Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 12 January (Sunday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) inspected the command element of Korean People’s Army [KPA] Unit #534. Attending the inspection were VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Kim Kyong Ok (Senior Deputy [1st Vice] Director of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Organization Guidance Department) and Hwang Pyong So (Deputy [vice] Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department. Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his attendance at a basketball game in Pyongyang on 8 January.
Col. Gen. So Hong Chan (1st Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces) and KPA Unit #534 command staff greeted Kim Jong Un after his arrival. According to KCNA he “encouraged the officers and soldiers of the unit who are devoting all their wisdom and enthusiasm and making devoted efforts to improve the living standards of service personnel in hearty response to the slogan of the Party that supply service precisely means a battle for defending socialism” and posed for a commemorative photograph. Kim Jong Un toured a revolutionary history education room and “recalled that Generalissimos Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) regarded it as an important requirement for army-building to improve the living standards of service personnel, underscoring the need for the unit to wage a dynamic drive to improve their material and cultural living standards so as to firmly preserve the undying feats performed by the Generalissimos.”
According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un remarked that “he visited the unit to make 2014 a year of a radical turn in supply service to the People’s Army and bring about a signal victory in defending socialism” and that “it is a main link in the whole chain for strengthening the affairs of the People’s Army to improve the living standards of its service personnel.” He also “called on the People’s Army to launch a high-pitched drive in bean farming, fishing and stockbreeding this year” and said “the unit plays a very important role in improving the living standards of the service personnel.” Kim Jong Un “underlined the need to bring about a radical turn in improving the living standards of the service personnel and organize a meeting of logistic personnel of the KPA late this year” and said “that they should proudly come to the meeting with successes and experience gained in the efforts to improve the living standards of service personnel.” Kim Jong Un also toured KPA Unit #534’s library and was briefed about the unit’s achievements. He also watched a performance by the unit’s art propaganda squad after which he “gave a precious instruction as regards its performing activities.”