Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the Ku’msusan Palace of the Sun at midnight on 16 February (Sunday), the birth anniversary of his father late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il). Also in attendance were VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Col. Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Col. Gen. Pyon In Son (Director of the KPA General Staff Operations Bureau), Col. Gen. So Hong Chan (1st Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Maj. Gen. Ryom Chol Song (Deputy Director of the KPA General Political Department), Lt. Gen. Kim Su Gil (Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces) and other senior KPA commanders. Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his attendance at a national meeting marking the Day of the Shining Star.
Kim Jong Un visited a chamber containing statues of Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng), attended to by an honor guard of the KPA’s three service branches and the Worker-Peasant Red Guard. Floral baskets from Kim Jong Un and the KPA were placed in front of the statues. Kim Jong Un and the senior KPA commanders bowed in front of the statues then visited a chamber containing Kim Jong Il’s preserved remains where they “paid homage to Kim Jong Il in the humblest reverence for him.”
On 15 February (Saturday), Kim Jong Un issued a promotions order in his capacity as KPA Supreme Commander. Among those promoted were Kim Rak Gyom, Commander of the KPA Strategic Rocket Forces. According to KCNA, in the promotions order he “expressed belief that the commanding officers of the KPA, descendants of President Kim Il Sung, soldiers and disciples of leader Kim Jong Il, would cherish in their hearts the trust and expectation of the Workers’ Party of Korea and the people and fulfill their responsibility and duties in the sacred struggle for a final victory of the revolutionary cause of Chuch’e.” The promoted officers are:
Colonel General (sangjang)
Kim Rak Gyom
Lieutenant General (chungjang)
Yun Tong Hyon; Pak Yong Rae; U Chol; Kang Ri Won; Choe Sin Uk; Ri Kum Hyong; Pak Chun Bong; Rim Kwang Ung
Major General (sojang)
Song Hak Chol; Ku Kwang So; Ko Un Bong; Kim Chol Ho; Choe Tu Yong; Jong To Ho; Jang Pyong Hyon; Pak Il; Ju Song Nam; Ri Yong Gon; Ri Wan Sik; Kim Kwang Il; Kim Tok Ho; Kil Ryong Ho; Han Kwang Chol; Kim Jong Bong; Pae Un Chol; Kim Sun Gil; Ju Hang Gon; Kim Jae Yun; Kim Chol Su; Ri Su Il; Jong Ui Son; Pak Song Chan; Kim Si Bok; Ri Ho Yong; Kim Tong Chol; Kim Ui Jun; Hwang Sam Chon.