Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to the Ryugyo’ng Pickle and Kimchi Factory
DPRK state media reported on June 13 (Monday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the National Defense University, the DPRK’s leading institution of higher education for science and technical personnel in the country’s munitions and military logistics industry. Also in attendance were Ri Man Gon (Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Vice Chairman for Munitions Industry, Member of the WPK Political Bureau, Director of the WPK Munitions (military; machine-building) Industry Department and Member of the WPK Central Military Commission), Yu Jin (deputy director of the WPK Munitions Industry Department) and Jo Yong Won (deputy director of the WPK Organization Guidance Department).
Upon arriving at the university, Jong Un paid tribute to the statues of Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il). Whilst looking at the statues he emotionally said that “the university is associated with the exploits they performed by tirelessly working heart and soul for developing the Chuch’e-oriented national defense industry in the whole period of their revolutionary careers. The statues of the great leaders were erected at the university on the occasion of the 49th anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s visit to it and this was a great event of weighty significance in adding eternal sunshine to the immortal revolutionary exploits of the great leaders recorded in the history of education in the Chuch’e-oriented national defense science and constituted an immense pride and happiness of all teaching staff and students of the university and personnel in the field of national defense industry.”
Kim Jong Un toured the rooms displaying exhibits of the university’s revolutionary history and its own institutional history. According to KCNA, Kim Il Sung founded “the National Defense College, the predecessor of the National Defense University in October, 1964 and visited it several times and took meticulous care of it including the establishment of departments, students’ uniforms, cap-badge and collar-badge and clearly indicated the road to be followed by it. Kim Jong Il took a measure to newly build the university in an excellent place and led it with loving care so that it could fulfill its mission and duty as a center for training national defense scientific and technical personnel.”
Looking at the historical information, Jong Un remarked that the university “has developed into the highest seat of training Chuch’e-oriented national defense scientific and technical personnel having hundreds of persons with academic degrees and titles, several colleges and faculties and a doctoral institute.” While looking at picture showing notable alumni of the National Defense University he said “there are many acquaintances at the university, a clear proof that it has covered a proud path following the party. The university has produced a lot of personnel who have protected our party.”
Jong Un toured different locales on the campus. He visited science and weapons exhibitions and the library to learn about the university’s teaching and research. He issued instructions “to be fulfilled by the university.” He noted that the National Defense University is “one of the universities for which he has deep affection and to which he attaches importance.” He said he would “frequently receive report on the problems arising in the teaching and education at the university and personally settle them.” He promised “to turn the university into the most prestigious one in the country and an iconic university training hardcore personnel and talents who would shoulder upon themselves the national defense science and the world first-class one.”
After his tour of the campus he attended a commemorative photo-op with the university’s administrators and faculty.