Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 23 January (Thursday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) observed tactical exercises of Korean People’s Army [KPA] Unit #323 and visited the Mount Madu revolutionary historical site. His last observed appearance was his observation of night jump exercises by KPA paratroopers.
Kim Jong Un observed exercises by KPA Unit #323. Attending the exercises were Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Lt. Gen. Kim Su Gil (Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Gen. Ri Pyong Chol (Commander of the KPA Air and Anti-Air Forces), Gen. Kim Yong Chol (Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff and Director of the Reconnaissance General Bureau), Lt. Gen. Pak Jong Chon and Hwang Pyong So (Deputy [vice] Director of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Organization Guidance Department). According to KCNA during the exercises KPA personnel demonstrated “their admirable actions of occupying the ‘enemy’s position’ at a lightning speed, giving it no time to come to itself.” He “highly praised them for conducting the most successful exercise under very unfavorable conditions in terms of nature, geography and climate” and said that “the exercise could prove successful as officers commanded the ‘battle’ while performing difficult duties in the van of soldiers.” According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “once again highly praised the commanding officers and officers of the staff of the unit for acquiring capabilities to skillfully organize and command all forms of modern operations and battles and soldiers for being well versed in battle methods for satisfactorily performing their combat duty” and “set forth important tasks to be fulfilled by the KPA to organize and conduct drills under the simulated conditions of an actual war.”
Kim Jong Un also visited the Mount Madu which according to KCNA was “a secret base in the area of Anju in the period of the anti-Japanese armed struggle was a base for regional leadership, an important base for military operation in the western part of Korea” which was “formed according to the operational plan of President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng).” Attending Kim Jong Un’s visit were Hwang Pyong So, Ma Won Chun (Deputy [vice] Director of the KWP Finance and Accounting Department), Gen. Kim Yong Chol and Lt. Gen. Pak Jong Chon. During his tour he visited a classroom and viewed slogan-bearing trees. Kim Jong Un “pointed out that the revolutionary battle site in Mt. Madu bears witness to the immortal exploits performed by Kim Il Sung for accomplishing the historic cause of national liberation and the indomitable fighting spirit of the Korean people who ushered in a new era of the national liberation struggle in colonies, holding him in high esteem as the center of unity and leadership” and said that “it is the unshakable will and determination of the WPK to always uphold, carry forward and develop the revolutionary traditions established by Kim Il Sung and complete the Korean revolution.”
He posed for commemorative photos with the Mount Madu Revolutionary Battle Site’s staff and said that “the revolutionary battle sites are eternal treasures of the Korean revolution more precious than anything else and important bases for equipping the members of the party, working people, service personnel and youth and students with the revolutionary traditions of the WPK” then issued “important tasks which would serve as guidelines for managing and operating them and intensifying the education through them.”