Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his attendance at men’s basketball games between DPRK and PRC teams
DPRK state media reported on June 2 (Thursday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the reconstructed Pyongyang Sports Apparatus Factory, a project he initiated in January. Â Also in attendance were Choe Ryong Hae (Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Vice Chairman, Member of the WPK Political Bureau Presidium, Member of the WPK Executive Policy Council and Chairman of the State Physical Culture and Sports Commission), O Su Yong (WPK Vice Chairman, Member of the WPK Political Bureau and Member of the WPK Executive Policy Council), Jo Yong Won (deputy director of the WPK Organization Guidance Department), Ri Jong Mu (Minister of Physical Culture and Sports) and WPK department deputy directors and section chiefs.
Kim Jong Un visited a room displaying the factory’s history where he emphasized “the party was directing great efforts to the sports development” and called “upon the officials and employees of the factory to make devoted efforts out of patriotism and with the pride of working at the important post for translating into reality the party’s plan for building a sports powerhouse.” Jong Un toured various shops in the factory to learn about its construction and its products. He said the factory was “fully equipped in a rational way and put the production and management on a modern and IT basis on a high level as befitting the factory producing varieties of sports apparatuses in high demand among not only professional athletes but school youth and working people. As a result the factory is capable of increasing the production of varieties of sports and apparatuses as compared with that in the past.”
He said the factory “established a strict system for quality control to guarantee the quality of the products and produce sports goods in keeping with the international standard.” Jong Un noted that the factory “has an important duty to perform in order to carry out the party’s plan for building a sports powerhouse and set forth tasks before it including the issue of putting production on normal footing and boosting it by properly working out a business strategy.” He said that it “is very important to produce and supply the world-level sports goods as the traits of attaching importance to sports prevail throughout the country and the enthusiasm for sports is growing stronger than ever before and sportspersons have achieved good results under the leadership of the party.”
Jong Un noted that “the completion of the modern factory has made it possible to provide sportspersons and people with locally made quality sports equipment and goods” and stressed “the need to produce sports equipment and goods urgently necessary to develop the specialized sports field and popularize sports and make it part of everyday life by our own efforts and with indigenous technology and materials at any cost.” Kim Jong Un issued an instruction of commissioning the factory and expressed his “expectation and belief that officials and employees of the relevant field and factory would successfully fulfill the honorable duty to put the country on the status of a sports powerhouse at an early date.”