Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 5 May (Sunday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the Turf Institute of the Bioengineering Branch of the State Academy of Sciences. KJU’s last observed public appearance was his attendance at May Day-themed concert of the U’nhasu Orchestra at the People’s Theater in central Pyongyang. Joining Kim Jong Un for his visit to the Turf Institute were Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary and Supreme People’s Assembly Chairman Choe Tae Bok and KWP Deputy (vice) Department Directors Pak T’ae-so’ng and Hwang Pyong So.
The Turf Institute, which was the locale of previous visits by senior government and party officials, was described as “newly constructed by soldiers.” Kim Jong Un visited the institute’s main building where he “was pleased to see the green-tiled outer wall” and he “praised the soldier-builders for erecting the monument to the institute in an imposing manner.” KJU toured the institute’s exhibition of its accomplishments, various research facilities, a study center and its e-library. Kim Jong Un noted “research rooms and laboratories were built well to suit the nature of the institute” and “he underscored the need to take measures for providing it with necessary equipment and scientific and technological information.” He also toured the institute’s commissary and living quarters of its employees.
Kim Jong Un toured the Turf Institute’s research greenhouse where he saw “various species of turf being cultivated.” According to KCNA, KJU said “what is essential in the research into turf is to cultivate turf which remains green all the year round, strong in resistance to cold and treading and high in ornamental effect.” KJU also toured experimental plots of turf “comprising the experimental field for species, experimental field for seed-selection and vegetative propagation, experimental field for turf cutting and other fields” where he “called for conducting research into species suited to the areas distinct in four seasons and different in their climatic conditions.” Kim Jong Un also instructed that regional offices of the Turf Institute be established in the east, west and central areas of the DPRK. KJU also looked at several species of turf and instructed that additional research be conducted into developing grass that is green throughout the year. Kim Jong Un also spoke of “the need to plant trees, create grassland and cultivate flowers and other plants in all lands except the cultivated land so that there may be no land left waste or overgrown with weed.” KJU also inspected “various type machines including those for collecting turf seeds, sowing them and cutting turf and a ground-stiffening roller machine contrived and manufactured by the Academy” and “called for widely applying them.” According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un said he “would send modern equipment for researches to the institute” and he “underscored the need to turn the country into a socialist thriving nation and make it richer and more beautiful for the people by dynamically conducting the land management under a long-term plan.”