Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 27 February (Wednesday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) and members of the core political leadership attended a commemorative photo session with personnel involved in the 12 February 2013 nuclear test. KJU’s last reported public appearance was his attendance at the concert “Korea Does What It is Determined to Do” by the State Merited Chorus (Merited State Choir). Scientists, technicians, logistics and construction workers, and functionaries involved in the DPRK’s third nuclear test have been visiting Pyongyang since 20 February and attended a number of concerts and celebratory banquets, however this was the first reported event they attended at which Kim Jong Un was present.
Attending the photo-op 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 and Director of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Administration Department), Kim Kyong Hui (KWP Secretary and Department Director, and KJU’s aunt), Choe Tae Bok (KWP Secretary and SPA Chairman), Pak To Chun (KWP Secretary for Machine-Building Industry), VMar Kim Yong Chun (Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission and Director of the KWP Civil Defense Department), Kim Yang Gon (KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Department), Kim Yong Il (KWP Secretary and Director of the International Affairs Department), Kim P’yo’ng-hae (KWP Secretary and Director of Cadres Affairs), Kwak Pom Gi (KWP Secretary and Director of Finance and Planning), Mun Kyong Dok (Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang City [municipal] KWP Committee), Jo Yon Jun (Senior Deputy [1st Vice] Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department) and Hong Sung Mu (Deputy [vice] Director of the KWP Machine-Building Industry Department).
The commemorative photograph was taken in front of the Party Central Committee #1 Office Building (a.k.a., “Building of the WPK Central Committee” or Kim Jong Il’s former headquarters/executive office). According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “highly praised those who successfully conducted the underground nuclear test as part of the practical countermeasure to defend the security and sovereignty of the country, thus fully demonstrating once again that Korea does what it is determined to do and instilling faith in sure victory and optimism into the army and people of the DPRK.” When KJU sat for the photographs, the nuclear test’s leading KPA and civilian officials sat to his immediate left and right. During the photo session, KJU expressed “expectation and conviction that they would achieve greater successes in their scientific researches to further bolster up the nuclear deterrent for self-defence by waging a dynamic drive for breaking through cutting-edge science and technology with the same vim and vigor with which they succeeded in the nuclear test.”