Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to the Paektusan Architectural Institute
DPRK state media reported on July 16 (Saturday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) attended a concert and art performance by amateur art propaganda squads of Korean People’s Army [KPA] units as part of the 6th round of the second performance contest of KPA officers’ wives. Among those also attending the performance were Vice Marshal Hwang Pyong So (Vice Chairman of the State Affairs Commission [SAC] and Director of the KPA General Political Department), Colonel-General So Hong Chan (Member of the WPK Central Military Commission and Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff), Lieutenant-General Ryom Chol Song (head of the KPA General Propaganda Department and deputy director of the KPA General Political Department) and Lieutenant-General Jo Nam Jin (head of the KPA General Organization Department and deputy director of the KPA General Political Department).
Jong Un watched performances by the wives of officers of KPA Large Combined Unit (taeyonhap pudae) #567, KPA Unit #526 (command element of the III Army Corps, KPA Large Combined Unit (taeyonhap pudae) #337, KPA Large Combined Unit (taeyonhap pudae) #534, KPA Unit #963 (command element of the Guard Command) and the KPA Navy.
According to state media reporting, the performers “truthfully represented the noble ideological and moral world of officers’ wives living in an optimistic and revolutionary manner, deeply cherishing the confidence in victory that the prosperity of the socialist country and the happiness of their wives lie in trust and following Kim Jong Un only. They impressively sang of the boundless pride and self-esteem and an optimistic and joyful life of the officers’ wives who have grown to be proud women revolutionaries upholding the So’ngun (military-first) revolutionary leadership of the WPK on the first line of defense amid the profound loving care and trust of Kim Jong Un. They, at the same time, truthfully depicted the dedication being made by the officers’ wives as assistants to their husbands and mothers of soldiers.”
At the end of the concert, Jong Un waved at the performers “and congratulated them on their successful presentation.” He remarked that they “staged all numbers firmly based on the reality and made a profound ideological and artistic depiction of important socio-political issues arising in the struggle and life of the people in the So’ngun (military-first) era” and he “highly appreciated the performance as one imbued with the monolithic ideology of the party and the one dealing with party policies like a program for lectures on those policies.”
Kim Jong Un noted that they “created and staged art works strong in agitation and appeal on the themes of the undying exploits performed by President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) in their units and important policy issues of the party at present.” He expressed “great satisfaction over the performance of great cognitional and educational value and perfect in ideological and artistic contents” and extended his “thanks to them in the name of the supreme commander of the KPA.” He said that the “performance once again proved the very ennobling ideological and moral qualities of the officers’ wives taking the lead in implementing the party policy on mass-based culture and art true to the noble intention of Kim Jong Il, who initiated the contest and put it on a traditional basis.” Jong Un was “greatly encouraged to hear the voices of the members of the art groups of officers’ wives absolutely supporting the party policies.”
Prior to having commemorative photos taken with the wives of the KPA officers, Jong Un expressed his “expectation and belief that the members of the art groups of the above-said units would conduct more brisk mass-based cultural and art activities to powerfully arouse the service personnel and people to the national defense and the construction of a powerful socialist country.”