Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported that Kim Jong Un attended a national meeting of Korean People’s Army [KPA] information personnel at the 25 April House of Culture on 28 March, and a commemorative photograph session with meeting participants the same day. KJU’s last reported public appearance was his observation and guidance of joint live fire military exercises on the DPRK’s east coast on 25 March. Attending the national meeting with KJU was 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 [1st Vice] Director of the Korean Workers’ Party Organization Guidance Department), Col. Gen. Son Chol Ju, Lt. Gen. Ryom Chol Song and Col. Gen. Jo Kyong Chol (Chief of the Military Security Command) along with “other KPA commanding officers. . . political commissars of services and army corps and information workers of ground, naval, air and anti-air forces of the KPA, strategic rocket forces and military academies.” KPA information personnel are technically subordinate to the KPA General Political Department.
VMar Choe Ryong Hae led the speaking program, delivering the meeting’s official report. According to KCNA Choe said that the “80-odd year long history of the Korean revolutionary armed forces is associated with the undying revolutionary feats of the great Generalissimos Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il who, brought up the KPA to be the strongest in ideology by successfully embodying the Chuch’e-based ideas and theories in the army building and activities. Thanks to the dear respected Supreme Commander, who regards it as his life-long mission to accomplish the Military-First (So’ngun) revolutionary cause and the cause of army-building, the cause of building the army of Juche has made dynamic advance to a new, higher stage.” VMar Choe “called for conducting dynamic information and agitation work with an emphasis on instilling absolute trust in the party, the spirit of devotedly defending the leader, the spirit of red flag, the spirit of devotedly defending the country and Kim Jong Il’s patriotism into the hearts of service personnel as required by the new situation.” Choe’s meeting report was followed by speeches from KPA service members and officers and other GPD personnel.
Kim Jong Un also addressed the meeting. In his speech, KJU said that “the organization of the meeting of information workers of the whole army including those of subunits, not military operational meeting, at a time when there created a touch-and-go situation due to the enemies’ reckless saber-rattling is a demonstration of the steadfast faith and will of the WPK to win a decisive victory in the all-out action with the U.S. imperialists and their followers with the might of ideology” and that the “KPA should conduct ideological work in field to suit the specific features of the army,” according to KCNA and KJU was “stressing the need for information workers to conduct it without ceremony and pattern by going among soldiers and arousing them to make pledge of loyalty in heights and trenches and turn out in the final decisive battle.” Kim Jong Un “set forth tasks for conducting all the ideological work in the KPA as in wartime to meet the requirement of the situation in which the Korean Armistice Agreement is completely nullified and a fuse of a war is kindled as time has come to end the half a century-long all-out action with the U.S. imperialists.” He also said “attaching importance to ideology is the consistent line of the building of the revolutionary armed forces” and “that arms fully charged with ideology and faith will always win a victory.” KCNA reported that Kim Jong Un “expressed the belief that all information workers of the KPA will creditably discharge their noble mission and duty before the times and revolution and surely live up to the deep trust and high expectation of the party. ”
Kim Jong Un later participated in a commemorative photo session with the meeting’s participants. KCNA reported described Kim Jong Un as “leading the all-out action for defending the sovereignty of the country and the dignity of the nation to victory after making a final decision to demonstrate the resolute will of the KPA with practical military actions to cope with the grave situation where the U.S. anti-DPRK hostile acts have reached the brink of a nuclear war” when meeting participants greeted his arrival. KCNA described the meeting participants as “registering great achievements in improving and strengthening the ideological work in the KPA, bearing deep in mind the noble mission and duty they assumed before the times and the revolution.”
According to KCNA, KJU said “The meeting marked a historic occasion in providing a new landmark for bringing about a great turn in the ideological work of the KPA as required by the modeling of the whole army on Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism” and “that at the meeting the enthusiasm of information workers to remain loyal to the WPK’s line on turning the KPA into the army strong in ideology was fully manifested.” Kim Jong Un congratulated the meeting participants and “expressed expectation and conviction that all the information workers of the KPA would conduct more dynamic frontline-style information and agitation activities to make the hearts of the KPA soldiers burn with the towering resentment at the brigandish U.S. imperialists and the south Korean puppet group of traitors, the will to annihilate enemies and ardent desire for national reunification.”