Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
On or around 15 April (Monday) DPRK state media broadcast a documentary film about a 11 April 2013 visit by members of the DPRK core elite and a concert by the elite Moranbong Band at a unit of Korean People’s Army Unit Large Combined Unit (taeyonhap pudae) #630. The visit included an awards and gifts presentation to the unit, visits to the unit’s historical exhibitions, a tour of the unit’s quarters by core elites, performances and a martial arts exhibition by members of the unit and a concert by the Moranbong Band. Members of the core elite who visited the unit did not attend the concert.
Members of the Moranbong Band are welcomed by the unit’s officers and service members and families.
Soldiers participating in an awards and gifts ceremony, presided over by VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Director of the KPA General Political Department, Member of the Korean Workers’ Party Political Bureau Presidium and Vice Chairman of the Party Central Military Commission.
A view of a historical monument commemorating the visits to the unit by and quotations of the late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung, late leader Kim Jong Il and current supreme leader Kim Jong Un.
Members of the DPRK’s core leadership inspects the monument. Seen in attendance are: KWP Secretary and head of the Kim Family, Kim Kyong Hui (L), KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Department, Kim Yang Gon (2nd L), DPRK National Defense Commission Vice Chairman and Director of the KWP Administration Department, Jang Song Taek (3rd L), DPRK Cabinet Premier, Pak Pong Ju (4th L) and Minister of the People’s Armed Forces, Gen. Kim Kyok Sik.
Members of the Moranbong Band and the DPRK core leadership tour the unit’s historical exhibition.
DPRK Cabinet Premier Pak Pong Jo (L), NDC Vice Chairman Jang Song Taek (2nd L) and Gen. Kim Kyok Sik examine the unit’s historical exhibition.
Members of the Moranbong Band examine the unit’s historical exhibition.
DPRK core elites (top) and Moranbong Band members tours the unit’s living quarters.
Members of a unit subordinate to KPA Large Combined Unit #630 give a musical presentation for the Moranbong Band and the visit members of the leadership.
Members of the Moranbong Band applaud the performance by service members and officers of the unit.
A view of DPRK leadership members watching the performance. Annotated is Kim Kyong Hui, aunt of Kim Jong Un and sister of the late leader Kim Jong Un. Note that Madame Kim is seated in the center among other the members of the leadership, indicative of her preeminent status in the leadership cohort despite other officials in attendance who have more senior positions in the formal hierarchy. This is the same position that would be taken by Kim Jong Un, had he attended, or his father Kim Jong Il before him.
A martial arts exhibition by members of KPA Large Combined Unit #630m observed by members of the Moranbong Band and visiting members of the DPRK leadership
The venue of the Moranbong Band’s concert whilst visit the unit (top) with officers and service members queueing for the event (middle) and seated for the performance (bottom).
Images of the Moranbong Band gig. Due to technical limitations of the concert venue (particularly lighting) there were very few usable images of the performance. At the end of the gig, several members of the military unit praised the performers and thanked the leadership. (On an editorial note, one wished we’d seen more of the drummer, the electric bass player and lead electric guitar player in the documentary)
Members of the Moranbong Band were treated to a grand send-off with a musical performance and flowers given by the family members of service members and officers serving in the unit.
How often has the “Head of the Kim Family” title been seen before?
The title is not really seen all that often; I had neglected in previous postings and other offerings over the last year to identify Madame Kim as the family head. When KJI was alive, it would have been redundant to identify him as family head.