Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Senior members of the DPRK’s central leadership and senior officials of the DPRK’s defense industries visited the Kunja-ri Revolutionary Site in So’ngch’o’n County, South P’yo’ngan Province on April 12 (Tuesday). The Kunja-ri Revolutionary Site, which is located close to the main office complex of the Second Economic Committee (Second Economy Commission) (which controls the manufacturing of conventional and advanced weapons) and the headquarters of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] Strategic Forces (which is responsible for C2 of the DPRK’s ballistic missiles), is a key site in the history of North Korea’s munitions industries, after the P’yo’ngch’o’n-ri site in Pyongyang.
According to the official history “the President (Kim Il-so’ng) left his first footprint at P’yo’ngch’o’n-ri after the liberation of the country, unrolling the grand plan for founding independent national defense industry. In the period of the Fatherland Liberation War [Korean War] he put forward the policy for moving an ordnance factory to the underground tunnel in Kunja-ri, wisely leading the struggle to produce weapons in wartime,” that “Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) visited Kunja-ri on May 24, Chuch’e 56 (1967) and looked round underground workshops associated with the warm care shown by the President in the days of the war” and “gave an instruction to build a revolutionary museum there and turn it into a center for educating the younger generation.”
On Tuesday, statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il were unveiled during a ceremony at the Kunja-ri Revolutionary Site. Prior to the ceremony senior DPRK officials toured the site, seeing “the 120mm mortar shop, tool shop, hand grenade shop, bullet shop and other places” and “being briefed on the fact that the President showed warm loving care and solicitude to the Kunjari workers and laid a firm foundation for the self-reliant national defense industry.”
Attending the tour of Kunja-ri and the ceremony were Kim Yong Nam (President of the Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium), Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier), Ri Man Gon (Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Machine-Building [Military] Industry Department Director), Pak T’ae Song (Chief Secretary of the South P’yo’ngan WPK Committee), Hong Yong Chil (deputy director of the WPK Machine-Building [Military] Industry Department), Jo Chun Ryong (Chairman of the Second Economic Committee [Second Economy Commission] and Member of the DPRK National Defense Commission), the vice chairmen and members of the Second Economic Committee and senior KPA logistics and defense industry officials. Attending the ceremony were employees of the Second Economic Committee, other defense industry functionaries and employees, personnel involved in the construction of the statues and merited DPRK citizens.
After the statues were unveiled a KPA honor guard brought floral baskets to the foot of the statues sent by Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) and one sent jointly by the WPK Central Committee, the SPA Presidium and the DPRK Cabinet along with floral baskets sent by munitions factories and from employees, technicians and managers from the DPRK’s defense industry. Ceremony participants bowed in tribute to the statues. Kim Yong Nam delivered a speech in which he said that “the erection of the statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in the Kunja Revolutionary Site is an eruption of the firm faith and ardent loyalty of all the service personnel and people to add eternal shine to the revolutionary exploits of the peerlessly great men of Mt. Paektu who devoted their all to the development of the Chuch’e-oriented national defense industry and thoroughly carry out the party’s line of simultaneously developing the two fronts in the fighting spirit and style of the heroic workers of the munitions industry field.”
Kim Yong Nam also said that “Korea, which was under the yoke of colonial slavery after being deprived of its sovereignty by the imperialists in the past, proudly ranked itself in the advanced space and nuclear powers, startling the world people. This reality is the precious fruition of the wise leadership of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il who dedicated themselves to developing the Chuch’e-oriented national defense industry under the uplifted banner of So’ngun (military-first) all their lives.” After the ceremony, participants looked around the statues and the historical site.