Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 21 February (Thursday) that DPRK Cabinet Premier Choe Yong Rim visited the construction of a Korean People’s Army [KPA] cemetery, the State Academy of Sciences [SAS] Turf Institute and the Pyongyang Textile Machine Factory. Choe visited the Turf Institute to learn about its renovation, and visited the Pyongyang Textile Machine Factory to to learn about “management and operation of equipment.” At these visits, according to KCNA, Choe “underscored the need to ensure the high quality in the construction and take good care of the equipment.”
Choe Yong Rim also visited an area of Pyongyang that has been designated by Kim Jong Un to serve as “site of the large Cemetery of Fallen Fighters of the Korean People’s Army.” The allocation of the land and authorization of the cemetery’s construction was ratified during a meeting of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Political Bureau held on 11 February 2013. The opening of the cemetery will be part of the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the end of active hostilities of the Korean War, or what the DPRK has termed “the 60th anniversary of victory in the Fatherland Liberation War.” During his visit Choe, a veteran of the war, “recalled that the heroic feats of the fighters of the KPA who fought against the U.S. imperialists who boasted of being the strongest in the world by displaying matchless courage and self-sacrificing spirit during the war and thus humbled their arrogance and honorably defended the country under the wise leadership of great Generalissimo Kim Il Sung have shined through generations under the care of the party.” Choe toured the where the cemetery will be be constructed and, according to KCNA, “discussed issues arising in the construction and took relevant steps.”
Choe last visited the SAS Turf Institute in October 2012. His Political Bureau Presidium (standing committee) colleague VMar Choe Ryong Hae visited the SAS Turf Institute in January 2013. Their visits are most likely linked to agricultural policy, particularly the development of grazing lands in Kangwo’n and South Hwanghae Provinces. Choe Yong Rim last visited the Pyongyang Textile Machine Plant in June 2011. The Pyongyang Textile Machine Plant is where Kim Jong Il worked for approximately two weeks during April and May 1961, “experiencing a worker’s life,” according one of his official biographies. The machine on which KJI worked, Lathe #26, was retained as a historical object and has become a competition and publicity movement among DPRK factory workers to maintain and clean the machines on which they work.