Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported that on 24 March (Sunday) Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) conducted a field inspection of Korean People’s Army [KPA] Unit #1501, visited the building of a restaurant boat and reviewed and provided instructions on products produced by the KPA. KJU’s last reported public appearance was his field inspection of the 2nd Battalion subordinate to KPA Unit #1973. Kim Jong Un’s first stop was a field inspection of KPA Unit #1501. He last visited the command element of KPA Unit #1501 in May 2012. At his inspection of the unit he was accompanied by Chief of the Reconnaissance General Bureau and spokesman of the KPA Supreme Command, Gen. Kim Yong Chol. At the beginning of his inspection he observed and was briefed upon equipment produced by the unit and was ” greatly pleased that the unit manufactured latest equipment badly needed for combat preparations by pooling wisdom and enthusiasm” and according to KCNA said “that they look nice and they are successful products, a result of profound inquiry.”
According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un also said, “The latest equipment were manufactured in such a way to be convenient for using during battles and they looked efficient as they are fully ready to go into action and make a charge towards enemy positions, hitting targets. What pleased [me] most was that the latest combat and technical equipment developed by the unit ensured very high mobility in combat circumstances and they became intellectual and lighter” and “expressed satisfaction over the fact that different devices that help combat equipment fully display their efficiency in difficult circumstances were manufactured and introduced.” KJU also watched the vehicles and equipment conduct drills and “indicated superb and preeminent operational and tactical plans to wipe out the enemies at a lightning speed by use of those equipment in actual battles.”
Kim Jong Un also was briefed on and looked at playground equipment produced by KPA Unit #1501 and “highly praised them for doing good things for children.” According to KCNA KJU “repeatedly praised the service personnel of the unit for having performed their duties in a responsible manner by sharply watching the moves of the enemies for aggression” and “expressed expectation and belief that they would creditably perform their missions and roles as a stand-bearer and shock brigade in upholding the Military-First (So’ngun) politics of the party.”
KJU’s next visit was to the building by KPA service members of a Taedonggang restaurant boat, accompanied by Gen. Kim Yong Chol. KCNA reported that the two-story boat will have banquet halls which will acommodate 300 people and measures ” 68.98 meters (226 feet) in length, 26 meters (85 feet) in width and 820 tons in displacement.” Kim Jong Un toured the restaurant boat and “was greatly satisfied to learn that KPA service personnel are working hard to complete the building of the state-of-the-art restaurant boat in a brief span of time, true to the party’s policy of love for the people.” Kim Jong Un toured the deck and enquired as to what building materials were used in the boat’s construction. Whilst touring the dining rooms, KJU said “as the quality of structure depends on what finishing building materials are used, the boat can be successfully built only when good materials are used” and ” the boat should be fitted out with high-quality furniture not only good in use but attractive.” KJU also enquired about the restaurant boat’s air conditioning system. According to KCNA he said “When completed, the boat would draw many visitors, underscoring the need to make good arrangements for its successful operation from now. It was the lifetime desire of leader Kim Jong Il to let people visit a modern restaurant boat on the Taedong River, pride of Pyongyang. The appearance of the boat cruising on the river to serve visitors would make Pyongyang more beautiful and spectacular.” KJU also instructed that the restaurant boat be finished for 15 April 2013, the 101st birth anniversary of his grandfather, DPRK founder and president Kim Il Sung.
Kim Jong Un’s final appearance was in the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Central Committee Office Building #1 where he reviewed various products manufactured by KPA factories and units and watched a rehearsal by the KPA Song and Dance Ensemble. He was accompanied by VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Kim Kyong Ok (Senior Deputy (vice) Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department) and Lt. Gen. Ryom Chol Song. First, KJU inspected and listened to musicians play accordions, guitars, janggu drums and other musical instruments. KCNA reported that Kim Jong Un “stressed the need for the KPA to produce more quality musical instruments and send them to soldiers so that they may always spend their worthwhile days in the army full of militant optimism and joy.”
Kim Jong Un also looked at artifacts, photographs, documents and other items designated to be displayed in the reconstructed Victorious Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War) Museum. KJU “underlined the need to ascertain them well and intensify their discovery on the principle of historicism.” KJU then looked at outerwear and uniforms manufactured for students of the Mangyo’ngdae Revolutionary School and Kang Pan Sok Revolutionary School. KCNA reported that he “asked the children in new overcoats which one they would like and if they would like better those having fur attached to the lapel of overcoats” and that “when he heard with laughter the children replying they liked overcoats with turndown collars, he underscored the need to make overcoats with turndown collars with fur as desired by them before giving a task to revise the dress code.” According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un said “there is nothing to spare for the children of Mangyo’ngdae Revolutionary School, reliable heirs to the Chuch’e revolutionary cause and backbones to steadfastly succeed to the revolution, and give them the best things in the world.”
Finally Kim Jong Un attended and guided the rehearsal of the KPA Song and Dance Ensemble’s concert “We Will Achieve a Final Victory with the Arms of Mt. Paektu (Paektusan).” KCNA reported that among the tunes performed were “mixed choruses ‘We Will Win Victory, Flying the Colours of the Supreme Commander’ and ‘Might of Korea’, dance ‘Our Arms’ and accordion and tap dance ‘The Naval Port in the Evening’ and mixed chorus ‘We Will Defend General Kim Jong Un at the Cost of Our Lives.'” Following the rehearsal KJU issued instructions about the concert to “guidelines to be held fast to by the song and dance ensemble for the creation of art works and their representation.” According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un said “that the WPK has great expectation towards the KPA Song and Dance Ensemble” and he “expressed the belief that the officials, creators and artistes of the ensemble would pool their efforts and conduct dynamic creative and performing activities to powerfully arouse the service personnel and people to carry out the Military-First (So’ngun) revolutionary cause of the party.”