and extend eternal glory to Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, reflecting the unanimous wish of all the service personnel and the people” and emphasized “the need to guarantee the national reunification and build a thriving nation with strong arms, true to the behests of the Generalissimos.”
Choe also said:
The KPA will become the O Jung Hup-led 7th Regiment of today which firmly defends the WPK Central Committee headed by Kim Jong Un and the Ku’msusan Palace of the Sun and the reliable scout party and strong mainstay of the Military-first (so’ngun) revolution which will take the lead in implementing the WPK’s idea and resolution in the air, ground and seas.
With the steadfast stand of “Immediate counterattack to provocation, just war for national reunification to a war of aggression!” the KPA will mercilessly defeat the aggressors and accomplish the historic cause of national reunification if the U.S. imperialists and south Korean group of traitors hurt the dignity and sovereignty of the country even a bit.
We will embody Kim Jong Il’s patriotism and display the spirit of “At one go” in every front of building a thriving nation to erect more edifices and make the happy laughs and hurrah for the WPK resound throughout the country.
After Choe, spoke a series of KPA corps commanders delivered speeches “vowing to remain faithful to Marshal Kim Jong Un.” Commander of the I Army Corps, Gen. Jang Jong Nam “pledged to always remember the trust given by the supreme commander who named the unit corps of tigers of Mt. Paektu, saying the corps will make the enemies be stunned by its gunfire of annihilating them and turn each ravine into their death pitfall when the hour of decisive battle comes.” Commander of the II Army Corps, Col. Gen. Kim Hyong Ryong said “the service personnel of the corps will turn the stronghold of the south Korean puppet forces into a sea of flames if they dare slander the dignity of the DPRK even a bit, finding fault with its satellite launch.” Commander of the V Army Corps, Lt. Gen. Ri Yong Gil said that “that his corps will defeat the enemy aggressors which are stationed within the operational area of the corps at one stroke when it receives the order from the supreme commander.” Commander of the XI Army Corps, the KPA’s special operations forces, and Party Central Military Commission Member Col. Gen. Choe Kyong Song said that “a-match-for-a-hundred combatants will do whatever they are determined to do and surely win in battles. The world will clearly see how they will put an end to the destiny of the aggressors along the way marked by the red arrow drawn by the Supreme Command.”
Following the speaking program, officers and service members of the KPA’s conventional service branches marched through the Ku’msusan Plaza.