Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 3 June (Monday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the Kosan Fruit Farm in Kosan County, Kangwo’n Province. Attending the visit were Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (Chief of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Staff), Choe Hwi (Senior Deputy [1st] Director of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Propaganda and Agitation Department) Pak Tae Song (Deputy KWP Director), Col. Gen. Pak Jong Chon (Chief of the KPA Artillery Command) and Maj. Gen. An Ji Yong. Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his inspection of the KPA base on Mt. Osong and KPA Unit #507.
The Kosan Fruit Farm is reportedly undergoing a major expansion. The fruit farm was one of two pomiculture sites on the DPRK’s east coat which received technical advice on cultivation and modernization during 2008 to 2010 through a program of Germany’s Ministry of Cooperation [PDF available from the National Committee on North Korea here]. After arriving at the fruit farm, Kim Jong Un was briefed about the farm’s geography and production. He recalled a June 2011 visit to the fruit farm by late leader Kim Jong Il and said the farm “an important one to which the leader paid special attention as it is directly linked with the people’s living.” Kim Jong Un was also briefed about the construction activities of KPA Construction Shock Brigade #618 which has contributed to the Kosan Fruit Farm’s expansion.
Kim Jong Un was also briefed about the cultivation of apple trees and according to KCNA said that “he felt as if he were watching trees heavily laden with apples in autumn and expressed satisfaction at the fact that the farm has turned into a young orchard.” He “stressed the need to mass-produce organic compound fertilizer and thus decisively raise the fertility of soil by applying a ring-shaped rotation production system to the combination of fruit farming and stock-breeding” and “also underscored the need for the farm to make full preparations from now on to solve the issues arising in picking and carrying apples and processing fruits, in particular, in keeping with the increase of fruit production.” Kim Jong Un instructed that a combined fruit farm be constructed on the premises of the fruit farm. He also toured an irrigation facility. According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “praised the builders and employees of the farm for having introduced a modern irrigation system to put the manuring and cultivation of fruit trees on a highly intensive basis and thus provided a scientific and technological guarantee for boosting the fruit production while safely cultivating the trees.” He also saw a road recently completed by KPA Construction Shock Brigade #618.
Kim Jong Un remarked that “it is meaningful, indeed, that a large orchard has made its appearance at the foot of Chol Pass symbolic of the Military-First (So’ngun) revolutionary leadership. . . a fresh fairyland called ‘the sea of apples at foot of Chol Pass’ will spring up when the project for expanding the capacity of the farm comes to a finish and a sea of apples is unfolded there.” Kim Jong Un toured a small construction materials factory and said “the expansion project should be completed unconditionally at the date fixed by Kim Jong Il” and he “expressed expectation and belief that the members of the shock brigade and the employees of the farm would make sustained efforts to step up the project and increase the fruit production.”