North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Kim Jong Un Watches SLBM Test Launch


Kim Jong Un celebrates the SLBM launch in an image which appeared top-center on the front page of the August 25, 2016 edition of the WPK daily newspaper Rodong Sinmun.  Also in attendance (L) is Ri Pyong Chol (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)


Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to the Taedonggang Pig Farm.

Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) observed and commanded the test launch of submarine-launched ballistic missiles [SLBM] from Sinp’o, South Hamgyo’ng Province at 5:00 PYT (5:30 KST) on August 24 (Wednesday).  Also in attendance were: Ri Man-ko’n [Ri Man Gon], Director of the Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Munitions Industry [machine-building] Department and Member of the State Affairs Commission; Ri Pyo’ng-ch’o’l [Ri Pyong Chol], WPK Central Committee Department Senior Deputy Director; Kim Cho’ng-sik [Kim Jong Sik], deputy director of the WPK Munitions Industry Department; Yu Chin [Yu Jin], deputy director of the WPK Munitions Industry Department along with managers and employees from the Second Academy of Natural Sciences [SANS], the Second Economy Commission [SEC] and the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces [MPAF].


Photos: KCNA/Rodong Sinmun


Prior to the test launch, he was briefed about it at the observation post.  According to KCNA and KCTV when he issued the order to begin the test the “strategic submarine submerged up to a depth for firing the ballistic missile and rapidly launched the ballistic missile.”  The test launch was “conducted under a high-angle fire system in the maximum launching depth reconfirmed the stability of the underwater ballistic launching system, the starting character of the high power solid fuel engine and phased flying kinetic feature after coming up to the surface of the water” and it “proved that the core technical indexes of the ballistic missile including the reliability of the phased heat separation and the control and guidance system and the working accuracy of the warhead in the re-entry section perfectly met all requirements for operation.”


Photos: KCNA/Rodong Sinmun


DPRK state media reported that the test was “successfully carried out without any adverse impact on neighboring countries.”  Whilst watching what the Pukgukso’ng SLBM, Jong Un said “it was a great manifestation and demonstration of the tremendous power and inexhaustible muscle of the DPRK and he felt enormous energy was welling out” and he appreciated the “test fire as the greatest success and victory and highly praised the officials, scientists and technicians in the field of national defense science and munitions factories for having perfectly acquired the technology of SLBM in a short span of time and extended special thanks to them in the name of the Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the WPK and the supreme commander of the KPA.”


Photos: KCNA/Rodong Sinmun


Kim Jong Un noted that the “results of the test-fire proved in actuality that the DPRK joined the front rank of the military powers fully equipped with nuclear attack capability” and he said that the “US vicious nuclear threat and blackmail against the DPRK only resulted in bolstering up its nuclear attack capability hour by hour and the US mainland and the operational theatre in the Pacific are now within the striking range of the KPA, no matter how hard the U.S. tries to deny it.”


Photos: KCNA/Rodong Sinmun


Jong Un strongly warned “the US imperialists and the south Korean puppet group staging the joint military exercise aiming at a preemptive nuclear strike at the DPRK with huge nuclear strategic assets involved and thereby seriously rattling its nerves” and he remarked that ” the Korean people would deal merciless blows at them with nuclear hammers of justice so that nails of injustice may not come out again, once an opportunity is given, now that the DPRK has in place all substantial means capable of standing up against the US nuclear hegemony.”


Photos: KCNA/Rodong Sinmun


He said that, “I do not guess what ridiculous remarks the US and its followers will make about this test-fire, but I can say their rash acts will only precipitate their self-destruction. The best way of escaping the deadly strike of the infuriated KPA is to refrain from hurting the dignity and security of the DPRK with prudence and self-control.”  He warned “the enemies not to underestimate the might of the DPRK” and said  “it would clearly show the world how it would proudly tower, after breaking the chains of sanctions, blockade and pressure of the enemies.”


Photos: KCNA/Rodong Sinmun


Stress was placed by Jong Un on “the need for the field of national defense science to put increased spurs to mounting nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles in order to cope with the unpredicted total war and nuclear war with the US imperialists and, at the same time, focus all efforts on the development of means of their delivery.”  He issued instructions to “officials to take a series of all eventful actions to demonstrate the DPRK’s muscle as a full-fledged military power if the enemies try to threaten its dignity and the right to existence even a bit.”


Photos: KCNA/Rodong Sinmun


Prior to a photo session with personnel involved in the test launch, he “warmly greeted the national defence scientists and service personnel of the navy returning to the port after the successful test-fire and warmly congratulated them.”

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