Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) watched senior women’s weightlifting competitions at the Ryugyo’ng Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium in Pyongyang on 15 September (Sunday). Among those in attendance were his wife Ri Sol Ju (Ri So’l-chu), Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier), 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 Culture and Sports Guidance Commission), Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Kim Ki Nam (Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary and Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department), Ri Yong Su (Director of the KWP Workers’ Organizations Department), and “other senior party, state and army officials, as well as Pyongyang citizens.” Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to the renovation of Pyongyang Indoor Stadium.
Before the competition, Kim Jong Un met with senior officials of the International Weightlifting Federation and the Asian Weightlifting Federation. According to KCNA “they thanked him for making sure that necessary steps were taken so that the championship could be held successfully” and said that “his presence was great support and encouragement to the AWF and great honor and happiness for them as well.” Kim Jong Un said “he was very pleased to see weightlifters from different countries playing in Pyongyang with sports enthusiasm sweeping across the DPRK and public interest in sports steadily increasing in the country” and “appreciated the big efforts made by AWF, IWF and other related bodies for the successful opening of the championship.” He watched the senior women’s 63 kg and 69 kg competitions. DPRK women weightlifters Ri Jong Hwa, Ryo Un Hui and Jo Pok Hyang and Chinese weightlifter Long Dingling received gold medals. According to KCNA Kim Jong Un applauded “in congratulation of their success” and “expressed the conviction that the championship drawing men and women players from over 10 countries and regions would serve as an important occasion in boosting exchange and cooperation among sportspersons and further developing the weightlifting techniques.”