Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to the Paektusan Hero Youth Power Station #3
Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) observed and guided the test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile [SLBM] on April 23 (Saturday). Attending the test launch with him were Ri Man Gon (Director of the Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Military [Machine-Building] Industry Department), Ri Pyong Chol (senior deputy director of the WPK Organization Guidance Department), General Kim Rak Gyom (Commander of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] Strategic Forces) and other senior cadres of the DPRK’s defense industry.
Prior to the test firing, Kim Jong Un was briefed about the test firing then ordered it to proceed. According to KCNA, the test firing was “aimed to confirm the stability of the underwater ballistic launching system in the maximum depth of waters, flying kinetic feature under the vertical flight system of the ballistic missile powered by the newly developed high power solid fuel engine, the reliability of the phased heat separation and the working accuracy of nuclear detonating device of the warhead at the preset altitude. It fully confirmed and reinforced the reliability of the Korean-style underwater launching system and perfectly met all technical requirements for carrying out the Chuch’e-based underwater attack operation.”
Jong Un noted “with great satisfaction that Chuch’e Korea had access to one more means for powerful nuclear attack as required by the strategic intention of the Party Central Committee” and praised “the officials, scientists, technicians in the field of national defense science and munitions factories for having successfully rounded off the technology of underwater launching of ballistic missile from a strategic submarine at a higher level.”
He said that the “successful test-fire would help remarkably bolster up the underwater operational capability of the KPA Navy…it is now capable of hitting the heads of the south Korean puppet forces and the US imperialists anytime as it pleases. The eye-opening success constitutes one more precious labor gift the defense scientists and technicians are presenting to the great leaders and the motherly party.” Jong Un called on the “reliable defense scientists and technicians to uphold through scientific practices the Party’s strategic intention to react to nuclear weapons in kind” and he “urged them to step up the project for bolstering the nuclear force to mount nuclear attacks on the US imperialists and the south Korean puppet group of traitors any time when the Party is determined to do.”
Kim Jong Un posed for commemorative photos with the defense industry personnel and KPA Navy service members who participated in the test firing “in celebration of the successful day.”