Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his attendance of a concert by the Kim Il-so’ng Socialist Youth League Art Propaganda Squad
DPRK state media reported on September 14 (Monday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited and toured the Paektusan Youth Power Station in Yangkang Province. Also in attendance were Choe Ryong Hae (Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Secretary of Military Affairs) and Jo Yong Won (deputy director of the WPK Finance and Accounting Department).
Upon arriving at one part of the power station, Jong Un greeted commanders of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] units involved in the construction and he noted that Power Station #1 was completed on Youth Day (August 28). According to KCNA he remarked that “the young people of the DPRK are very admirable as they have waged a high-pitched drive day and night for the past more than 120 days since he visited the construction site in April to create world-startling heroic myth of youth. It could be created only by the young people of the DPRK educated and trained under the care of the WPK and all of them are heroes.”
Kim Jong Un also looked at monuments of Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and Kim Jong Il’s revolutionary activities, then toured an ideological education room under development. Jong Un “stressed that the feats performed by the young people in the construction of the power station are the precious treasure to be specially recorded in the WPK’s history and handed down to posterity.” According to KCNA, Jong Un named it the “Exhibition of Feats of Paektusan Heroic Young People.” He then toured the dams of Power Stations #1 and #2, tunnels, control room, generation facilities and a transformer station. Whilst touring the dam of Power Station #1 he remarked that “one feels as if watching the sky-high spirit of the young people in the DPRK and when feasting one’s eyes on it from distance, one feels as if watching a huge unit of young people forming a human fortress and shield protecting the Party Central Committee.”
Jong Un also noted with pleasure that “whoever stands on the dam of the power station would feel poetic sentiment flash upon one’s mind” and that “this represents the heroic spirit and feats of the young people of Paektu who dash ahead like the wind along the course of the Korean revolution set by the WPK in the spirit of the blizzards of Paektu. One cannot watch the dam and waterway tunnel of station No. 2 casually. One has to pay tribute to the patriotism displayed by young people in conquering nature despite biting cold.”
He also gave instructions to begin trial operation of the generator and transformer “as an early date as equipment have been assembled and establish an integrated control system put on a high automation and IT basis so as to keep the operation of stations #1 and #2 on normal footing” Jong Un also “stressed that the workers of various industrial establishments including the Taean Heavy Machine Complex made a lot of efforts for the construction of the power station” and he “extended thanks to them for performing labor feats in producing and ensuring custom-built equipment.”
Jong Un also looked at transmission lines “stretching to Samjiyo’n County from the power station” before he toured the quarters built by KPA service members for the local civilian population as part of flood relief efforts. Jong Un said that “there are so many monumental edifices going by the name of youth on this land…this proves the 70-year long history of the WPK is characterized by the history of attaching importance to youth and bringing up the young people to be heroes of the times and masters of creation. The construction of the power station eloquently proved once again that the decision of the party precisely means reality and practice and the young people of the DPRK are performing the role of vanguard in implementing the party’s decisions.”
According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un remarked that “it is the consistent strategic line of the WPK to train the young people as masters of the times and encourage them to enter the gate of the thriving nation before anyone else” and he underscored “the need for all young people to build on this land more structures of eternal value to be handed down to posterity by carrying forward the proud tradition of young Koreans.” Jong Un “called on them to wind up the project perfectly as not many days are left before the 70th birthday of the WPK and stage a grand young soldier-people chorus, a declaration of victors, there.” He said he would attend such a gathering and have photos taken with the chorus using the dam of Power Station #1 as the back drop. He concluded his visit by watching the Paektusan Youth Power Station’s Itinerant Art Propaganda Squad sing “Song of Faith Sung by Young People in Paektu” and participated in a commemorative photo-op.