Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his attendance at a conference of KPA fisheries’ employees and activists
Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) attended the viewing and wake for Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Secretary and Director of the United Front Department Kim Yang Gon (Kim Yang-ko’n) at the Sojang Club in central Pyongyang on December 30 (Wednesday). Also attending the viewing with him were members of the WPK Secretariat who are also members of the state funeral committee: VMar Hwang Pyong So (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), Kim Ki Nam (WPK Secretary for and Director of Propaganda and Agitation [information and publicity]), Choe T’ae Bok (WPK Secretary for Science and Education), Kwak Pom Gi (WPK Secretary for and Director of Planning and Finance), O Su Yong (WPK Secretary of Light Industry), Kim P’yo’ng-hae (WPK Secretary for and Director of Cadres’ Affairs) and Jo Yon Jun (Senior Deputy [1st vice] Director of the WPK Organization Guidance Department). Earlier on Wednesday, Jong Un has a floral basket sent to Kim Yang Gon’s casket bier.
Jong Un and his entourage bowed in front of the casket containing Kim Yang Gon’s body. According to KCNA, he “looked round the bier in bitter grief over the loss of the dear revolutionary comrade who devoted all his wisdom and energies till the last moments of his life to the struggle for thoroughly carrying out the last instructions of the great leaders for national reunification true to the unitary leadership of the party with unshakable revolutionary faith as required by the crucial historic period for accomplishing the Chuch’e-oriented revolutionary cause.” Seeing Kim Yang Gon’s body, Jong Un “looked bitterly sorrowful when seeing the face of the beloved comrade-in-arms.” Jong Un remarked that Kim’s death “was a great loss to the WPK and the revolution. Kim Yang Gon was his faithful helper and close comrade-in-arms whom nobody can replace. It seemed Kim Yang Gon would have risen up, his eyes open, if he had called Kim Yang Gon right now.”
According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un “could hardly repress his bitter grief” whilst Jong Un placed “his hands…on the cold body of the revolutionary comrade” and he noted “he would not have felt so painful if he had seen Kim Yang gon pass away after warmly taking his hand even once as he had gone to his sorrow even without a word, leaving a lot of work to be done together unfulfilled.” Kim Jong Un said that “our party and country will always remember the brilliant life of Kim Yang Gon who remained boundlessly loyal to the party and the revolution with steadfast faith in the justice of his cause.”
After paying his respects at Kim Yang Gon’s casket, Jong Un greeted members of Kim’s family and offered his condolences.
Earlier in the day, various senior DPRK officials, foreign ambassadors stationed in the DPRK and Korean nationals paid their respects and offered their condolences at the funeral parlor of Kim Yang Gon.