Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported that the country’s titular head of state, President of the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium Kim Yong Nam, visited the ongoing construction of the Masik Pass (Masiknyo’ng) Ski Park on 7 June (Friday). Kim toured the ski park’s construction and saw the ski trails under development. According to KCNA, Kim Yong Nam said that “it is the steadfast resolution and fixed will of the Workers’ Party of Korea to build a world-class skiing ground in the Masik Pass area and provide the people and school youth and children with highly civilized and happy living conditions” and that “the skiing ground is a project to which the WPK attaches great importance.” Kim called “upon the People’s Army to always take the lead in ushering in a great heyday of construction in the new era of the Military-First (So’ngun) revolution, true to the grand plan of the dear respected Marshal Kim Jong Un for building a highly civilized socialist nation.” He noted that “the project to be undertaken in the future is very vast and there are not a few difficulties and obstacles” and expressed “confidence that all soldier-builders would unconditionally wind up the construction of the skiing ground within this year by giving full play to Kim Jong Il’s patriotism and waging an all-out charge and death-defying drive as intended by the WPK.”
Kim Yong Nam’s visit to the Masik Pass Ski Park occurred two days after KPA service members and officers gathered at the park’s construction in support of Kim Jong Un’s “Masiknyo’ng” Speed Battle appeal. Kim Yong Nam has previously made his own public appearances at factories, schools and historical exhibitions outside Pyongyang, usually on national holidays and on many occasions at the head of a group of other senior DPRK officials. This was one of the first observed occasions upon which Kim Yong Nam conducted a solo on-site visit. Kim’s appearance was intended to promote the “Masiknyo’ng Speed Battle.” While the speed battle specifically focuses on the completion of the Masik Pak Ski Park by personnel of the Korean People’s Army [KPA], the speed battle is intended to affect all sectors of the DPRK economy. On 4 June Kim Jong Un wrote in Rodong Sinmun:
The key to completing the construction of the Masik Pass Skiing Ground ahead of schedule lies in giving the fullest play to the spiritual strength of the masses of soldiers, and Kim Jong Il patriotism is the fundamental core of the spiritual strength to be cherished by the soldier-builders.
Party organizations and political functionaries should dynamically carry out the political work aggressively and in the frontline style to carry the flavor of the fighting army at every construction site and skillfully organize the socialist competition so that all soldier-builders make their blood boil with Kim Jong Il patriotism and fully display the revolutionary soldier merits and one-a-match-for-100 soldier temperament in the Masik Pass Skiing Ground construction battle.
The commanding officers and general staff members of the units mobilized for the construction of the skiing ground should establish the revolutionary traits and strong discipline of unconditionally carrying out the construction tasks for each object and stage through daring and bold operations and skillful command.
The great army-people unity serves as a powerful driving force for the construction of the Masik Pass Skiing Ground.
Every time the people’s army was performing a difficult and important duty, our people assisted it both materially and spiritually and fought with it in the same trench.
It is necessary to dynamically push ahead with the construction of the Masik Pass Skiing Ground by dint of the great army-people unity, which is the greatest foundation of the military- first revolution and the basis of our society.
The soldier-builders participating in the construction of the Masik Pass Skiing Ground are full of high morale and redoubled courage.
Do not worry about the construction, just supply the facilities and materials — this is the unanimous voice of the valiant soldier-builders ringing out everywhere in the construction site.
Keeping in mind that the construction speed depends on the supply of facilities and materials, the cabinet, ministries, and central organs should militantly plan and coordinate the organization and command in the production and transport of steel materials, cement, and other materials, with the same feelings as if they were making and transporting shells and bullets to the front.
The factories and enterprises in charge of producing the building materials and facilities for the Masik Pass Skiing Ground should highly display the revolutionary spirit of self-reliance and perform the tasks assigned to them on time without fail, thereby making an active contribution to moving up the completion date.
By unconditionally buildi ng a world-class skiing ground within this year, we should make the sounds of socialist laughter and the sounds of hurrah for the Workers of Party of Korea echo throughout the Masik Pass area.
It is our party’s intention and determination to raise a hot wind of great innovations and great leaps throughout the country by following and learning from the indomitable fighting spirit and fighting traits displayed by the soldiers in the construction of the Masik Pass Skiing Ground.
We should achieve a new turnabout in the reinforcement of the people’s army, which is the pillar and main force of the military-first revolution.