Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to the machine plant managed by Ri Ch’o’l-ho
DPRK state media reported on April 9 (Saturday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) observed and guided an intercontinental ballistic missile [ICBM] engine test at Sohae Space Center in Ch’olsan County, North P’yo’ngan Province. Also in attendance were Ri Man Gon (Director of the Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Military [machine-building] Industry Department), Jo Yong Won (deputy director of the WPK Organization Guidance Department), Hong Yong Chil (deputy director of the WPK Military [machine-building] Industry Department), Kim Jong Sik (deputy director of the WPKMilitary [machine-building] Industry Department ) and General Kim Rak Gyom (commander of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] Strategic Force).
According to KCNA, Jong Un issued “an order to conduct the ground jet test of a new type high-power engine of inter-continental ballistic rocket.” He ordered the test to test and “the moment the engine spewed out huge flames with deafening boom.” KCNA reported that the “results of the test proved that the high-power engine, designed and manufactured by the scientists and technicians in the field of national defense with their own efforts and technology in the Korean style, satisfied all scientific and technological indexes.”
Jong Un was “great pleased with the results of the test and highly praised the scientists and technicians for having brough about another epochal event in demonstrating the dignity and the inexhaustible power of the great Paektusan (Mt. Paektu) nation by putting intro practice the intention and will of the party to adorn the Seventh Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea as a golden age in bolstering up the Chuch’e-oriented national defense.” He noted that “the great success made in the test provided a firm guarantee for mounting another form of nuclear attack upon the US imperialists and other hostile forces and made it possible to have access to more powerful means capable of reacting to nukes in kind. This is an eye-catching event which demonstrated our national defense capability before the world and another great victory achieved by our people in the drive for glorifying the Seventh Congress of the WPK with unprecedented sucesses.
Kim Jong Un said that “now the DPRK can tip new type intercontinental ballistic rockets with more powerful nuclear warheads and keep any cesspool of evils in the earth including the US mainland within our striking range and reduce them to ashes so that they may not survive in our planet” and he stressed “the need to diversify nuclear attack means at a higher level to cope with the ever-more increasing nuclear threats and arbitrariness of the US imperialists and thus decisively counter nukes in kind.” He expressed “great expectation and belief that scientists and technicians in the field of national defense would give full rein to their inexhaustible creative effort true to the party’s line of simultaneously developing the two fronts and its plan for building the nuclear force and thereby bring about manifold changes in the development and production of Chuch’e-oriented weapons and bombs capable of firmly guaranteeing the everlasting future of Kim Il Sung’s (Kim Il-so’ng) nation and Kim Jong Il’s (Kim Cho’ng-il) Korea and remarkably reinforce the nuclear arsenal of the Supreme Command.”