Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his attendance at the 2016 KPA Tank Competition
(translation variant between KCNA and state broadcasting noted in parentheses)
DPRK state media reported on March 15 (Tuesday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) observed and guided a simulation for re-entry vehicle of a ballistic rocket. Also in attendance were Ri Pyong Chol (senior deputy director of the Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Organization Guidance Department), Kim Jong Sik (deputy director of the WPK Munitions Industry [machine-building industry] Department) and General Kim Rak Gyom (Commander of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] Strategic Force).
According to KCNA, the simulation was “conducted in such a way of verifying the thermodynamic structural stability of newly-developed heat-resisting materials through measurement of the erosion degree and internal temperature of the tip under the high press and thermal flow caused by aerodynamic heating when a ballistic rocket reenters the atmosphere. The test results met the needs for all the technical parameters. The test proved that the tip’s thermodynamic structural stability is ensured under the pressure equivalent to actual environmental conditions and heat flow about five times stronger than the condition caused at the time of ballistic rocket reentry and, after all, it provided a sure guarantee for the reliability of inter-continental ballistic rocket warhead reentry.”
Kim Jong Un said that “the trustworthy scientists, technicians and workers in the munitions industry true to the WPK’s revolutionary line of simultaneously developing the two fronts have made long strides in the rocket industry and nuclear technology this year when the Sevenths Congress of the WPK is to be held. We have proudly acquired the reentry technology, possessed by a few countries styling themselves as military powers , by dint of self-reliance and self-development, thus making a good progress in the ballistic rocket technology that helps strengthen the independence of the country defense capability and munitions industry and remarkably enhance the invisible might of the powerful revolutionary Paektusan (Mt. Paektu) army.”
Jong Un said that “the level of our advanced strike means, irrefutable in terms of science and technology, just shows the strength and dignity of our country (KCBS: precisely that of our national power and that of the dignity of our fatherland)” He stressed “the need for munitions industry to rapidly develop the military science and technology and raise higher the level of putting the defense industry on a Chuch’e-based, modern and scientific basis and thus develop and produce more on the highest level diverse and Korean-style military strike means and shells for realizing the Party Central Committee’s idea on the military strategy and tactics.” Kim Jong Un declared that “a nuclear warhead explosion test and a test-fire of several kinds of ballistic rockets (KCBS: various kinds of nuclear-armed ballistic rockets) able to carry nuclear warheads will be conducted in a short time (KCBS: at an early date) to further enhance the reliance of nuclear attack capability (KCBS: to fully increase the reliability of nuclear offensive capability) ” and he instructed “the relevant section to make prearrangements (KCBS: make perfect preparations in advance) for them to the last detail.”