Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his observation of KPA Air and Anti-Force combat aviation exercises
DPRK state media reported on February 23 (Tuesday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) attended the 70th anniversary concert of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] Military Band. Attending the concert with him were Kim Ki Nam (Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Secretary and Director of Propaganda and Agitation), General Pak Yong Sik (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), General Ri Myong Su (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Lt. General Jo Nam Jin (deputy director of the KPA General Political Department and head of the KPA Organization Department), Lt. General Ryom Chol Song (deputy director of the KPA General Political Department and head of the KPA Propaganda Department)**, General Jo Kyong Chol (Director of the Military Security Command), and KPA officers and service members.
According to KCNA during the concert, “the performers clearly showed the firm faith and resolution and indomitable will of the service personnel and people of the DPRK to accomplish without fail the revolutionary cause of Chuch’e started in Mt. Paektu, rallied close around Kim Jong Un” and the “band’s solemn sound and dynamic, appealing and militant melody truthfully represented the ideological and mental world and invisible spirit of the heroic KPA advancing along the road indicated by the party, flying the red flag of the WPK as the first colors of the revolution.”
Jong Un “expressed great satisfaction over the band’s successful concert and warmly congratulated all its members on its 70th founding anniversary” and “recalled that the band has covered a glorious road, arousing the service personnel and people to developing the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK and building a rich and powerful country for the past seven decades since it played military music at the inaugural ceremony for the Pyongyang Institute founded by President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) as the nation’s first central cadre-training base after the liberation of Korea.” Kim Jong Un noted that “leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) repeatedly guided concerts of the band, developing the military music in to an army and battle-style one and the world’s leading one. . .the band has grown to be the nation’s first military band, Chuch’e-based revolutionary band and a group of buglers speaking for the stand of the Korean revolution.”Kim Jong Un stressed that “the band is like the face of the state, symbol of the KPA and powerful weapon instilling revolutionary enthusiasm and fighting spirit into all the service personnel and people. It is the firm determination of the Party Central Committee to win the final victory of the revolutionary cause of Chuch’e with the band in the van of the revolutionary ranks playing military music more loudly.” Jong Un “set forth tasks to be carried out by the band and took necessary measures” then poses for a commemorative photo with the KPA Military Band’s conductors, arrangers, functionaries and players.
**This marks another significant military-related #1 event at which Jong Un was not accompanied by VMar Hwang Pyong So (Director of the KPA General Political Department).