Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 8 February (Friday) that the title of Labor Hero was awarded to “people’s security men of a unit under the So’ngnim City People’s Security Department of North Hwanghae Province” who “laid down their lives without hesitation to rescue workers under unexpected urgent circumstances.” The ceremony was held Friday in Sariwo’n, provincial capital of North Hwanghae Province. Attending the ceremony was Col. Gen. Ri Pyong Sam, Director of the MPS/Korean People’s Internal Security Forces, Pak T’ae Dok, Chief Secretary of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] North Hwanghae Provincial Committee, other MPS officials and “officials concerned, people’s security persons and bereaved families. According to KCNA “the title of the DPRK Labor Hero and Gold Medal (hammer and sickle) and Order of National Flag First Class awarded to Ri Kwang Chol and Ri Chung Gon were conveyed to their bereaved families at the awarding ceremony.” Family members also received “patriotic martyrs’ certificates” during the ceremony.
This was the second occasion in the last four months when state media reported on a ceremony awarding state titles to people’s security personnel killed on duty. On 27 October 2012 two members of the MPS branch in Kangwo’n Province were given the titles of DPRK Hero “when they were working to defuse a time-bomb dropped by the U.S. imperialist aggressors during the Korean War, it went off all of a sudden. They died heroic deaths after saving their comrades at that critical moment.”