Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 8 March (Friday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) watched an archery competition and toured the Chongchun (Youth) Street sports village in Mangyo’ngdae in western Pyongyang. KJU’s last reported public appearance was his field inspection of two island defense units in the West (Yellow) Sea. Kim Jong Un’s first visit was to watch the archery competition between the 25 April Sports Team [Group] (of the Korean People’s Army [KPA]) and the Amnokgang Sports Team [Group] (of the Ministry of People’s Security). At this visit he was joined by VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Jang Song Taek (Vice Chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission [NDC]), Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Ri Yong Su (Director of the KWP Workers’ Organizations Department), Kim Yong Hun (Deputy [Vice] KWP Department Director) and Ri Jong Mu (Minister of Physical Culture and Sports).
Kim Jong Un first inspected the archery equipment used by the archers during the competition. KCNA reported that he “to come close to him and examined their bows and arrows with deep attention” and “asked them which is good and bad in using them and about their impact on the results of matches in detail.” According to KCNA he said “success largely hinges on what apparatus one uses in archery as the case is the same with all other sporting games, underscoring the need to provide best apparatuses to players” and “told officials to pay deep attention to archery events and take measures for the sufficient provision of such apparatuses as bow and arrow.” KJU watched men and women’s team competitions and “praised the players whenever they hit bull’s eyes in the targets, saying ‘Excellent.'” The 25 April Sports Team won the team competition. He watched men and women’s individual competitions and “was very satisfied whenever players got high marks.” According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un said “An archery game is an interesting and amusing one, adding that one feels exceptional pleasure when seeing a player hit the bull’s eye in the target. Archery is just the same as shooting event.”
KCNA reported that “when Kang Un Ju of the April 25 Defense Sports Team gained 30 points by releasing three arrows, he [KJU] appreciated her good archery” and Kim Jong Un remarked that “She can give a good account of herself in an international game, too, with such skill.” The 25 April Sports Team won the individual competition. According to KCNA Kim Jong Un said “that watching the matches, I came to have confidence that archers of the DPRK can surely emerge winners in international games including Olympics in the future” and he “stressed the need to round off the archery technique and tactical system of Korean style and scientific training methods to intensify the training and, at the same time, provide archers with archery apparatuses suited to their physical constitution.” KJU “expressed expectation and belief that archers, coaches and officials of the April 25 Defense Sports Team and the Amnokgang Defense Sports Team would develop archery event and achieve good successes in international games” and posed for commemorative photos with the archery competitors of both teams.
Kim Jong Un’s next visit was tour around the Chongchun Street Sports Village. In attendance were VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Jang Song Taek, Gen. Hyon Yong Chol, Gen. Kim Kyok Sik, Ri Yong Su, Kim Yong Hun, Ri Jong Mu and KWP Deputy (vice) Department Directors (with design and construction portfolios) Ryang Chong Song and Ma Won Chun. KCNA reported that KJU toured the sports village, first constructed in 1985 and finished in 1988, with the intention to renovate it “as required by the new era because it has positively contributed to the country’s development of sports and sports exchange with different countries.” His first stop was to the basketball gym. He inspected the basketball courts and locker room and “stressed the need to take proper measures for improving sound-arresting and heating devices and remodel all the facilities to meet the need of gymnasium.” His next visit was to the Table Tennis (ping pong) hall where he learned about the tables and other facilities. KCNA reported “saying that the luminous intensity is low, he stressed the need to reinforce lighting to suit games and watching” and “said that the gymnasium should have sufficient facilities for indoor broadcasting.”
Kim Jong Un also toured the weight lifting hall where he “he stressed the need to remodel well the gymnasium so as to make weightlifting one of the successful events in the future, too.” According to KCNA Kim Jong Un said “It is important to make a good design for updating the gymnasium” and “the need to consult a lot of worldwide data on sports facilities before working it out.” He also toured a commissary and learned “in detail about what kind of service players receive there, what kind of food they like best and the issues to be settled to improve the service at the restaurant.” KJU said “there is nothing to spare for sports persons as they glorify the honor of the country at international games and bring national pride and self-confidence to the people.” Kim Jong Un’s final stop was a tour of the Sosan Hotel. He toured its restaurant and examined several guest rooms. According to KCNA, KJU “underscored the need to remodel the hotel as a modern one capable of providing good service to sports persons and spectators” and “specified tasks to officials concerned.” Kim Jong Un said “it is an important work for bringing about a radical change in sports of the country to successfully remodel the sports village as required by Military-First (So’ngun) Era. Everything should be calculated carefully to update the village” and he ” he listened to views of sports officials.”
KJU also “specified one by one issues arising in establishing a good system for managing sports facilities after remodeling the sports village and in ensuring the regular operation and management of the gymnasiums and their regular repair.” According to KCNA Kim Jong Un said “It is the firm resolution of the WPK to turn the country into a sports power and it is a sacred work for realizing the noble desire of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il” and expressed his “belief that the Ministry of Physical Culture and Sports and the relevant fields would successfully remodel the sports village into a comprehensive sports and cultural centre impeccable in any aspect in a short period.”