Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 23 and 24 December (Sunday and Monday) on various events held to celebrate the 95th anniversary of the birth of Kim Jong Suk (Kim Cho’ng-suk), wife of the late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and mother of three of his children including late supreme leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) and his sister Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary and Department Director Kim Kyong Hui (Kim Kyo’ng-hu’i). According both to official and unofficial chronicles, Kim Jong Suk was born in December 1917 near Hoeryo’ng, North Hamgyo’ng Province, the second daughter of Kim Chun San. Kim Jong Suk joined KIS’ guerilla unit in the mid-1930s and later became a member of the 88th Sniper Brigade under the Soviet Union’s Far East Command. During her service in the 88th Brigade while stationed in Khabarovsk, she gave birth to Kim Jong Il in 1941 and a second son Kim Pyong Il (1944-1947).
On Kim Jong Suk’s birth anniversary, members of the DPRK central leadership visited the Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery on Mt. Taeso’ng to deliver floral baskets to KJS’ grave. Among those in attendance were Kim Yong Nam Choe Yong Rim, Gen. Choe Ryong Hae, Gen. Kim Kyok Sik, Kim Ki Nam, Choe Tae Bok, VMar Kim Yong Chun, Yang Hyong Sop, Kang Sok Ju, Pak To Chun, Kim Yang Gon and other senior DPRK Government, KWP and Korean People’s Army [KPA] officials along with “the chairperson of a friendly party, officials of party, armed forces and power organs, the Cabinet, working people’s organizations, ministries and national institutions, service personnel of the KPA and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces (KPISF), people, youth and students in Pyongyang.”
A floral basket was delivered on behalf of Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) along with floral wreaths from the KWP Central Committee, the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium, the DPRK Cabinet, the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces, the Ministry of People’s Security, Workers’ Organizations, Cabinet Ministries, KPA units and “public health and media institutions, the Joint National Organization of the Korean Children’s Union, party and power organs, factories, co-op farms, etc. in Pyongyang.” Also paying their respects and delivering flowers, at a separate visit to Kim Jong Suk’s memorial, were participants in the 12 December 2012 launch of the U’nha-3 rocket. According to KCNA, “participants paid silent tribute to Kim Jong Suk, recollecting her revolutionary life.” On the same day, floral baskets and wreaths were placed before Kim Jong Suk statues in Hoeryo’ng, Kim Cho’ng-suk County in Yanggang Province and at the Kim Jong Suk Military Academy and the Kim Jong Suk Naval University.
On 23 December (Sunday) DPRK state media reported that members of the central leadership delivered floral bouquets at the foot of the statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il on the campus of the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces. Kim Yong Nam, Choe Yong Rim, Kim Ki Nam, VMar Kim Yong Chun, Kang Sok Ju, Yang Hyong Sop, Pak To Chun and other senior KWP and DPRK Government officials delivered the flowers and toured the MPAF Revolutionary Museum to commemorate the 21st anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s appointment and assumption of the position of KPA Supreme Commander(Choson inmin’gun ch’oego). On 24 December 1991, Kim Jong Il was appointed KPA Supreme Commander during the 19th meeting (plenary session; plenum) of the KWP Central Committee. The next day, 25 December 1991, a meeting of the KPA General Political Department (bureau) vowed its loyalty to KJI.
The members of the central leadership toured the museum and saw “historic data and relics, being briefed on the fact that after providing his first Military-First (so’ngun) leadership over Seoul Ryu Kyong Su 105 Guards Tank Division of the KPA, Kim Jong Il put forward a Chuch’e-based programme for army building and developed the KPA into the army of the leader, the party and the people” and “posed for a long while before materials showing excitement and joy that swept the whole country at the exciting news of Kim Jong Il’s assumption of supreme commandership of the KPA.” According to KCNA “the visit helped them deeply realize again the truth that Kim Jong Il was a symbol of the mightiness of the revolutionary armed forces and his leadership was a basic source of invincible strength of the KPA.”
The Hoeryo’ng City (municipal) chapter of the Korean Democratic Women’s Union [KDWU] gave a concert on 23 December in honor of Kim Jong Suk’s birthday and KJI’s appointment as KPA Supreme Commander. The program included “Kim Jong Suk is Our Mother,” “General Kim Il Sung is Our Sun “, “solo and chorus ‘Red Chol Pass’, janggu ensemble and chorus ‘Ongheya for Songun Victory’ and solo ‘Oh, We Miss You Very Much’ and “chorus immortal masterpiece ‘My Mother’, instrumental quintet ensemble ‘Arirang on Jiansanfeng.'” According to KCNA,the “performers represented boundless reverence for the dear respected Marshal Kim Jong Un and the will of officials and members of the women’s union to remain true to his Military-First (so’ngun) revolutionary leadership.”
The Kim Il Sung Youth League (Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League) art squad gave a performance for the 24 December anniversaries. Among those attending the concert were Ri Yong Su, Director of the KWP Workers’ Organizations Department, and Jon Yong Nam, Chairman of the KISYL Central Committee, along with other members of the youth league’s leadership. Songs performed included “‘Cantata to Comrade Kim Jong Il’, female vocal trio ‘Arirang on Jiansanfeng’, poem and mixed chorus ‘We Will Win Victory by Flying the Supreme Commander’s Colors,'” “male guitar quintet ‘Memory of the Old Home'” and “mixed sextet ‘Our Leader Beloved by People.'” According to KCNA while hearing the latter song “the audience deepened the reverence for the dear respected Kim Jong Un, who dedicates himself to the prosperity of the country and happiness of its people.”
On 24 December a series of loyalty oath meetings and dance parties for youths and students took place in Pyongyang and around the provinces which ” lauded the exploits of the peerlessly great persons of Mt. Paektu and renewed their pledges to accomplish the cause of the sun.” KCNA reported that “youth and students presented pleasant dances, extending the highest tribute and eternal glory to Generalissimo Kim Jong Il, who turned the DPRK into an invincible politico-ideological power with single-minded unity and a matchless military power” and “presented dances reflecting the immense pride of glorifying their youth in the worthwhile drive for realizing the desire of Kim Jong Suk, woman commander of Mt. Paektu, to the tune of ‘The Tuman River Full of Memories,’ ‘Arirang on Jiansanfeng’ and other songs reminiscent of her revolutionary career and feats.”