Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 9 March (Sunday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) voted in the election of deputies to the 13th Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA], the DPRK’s unicameral legislative body. Accompanying him to the polling station were VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), Kim Kyong Ok (Senior Deputy [1st Vice] Director of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Organization Guidance Department), Hwang Pyong So (Deputy [Vice] Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department), Kim Yo Jong (Events Director in Kim Jong Un’s Secretariat Office and KJU’s younger sister) and other senior Party Central Committee officials. Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his attendance at flight drills of Korean People’s Army [KPA] Air and Anti-Air Forces Unit #2620.
The Chairman of the KPA Election Committee handed a ballot over to Kim Jong Un, who voted for Maj. Gen. Kim Kwang Hyok, identified as commander of KPA Unit #855. Kim Jong Un met Maj. Gen. Kim, shaking hands with him and, according to KCNA “encouraging him to display a high sense of responsibility in the struggle for stepping up the combat preparations and bolstering up the combat capabilities, not forgetting even a moment the last instructions given by leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) while visiting the unit in the last period of his life.” Kim Jong Un then inspected the KIS University of Politics, which is where his father, late leader Kim Jong Il, voted in the SPA election in March 2009.
He toured a revolutionary history room and an exhibition hall about the university’s history. According to KCNA, he said that “the university has creditably fulfilled its honorable mission and duty as the nation’s highest seat for training political officers of the KPA” and added “it is great honor and pride of the WPK and the people to have the Kim Il Sung University of Politics and its history will always remain shining along with the history of the WPK.” He also toured the library, a hall for KPA service members and other places. Kim Jong Un was described by KCNA as “greatly satisfied to learn that the university has created an excellent educational environment for training its cadets as versatile political officers and it is effectively using it.” He also “appreciated the efforts made by the teaching staff while devoting all their wisdom and energies to training political officers.” He remarked that “the university has a very important position and role in developing the party political work in the People’s Army as required by the modeling of the whole army on Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism” and “set tasks which would serve as guidelines for steadily improving the instruction and education, educational environment and the living conditions of the cadets.” According to KCNA Kim Jong Un “expressed his expectation and conviction that teachers of the university would train more able all-round political officers strong in the party spirit, keenly aware of the sense of responsibility for training the backbones for carrying out the revolutionary cause of So’ngun (Military-First).”
At Paektusan Constituency #111 where Kim Jong Un was on the ballot as a candidate for SPA deputy, KCNA reported that voters of sub-constituencies #30, #33, #11 and #15 “cast the ballots into the voting boxes, expressing their loyalty to Kim Jong Un who has developed the KPA into an invincible revolutionary armed forces” and also “pledged to further glorify the genuine people’s power under the uplifted banner of modeling the whole army on Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism, looking up to the portraits of smiling President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il.” After voting KPA service members “presented cheerful dances full of pride and honor.” According to KCNA the voting at Paektusan Constituency #111 “powerfully demonstrated the unshakable revolutionary faith and iron will of the army of the party of the Chuch’e type and the powerful revolutionary army of Kim Jong Un to glorify the exploits performed by Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in the nation-building for all ages and remain loyal to the So’ngun (Military-First) revolutionary leadership of Kim Jong Un.” Among those voting in Kim Jong Un’s district were Col. Gen. Jang Jong Nam (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Yang Hyong Sop (Vice President of the SPA Presidium), VMar Ri Yong Mu (Vice Chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission), Gen. Kim Won Hong (Minister of State Security), Gen. Choe Pu Il (Minister of People’s Security) and Col. Gen. Kim Chang Sop (Director of the Ministry of State Security Political Bureau).
Senior officials of the KWP, KPA and DPRK Government also voted in the SPA elections and greeted candidates and voters. Kim Yong Nam (President of the SPA Presidium and titular head of state), Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier), Kim Ki Nam (KWP Secretary and Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department), Choe T’ae Bok (KWP Secretary and Chairman of the SPA), Kim Yong Dae (Vice President of the SPA Presidium and Chairman of the Korean Social Democratic Party Central Committee), along other senior officials “met and encouraged the candidates for deputies and voters who have devotedly worked for the development of the DPRK with ardent loyalty and patriotic enthusiasm for the party, leader, country and its people” and “expressed belief that the voters would continue to creditably discharge their duties as citizens of the DPRK in the efforts to build the socialist country into the best thriving nation in the world and a paradise for the people under the wise leadership of supreme leader Kim Jong Un, ” according to KCNA.