Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 31 July (Wednesday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) met with women footballers (soccer players) who won the 2013 East Asian Football Federation Cup held in Seoul, South Korea (ROK) on 27 July. Attending the meeting were VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), Jang Song Taek (Vice Chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission and Chairman of the State Physical and Culture Commission), Kim Kyong Hui (Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary and Vice Chairman Jang’s wife), Kang Sok Ju (DPRK Vice Premier), Ri Yong Su (Director of the KWP Workers’ Organizations Department), Col. Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff Operations Bureau), Pak Tae Song (KWP Department Deputy [vice] Director), Hwang Pyong So (Deputy [vice] Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department), Kim Pyong Ho (KWP Department Deputy [vice] Director), Kim Yong Hun (KWP Department Deputy [vice] Director) Ma Won Chun (KWP Department Deputy [vice] Director), Gen. Kim Yong Chol (Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff and Chief of the Reconnaissance General Bureau), Col. Gen. O Kum Chol (Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff), Ri Jong Mu (Minister of Physical Culture and Sports), Ri Ju Bong (Chief Secretary of the Ministry of Physical Culture and Sports KWP Committee) and Jon Yong Nam (Chairman of the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League Central Committee).
Kim Jong Un began the meeting by shaking hands and congratulating the team members and their head coach Kim Kwang Min for their win and “exalting the honor of Military-First (So’ngun) Korea.” According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un said “highly praised the distinguished successes made by Kim Un Ju, winner of the prize of best player, Ho Un Byol, winner of the prize of top scorer, and Chief Coach Kim Kwang Min, who led the team to victory” and that “the women soccer players of the DPRK fully displayed the Chuch’e-oriented methods of playing and their high techniques, persevering spirit and teamwork. By winning the cup on the day, the 60th anniversary of the victory in the great Fatherland Liberation War, they added joy and jubilation to the servicepersons and people of the country significantly celebrating July 27 and instilled into them confidence of sure victory and optimism. To emerge a winner and let the flag of the DPRK fly in international football games has great appeal and influence stronger than thousands of words in arousing all the service personnel and people to feats in their work.” Kim Jong Un also remarked that “”as our country has a tradition in women’s soccer and it has a good chance of success, it is important to channel big efforts and direct deep attention to further developing the female soccer so as to produce many soccer stars like Ri Kum Suk, who earned fame in international games.” Kim Jong Un reiterated his praise for the players, presented them with gifts and posed for commemorative photographs with the women footballers.”