Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
The state funeral for Kang Sok Ju was held on May 22 (Sunday). Among those attendance were Vice Marshal Hwang Pyong So (Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department), Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Premier), Choe Ryong Hae (Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Vice Chairman and Member of the Executive Policy Council), Choe T’ae Bok (WPK Vice Chairman and Supreme People’s Assembly Chairman), Kwak Pom Gi (WPK Vice Chairman and Member of the Executive Policy Council), O Su Yong (WPK Vice Chairman and Members of the Executive Policy Council), Ri Man Gon (WPK Vice Chairman for Munitions Industries), Yang Hyong Sop (SPA Presidium Vice President), Ro Tu Chol (DPRK Vice Premier and State Planning Commission Chairman), General Pak Yong Sik (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Vice Marshal Ri Myong Su (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Jo Yon Jun (Senior Deputy Director of the WPK Organization Guidance Department), Kim Jong Im (director of the Party History Institute), Ri Yong Rae (Director of the WPK General Affairs Department), Jon Il Chun (deputy director of the WPK Finance and Accounting Department) and members of the Kang family.
Mourners gathered at the funeral parlor at Sojang Club in the Pot’onggang District in Pyongyang where they observed a moment of silence before the cortege proceeded to the Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery. Pyongyang citizens lined the street as the hearse passed by. At the cemetery a graveside service took place at which Choe Ryong Hae and Ri Su Yong (WPK Chairman and Kang’s replacement) spoke during the ceremony. According to KCNA, Choe said in his eulogy that that “the death of Kang Sok Ju, genuine revolutionary and able political activist, was a great loss to the WPK and the people. Though his heart stopped nearing, the feats he performed for the party, the revolution, the country and the people will last forever.”
Kang’s casket was interred and members of the State Funeral Committee and members of the Kang Family placed dirt over the casket. Floral wreaths from Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n), the WPK Central Committee, the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium and the DPRK Cabinet were placed near Kang Sok Ju’s grave. After, the mourners observed a moment of silence.