Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his field inspection of KPA artillery drills. This is is first reported public appearance since the DPRK announced its fourth nuclear test on January 6.
DPRK state media reported on January 10 (Sunday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces [MPAF] complex in Pyongyang. In attendance were VMar Hwang Pyong So (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), Gen. Pak Yong Sik (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Gen. Jo Kyong Chol (Director of the Military Security Command), Lt. Gen. Ryom Chol Song (deputy director of the KPA General Political Department/head of the KPA General Propaganda Department), Col. Gen. Choe Kyong Song (KPA Supreme Command staff; former commander of XI Corps), Gen. Pak Jae Gyong (former vice minister of the People’s Armed Forces), VMar Kim Jong Gak (Dean at KIS Military University and a former Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), along with members of the KPA high command and senior command staff of the General Staff and General Political Department.
Jong Un’s visit was conducted under the pretext of offering his New Year’s greetings, the new year having already seen “the successful first H-bomb test of Chuch’e Korea.” After arriving at the MPAF complex, he posed for commemorative photos in front of the KIS and KJI statues. After the photo-op he spoke to members of the KPA’s command and senior command staff. According to KCNA, he said that the “DPRK’s H-bomb test, conducted at the outset of the year when the Seventh Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) is to be held, is a self-defensive step for reliably defending the peace on the Korean Peninsula and the regional security from the danger of nuclear war caused by the U.S.-led imperialists” and that nuclear test is ” the legitimate right of a sovereign state and a fair action that nobody can criticize.”
He then outline “the main task to be carries out by the KPA” during 2015. He said that “it is a general goal of our Party and people for this year to glorify the 7th Congress of the WPK, which will be a historic turning point in accomplishing the revolutionary cause of Chuch’e, as a glorious meeting of victors and the Party Central Committee pins greatest hope on the People’s Army in carrying out this heavy and responsible task.” Jong Un then offered an ideological slogan saying, “Let us defend the 7th Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea by strengthening the political and military might of the People’s Army in every way!”
According to KCNA Kim Jong Un stressed that “it is the feature and peculiarity of the WPK’s mode of leadership to strengthen in every way the driving force of the revolution with the People’s Army as a core, cultivate our state’s self-development capability with the People’s Army as a model and achieve the greater victories in reliance on the army and, thanks to this constant principle, the distinguished leadership mode, the WPK will always emerge victorious.” He remarked that “a shortcut to successfully carrying out the militant tasks facing the People’s Army is to deeply study and grasp the behests of Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) and implement them to the letter unconditionally without an inch of deflection, urging the whole army to put it up as an important slogan to establish the revolutionary habit of study this year. A strict military discipline should be established within the KPA and it should take on a fully standardized appearance.” He also “underlined the need for it to fully apply the anti-Japanese-guerilla-style method of commanding and managing units so that all the work and life of its service personnel can be organized in line with military regulations and manual.”
Jong Un then invoked another slogan, “Let the People’s Army take charge of both national defense and socialist construction!” and to “steer the whole society with soldier spirit, style and mettle by making breakthroughs on major fronts for building a thriving nation with the 7th WPK Congress as an occasion. The KPA should wage a high-intensity struggle to tackle the sci-tech problems arising in strengthening the defense capability and rounding off combat preparations and make many ultra-modern technologic achievements conducive to building an economic powerhouse and improving the people’s livelihood, under the slogan of the self-development-first principle.”
He also “expressed belief that the KPA commanding officers would be intensely faithful to their noble mission they have assumed on behalf of the Party and revolution, the country and its people and fulfill their revolutionary duty in the struggle for successfully carrying out this year’s militant tasks facing the KPA and hastening the final victory” and he “stressed the need for the KPA to equip itself with perfect offensive and defensive capabilities and get fully combat-ready so that it can resolutely counter any challenges by the hostile forces with a revolutionary war, a great event.” Kim Jong Un then said that “our cause is just and the revolutionary cause of Chuch’e advancing along the road of independence, So’ngun (military-first) and socialism will always emerge victorious” and he called “for a vigorous advance toward the final victory.”