Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 17 January (Friday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) attended and guided a concert of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] Military Band. Also in attendance were senior Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] and KPA officials including VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Lt. Gen. Kim Su Gil (Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Lt. Gen. Ryom Chol Song (Deputy Director of the KPA General Political Department), Choe Hwi (Senior KWP Department Deputy Director) and Hwang Pyong So (Deputy Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department).
The KPA Military Band’s instrumental performance included pieces “We Will Follow You Only,” “Song of the Korean People’s Army,” “Song of National Defense,” “Song of Coast Artillerymen,” “July 27 March,” “Ode to the Motherland,” “Victors,” ” Soldiers’ Worthwhile Days,” and “Waves of River Amur.” According to KCNA the “the band successfully represented the unshakable faith and will of the powerful revolutionary Mt. Paektu (Paektusan) army to uphold Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un as the unitary center of the unity and leadership and accomplish with arms the revolutionary cause of Chuch’e started in Mt. Paektu” and the concert ” fully reflected the invincible spirit of the heroic KPA winning victory after victory, flying the red flag of the WPK as their foremost army colors with solemn yet cheerful melodies strong in appeal and high in militant spirit.”
After the concert Kim Jong Un waved to the band performers and “expressed great satisfaction over their revolutionary and militant concert.” According to KCNA, he “highly praised the creators and musicians of the KPA military band” which “gave him great strength in the new year.” He said that “very good numbers were chosen for the concert and they were successfully arranged” and “represented well wind-instrument music ‘Ode to the Motherland’ as it impressively dealt with the noble idea of Kim Jong Il’s (Kim Cho’ng-il) patriotism through exquisite artistic representation and rich sound, in particular.” Kim Jong Un “extended thanks to them for their successful presentation perfect in its ideological content and artistry and full of militant spirit” and “promised to send the band musical instruments and vehicles necessary for its artistic creation and performing activities.” He also”underscored the need for the band to sing and play more loudly military music full of militant spirit so as to instill conviction of victory in the revolution and optimism, bitter hatred against the enemies and fighting will to wipe them out into all service personnel and people” and “indicated tasks and ways for further developing the Korean-style military music.”
Kim Jong Un “expressed belief and expectation that the creators and musicians of the band would as ever conduct creative and performing activities in a more revolutionary and militant manner, deeply aware of the honorable duties assigned to them by the party, and thus develop it into a world-class military band and dynamically encourage the service personnel and people in their all-out worthwhile advance toward a final victory in the drive for the building of a thriving socialist nation and a great battle for national reunification,” according to KCNA.