North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Floral Wreath Laying Ceremony Held at Martyrs’ Cemeteries for KPA 81st Anniversary

A floral basket from Kim Jong Un sits in front of a monument and memorial stones at the Patriotic Martyrs Cemetery in Pyongyang on 24 April 2013.  The floral wreath was delivered to mark the official foundation of the Korean People's Army, which is commemorated on 25 April. (Photo: KCNA)

A floral basket from Kim Jong Un sits in front of a monument and memorial stones at the Patriotic Martyrs Cemetery in Pyongyang on 24 April 2013. The floral wreath was delivered to mark the formal anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People’s Army, which is commemorated on 25 April. (Photo: KCNA)

DPRK state media reported on 24 April (Wednesday) that floral wreaths were placed during ceremonies at the Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery in Pyongyang to commemorate the official 81st anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People’s Army [KPA].**  Attending the ceremonies were Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium President Kim Yong Nam, DPRK Cabinet Premier Pak Pong Ju, Director of the KPA General Political Department VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretaries Kim Ki Nam, Pak To Chun and Kim Yang Gon, DPRK Cabinet Vice Premier Kang Sok Ju, Director of the Ministry of State Security’s Political Bureau Col. Gen. Kim Chang Sop, DPRK Cabinet Vice Premier and State Planning Commission Chairman Ro Tu Chol along with “other senior party, state and army officials, officials of the party, armed forces and power bodies, the Cabinet, public organizations, ministries and national institutions, service personnel of the KPA and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces and Pyongyangites.”

Members of the DPRK's central leadership attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Revolutionary Martyrs' Cemetery in Pyongyang on 24 April 2013 to mark the official foundation of the KPA (Photo: KCNA)

Members of the DPRK’s central leadership attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery in Pyongyang on 24 April 2013 to mark the official foundation of the KPA (Photo: KCNA)

Floral wreaths placed in front of a monument and memorial stones at the Revolutionary Martyrs' Cemetery in Pyongyang to mark the official foundation of the country's military (Photo: KCNA)

Floral wreaths placed in front of a monument and memorial stones at the Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery in Pyongyang to mark the official foundation of the country’s military (Photo: KCNA)

Floral wreaths were delivered on behalf of current leader Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n), the KWP Central Committee, the SPA, DPRK Cabinet, the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces, the Ministry of People’s Security as well as “public organizations, ministries and national institutions, units of the KPA and the KPISF [Korean People’s Internal Security Forces], institutions of science, education, literature and arts, public health and media, and party and power organs, farms, etc. in Pyongyang.”  According to KCNA, ceremony “participants observed a moment’s silence in memory of the martyrs who dedicated themselves to the struggle for the liberation of the country, people’s freedom and happiness, the reunification of the country and the accomplishment of the revolutionary cause of Juche under the leadership of President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il” and toured the cemeteries.

**Until 1978, the DPRK commemorated the KPA’s foundation on 8 February, when the KPA’s foundation was publicly announced on 8 February 1948.  After 1978, the DPRK revised the KPA’s foundation date to 25 April 1932 when, according to the official chronicles, Kim Il Sung founded the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army.

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