North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Kim Jong Un Visits Paektusan Architectural Institute

Kim Jong Un talks with senior officials of the Paektusan Architectural Institute (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un talks with senior officials of the Paektusan Architectural Institute (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to P’yo’ngso’ng Synthetic Leather Factory

DPRK state media reported on July 14 (Thursday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited Paektusan Architectural Institute [PAI] in Pyongyang.  Also in attendance was Ma Won Chun (director of the State Affairs Commission [SAC] Design Department; formerly known as the National Defense Commission [NDC] Design Department).  Ma was a former senior official at PAI prior to his mid-2000s appointment as deputy director of the Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Finance and Accounting Department and head of its Design Office.

Jong Un’s first stop was at PAI’s room on revolutionary history and exhibition on its institutional history.  Whilst looking at photos on Kim Jong Il’s guidance to the PAI he remarked that “the valuable historical materials show the history of leadership provided by Kim Jong Il over the development of the Chuch’e-oriented architecture.”  He noted “without the guidance given by Kim Jong Il to the work for building with much effort such architectural creative study bases as the Paektusan Architectural Institute and clear indicating the orientation of developing the Chuch’e-oriented architecture, the greatest heyday and prosperity of construction on this land would be hardly thinkable” and stressed that KJI’s “feats should always be remembered.”

Paektusan Architectural Institute (tagged) in central Pyongyang (Photo: NK Leadership Watch/Digital Globe).

Paektusan Architectural Institute (tagged) in central Pyongyang (Photo: NK Leadership Watch/Digital Globe).

Kim Jong Un toured an exhibition of PAI’s archtectural achievements, a study center of design, information study room and he issued tasks to the PAI.  He said that “the officials, designers, architects and researchers of the institute should firmly equip themselves with our party’s idea of the Chuch’e-oriented architectural beauty and construction policy and wage a dynamic drive to erect buildings to shine long along with the era of the Workers’ Party and the structure strictly based on the Chuch’e character, national character, originality and modern style.  Architecture means high-level art and an important yardstick showing the civilization level of the nation and national power…designers and architects should fully ensure the designs at the highest level reflecting the party’s construction idea and people’s ideal with high awareness and that they are artists and gardeners who visualize and carve out the rosy future of the socialist country.”

Commemorative photograph of Kim Jong Un with managers and employees of the Paektusan Architectural Institute (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Commemorative photograph of Kim Jong Un with managers and employees of the Paektusan Architectural Institute (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Jong Un called “on the designers, architects and researchers to throughly reject similarity and repetition in architectural designing and work hard to more successfully build a greater number of buildings for health, green zones, zero energy and zero carbon ones and multi-functional structures, etc,” and he underscored “the need for the institute to direct big efforts to the work for maximizing the proportion of locally available finishing building materials, making building materials diversified, increasing their varieties and producing multi-colored ones, exploring new areas in architecture, raising the creative skill of designers and architects and accumulating more data on world architecture.”

He stressed the necessity “to further update the designing means at the institute” and was “so kind as to promise it that the party would send modern designing means including the latest computers to it so that it may ensure the scientific accuracy, correctness and speed in designing at a high level.” Prior to posing for commemorative photos with the PAI’s personnel, Kim Jong Un noted that the “party has a very great expectation for the institute” and expressed his “expectation and belief that its officials, designers, architects and researchers would creditably discharge their heavy yet honorable mission and duty.”

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