Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Vice Chairman and Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Chairman Choe Tae Bok (Choe T’ae-pok), WPK International Affairs Department Deputy Director Ri Yong Chol (Ri Yo’ng-ch’o’l) and a WPK delegation visited Vietnam during June 4 and June 6 and began a visit to Laos in June 6. Choe’s visit to Vietnam began with laying a floral wreath and pay his respects at the mausoleum of Ho Chi Min on June 5 (Monday), along with members of the WPK delegation and cadres of the Communist Party of Vietnam [CPV] Central Committee.
One June 6 (Monday) Choe met with Trần Quốc Vượng, a member of the CPV Political Bureau and Chairman of its Control Commission. Also in attendance was DPRK Ambassador to Vietnam Kim Myong Gil (Kim Myo’ng-kil) and CPV Central Committee members including the permanent deputy director of the CPV Organizational Department and deputy director of the CPV External Affairs Department. Vuong welcomed the WPK delegation to Vietnam and, according to KCNA, “expressed belief that the fraternal Korean people would certainly implement the last instructions of President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) under the guidance of Chairman of the WPK Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n).”
Choe and Vuong exchanged briefings about their respective, recently-held party congresses. According to KCNA Choe T’ae Bok also discussed “the fact that the service personnel and people of the DPRK are turning out in the 200-day campaign of loyalty to carry out” the decisions made at the 7th Congress of the WPK and he clarified “the stand of the DPRK to make a positive contribution to defending global peace and security as a responsible nuclear weapons state.” Choe also underscored “the need to develop the traditional friendly and cooperative relations” between the WPK and CPV “forged in the joint struggle for socialism.”
According to VOV, Vuong and Choe “exchanged information on the (domestic) situation of the two countries, the status of bilateral relations, regional and international issues.” Vuong also discussed “the achievements of Doi Moi [renovation] policy, Vietnam’s current domestic and foreign policies, Vietnam’s compliance with international laws” and he “promoted the desire to reduce stress and promote dialogue for the peace, stability and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” According to KCNA, Vuong stressed that the CPV “and people of Vietnam would invariably support the party and people of the DPRK in their just cause to protect the security and sovereignty of the country and socialism and reunify the county.”
On June 6 (Monday), Choe Tae Bok met with Nguyễn Phú Trọng, General Secretary of the CPV. Choe brief Trong on the 7th Party Congress and said it elected Kim Jong Un as WPK Chairman “reflecting the unanimous will and desire of all party members, service personnel and other people.” He noted that under Jong Un’s guidance “the service personnel and people of the DPRK turned as one in the drive for implementing the decision made at the Party Congress” and referred to the “constant efforts made by the WPK and the DPRK government for defending peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and in the rest of the world.” Choe congratulated Trong on the CPV’s 12th National Congress and Trong’s reelection as General Secretary wishing “the party and people of Vietnam greater success in the work for building a rich and powerful socialist Vietnam by carrying out the decision made at the party congress.”
According to KCNA, Choe expressed “the principled stand of the WPK to develop the traditional friendly and cooperative relations between the two parties, countries and peoples which were provided and cultivated by the preceding leaders of the DPRK and Vietnam with much care and to which top leaders of the two countries are now paying deep attention.” Trong “warmly congratulated” Kim Jong Un for his election as WPK Chairman and said that Jong Un “dispatches a high-ranking party delegation to have his verbal message conveyed, a clear proof of the traditional and friendly and cooperative relations between the two parties and countries.” Nguyen noted that DPRK-Vietnam relations “provided by President Ho Chi Min and President Kim Il Sung have developed on good terms under the deep concern of the leaders of the two countries through generations” and he stressed that it is “the steadfast stand of the party, government and people of Vietnam to consolidate the friendly and cooperative relations with the party, government and people of the DPRK.” Trong “extended full support to the fraternal Korean people in their effort to achieve socio-economic development and reunify the county.”
According to VNA, Trong congratulated the WPK on the 7th Party Congress and wished “people from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea success in implementing the development strategy under the leadership of the WPK.” He said that Vietnam “would continue to push ahead with renovation and pursue independence, autonomy, peace, cooperation and development as well as diversification of relations and proactive international integration.” Trong “hailed the reinforcement of relations between Vietnam and the DPRK” and he “confirmed Vietnam’s consistent policy of maintaining peace, stability and denuclearization on the Korean peninsula.” According to VNA, Choe said he was “delighted to visit Vietnam and witness the country’s achievement through the Doi Moi [renovation] process.”
During the WPK delegation’s visit to Vietnam, according to VOV, they toured rural agricultural locales, enterprises and other sites in Hanoi and attended a reception hosted by the CPV Central Committee.
Choe Tae Bok and the WPK delegation arrived in Vientiane on June 6 (Monday). On June 7, Choe met with senior officials of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party [LPRP] at the LPRP Central Committee Building. Attending the meeting with the DPRK Ambassador to Laos, LPRP Secretary and Chairman of its Organization Committee Chansy Phosikham, the LPRP Central Committee Vice Chief of Cabinet, senior officials of the LPRP Committee for External Affairs, the LPRP Control Committee, the LPRP Propaganda and Training Affairs Commission and other LPRP and Lao Government officials. Choe briefed Phosikham on the 7th Party Congress and he said that the “LPRK is working hard to protect the gains of the revolution and attain the goal of socialism” and wished the LPRP and Lao people “bigger successes in their work to carry out the decision of the 10th Congress of the LPRP.”
Choe noted “that the traditional relations of friendship and cooperation provided by the preceding leaders of the DPRK and Laos are favorably developing as the days go by under the deep care of the supreme leaders of the two countries” and underscored the “need to further strengthen unity and solidarity between the two parties and the two peoples in the joint struggle for realizing the cause of socialism.” Chansy Phosikham welcomed Choe and the WPK delegation on their visit to Laos at “the special instruction of respected Comrade Kim Jong Un” and congratulated the WPK on the 7th Party Congress.” Phosikham expressed “belief that Korean people would carry the decision “made at the Seventh Congress of the WPK and thus build a prosperous socialist power at an early date under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, successor to the revolutionary cause of President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il” and he said the LPRP and Lao people will “always express full support for the WPK and the Korean people in their just cause to foil the imperialists’ moves against socialism, advance the socialist cause and achieve national reunification independently.” Choe and the WPK delegation later attended a reception hosted by the LPRP Central Committee.
Choe Tae Bok and the WPK delegation met with Lao President LPRP General Secretary Bounnhang Vorachith on the afternoon of June 7 (Tuesday). Vorachith replaced Choummaly Sayasone as Lao President earlier this year; Sayasone was the only foreign leader whom Kim Jong Un has met publicly. Choe briefed President Vorachith on the 7th Party Congress and said that Kim Jong Un has “clearly indicated the tasks and ways of accomplishing the socialist cause of Chuch’e” and Choe congratulated the Lao President on his election and wished the LPRP and the Lao people “success in their struggle to implement the decision of the 10th Congress of the LPRP. Choe Tae Bok expressed the “invariable stand of the WPK to invariable strengthen the traditional relations of friendship and cooperation with the Lao party and people, true to the behests of President Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.”
President Vorachith congratulated Jong Un on his election as WPK Chairman and he remarked that the “traditional relations of friendship and cooperation between the two parties and two countries developing favorable day by day are bringing substantial interests to the people of the two countries. We are always remembering the sincere support and encouragement sent by the WPK and DPRK government and people to the Lao party government and people in the past.” He expressed his belief that “we will further develop the long-standing traditional relations of friendship and cooperation between the two parties, the two states and two peoples.” He noted that “the people’s living standard in the DPRK is improving and the might of the socialists system is remarkably strengthened under the wise guidance of Kim Jong Un.” He wished the DPRK Government and citizens “great success in the drive for defending the country and accomplishing the socialist cause” and on behalf of the LPRP “sincerely wished Kim Jong Un good health and happiness as he is leading the Korean people in their struggle for building a socialist power to victory.”
According to KPL, Vorachith remarked that “the Party, the State and the Korean people will continue the old mission of protecting and the new mission in strengthening its resolve to implement the resolutions of the 7th Congress.” He also “expressed his satisfaction that the long-standing friendly relations and cooperation between the Lao and DPRK two Parties, States and peoples have increased with steady growth meeting the interests of both nations in their mission to contribute peace, friendship and cooperation in the region and the world.”
The WPK delegation visited the Kaysone Phomvihane Museum in Vientiane on June 8 (Wednesday), laying a floral basket before the statue of Kaysone Phomvihane and paid “homage” to him. They were given a tour around the museum and memorial and Choe Tae Bok inscribed a message in the visitor’s book. The WPK delegation also visited the Pha That Luang site.