Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 15 July (Monday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited a mushroom farm constructed by unit #1116, subordinate to Korean People’s Army [KPA] Unit #534. Among those attending the visit with him were VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Col. Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Col. Gen. Jon Chang Bok (1st Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Han Kwang Sang (Deputy [Vice] Director of the KWP Finance and Accounting Department), Kim Kyong Ok (Senior Deputy [1st Vice] Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department with the portfolio for military affairs), Hwang Pyong So (Deputy Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department) and Ma Won Chun (Deputy [Vice] Director of the KWP Administration Department). Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to the renovated Victorious Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War) Museum in Pyongyang.
Kim Jong Un began his trip with a briefing about the mushroom farm’s construction in front of a map of the farm. According to KCNA Kim Jong Un said, “The mushroom cultivation grounds look very nice and I am pleased to see them” and “praised the unit for having built the indoor cultivation grounds by a dry method of construction through the introduction of latest technology for making the mushroom production intensive while using a minimum area for production in a matter of a few months, in particular.” He enquired about the production of capacity of the mushroom farm and said he “was pleased among other things that the farm is capable of reaping a high and secure harvest of mushroom even in a small area by producing mushroom all the year round unlike arch-style mushroom cultivation grounds.” He visited the farm’s control room and, according to KCNA, “was satisfied to learn that the farm has automated a monitoring and control system whereby the growth of mushrooms at every cultivation ground is monitored and production is commanded in real time.” He toured the cultivation area and said “that production can be increased when fungi are cultivated by an industrial method” and that “it is good that the farm produces mushroom at both arch-style mushroom grounds and indoor cultivation grounds built by a dry method of construction” then called ” forarmy and society to build mushroom farms in a big way by following the example set by this farm.”
Kim Jong Un also remarked that “it is necessary to thoroughly implement the behest of President Kim Il Sung, who called for turning the country into a world famous mushroom producer by building such mushroom farms in different parts of the country” and “underlining the need to provide a standard design in order to build modern mushroom farms and scrupulously organize a work for introducing mushroom cultivation technique and experience, he took measures to this end.” After his tour of the mushroom farm, Kim Jong Un attended a commemorative photo-op with the farm’s managers and employees.