Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 4 January (Friday) that scientists, technical staff and other personnel involved in the 12 December 2012 U’nha-3 rocket launch departed Pyongyang. Nearly three weeks after arriving in Pyongyang, at the invitation of Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) the rocket launch personnel returned to their respective research complexes, factories and Sohae Space Center. The rocket launch personnel arrived in Pyongyang on 15 December 2012. Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium President Kim Yong Na, DPRK Cabinet Premier Choe Yong Rim and other senior officials saw the rocket launch personnel off from the Koryo Hotel. The rocket launch personnel were then bused around Pyongyang.
KCNA reported that “huge crowds of Pyongyangites lined along the tens of km-long route from Pyongyang Railway Station to Yo’nggwang Street, Kim Il Sung Square, Ch’angjon Street, Mansudae Street, Pot’o’ng Gate, Yongung Street, Ch’o’nsu’ng Square, April 25 House of Culture, Ryonghu’ng Crossroads and Ryo’nmot-dong” and ” people from all walks of life, youths and students warmly sent them off.” Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department Gen. Choe Ryong Hae, Chief of the KPA General Staff Gen. Hyon Yong Chol and “high-ranking officers of the KPA, officials of the armed forces organs and other servicepersons of the KPA and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces warmly sent them off.” Upon their return home, the launch personnel “had an emotion-charged meeting with officials, families and relatives.”