Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 15 February (Friday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) attended a ceremony at which gold wristwatches were awarded to “service personnel, scientists, technicians and labor innovators who have performed brilliant feats in the defence of the country and in the building of a thriving socialist nation.” The wristwatches are engraved with the late leader Kim Jong Il’s name, and awarded to commemorate the anniversary of KJI’s birth. KJU’s last reported public appearance was his chairing and participating in an expanded meeting of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Central Military Commission [CMC].
Attending the watch presentation ceremony with KJU were Kim Yong Nam (President of the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium), Choe Yong Rim (DPRK Cabinet Premier), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), Jang Song Taek (Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission [NDC] and Director of the KWP Administration Department), Kim Kyong Hui (KWP Secretary and Department Director), Kim Ki Nam (KWP Secretary and Director of the KWP Propaganda and Agitation Department), Choe Tae Bok (KWP Secretary of Education and Science), Pak To Chun (KWP Secretary of Machine-Building Industry), VMar Kim Yong Chun (Vice Chairman of the NDC and Director of the KWP Civil Defense Department), Kang Sok Ju (DPRK Cabinet Vice Premier), Ri Yong Mu (Vice Chairman of the NDC), Gen. O Kuk Ryol (Vice Chairman of the NDC), Kim Yang Gon (KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Department), Kim Yong Il (KWP Secretary and Director of the KWP International Affairs Department), Kim Pyong Hae (KWP Secretary and Director of the KWP Cadres Affairs Department), Kwak Pom Gi (KWP Secretary and Director of the KWP Finance and Planning Department), Mun Kyong Dok (Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang City [municipal] KWP Committee), Ju Kyu Chang (Director of the KWP Machine-Building Industry Department), Jo Yon Jun (Senior Deputy (1st Vice) Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department) and “other officials of the Central Committee of the WPK and armed forces organs.”
According to KCNA the presentation of the watches was “instituted as a state decoration for the first time in the history of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK)” and has “weighty significance in glorifying the immortal exploits of his revolutionary career and immortal feats forever and making all the Party members, service personnel and people live and work as his soldiers and disciples.” The watch presentation ceremony was held at the KWP Central Committee’s Conference Hall. Kim Yong Nam delivered a congratulatory speech in which he said, “The recipients of the watches should lead a worthy and brilliant life as backbone of the Korean revolution, always feeling grateful to the party for making them honored with watches bearing the august name of Kim Jong Il before any others.” After Kim Jong Un presented the watches, the recipients “renewed their resolution to always hold President Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in high esteem as the sun of Juche and steadfastly advance along the road of the Songun revolution, true to the leadership of the party.”
Here is a short photo essay [PDF] about an informal watch presentation ceremony in which Kim Jong Il participated in July 2012.