Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his attendance at a commemorative photo-op with technical and military logistics personnel involved in the SLBM test.
Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) observed and commanded the test of three medium-range missiles during the afternoon (PYT) of September 5 (Monday). Among those in in attendance were Ri Man-ko’n [Ri Man Gon], Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Vice Chairman for Munitions Industry, Member of the State Affairs Commission, Member of the WPK Political Bureau and Member of the WPK Central Military Commission; Ri Pyo’ng-ch’o’l [Ri Pyong Chol] WPK Central Committee Department Senior Deputy Director and Alternate (candidate) Member of the WPK Political Bureau; Kim Cho’ng-sik [Kim Jong Sik], deputy director of the WPK Munitions Industry Department; General Kim Rak-kyo’m [Kim Rak Gyom], commander of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] Strategic Force; and other functionaries, cadres and scientists involved “in the field of national defense science.”
The test was conducted by the Hwasong units of the Strategic Force outside of Sariwo’n, in Hwangju County, North Hwanghae Province. According to DPRK state media, the Hwasong units “are tasked to strike the bases of the US imperialist aggressor forces in the Pacific operational theater in a contingency.” The missile drill was “conducted to reexamine the reliability such as the lfight security and guided accuracy of the improved ballistic rockets deployed for actin, and to assess and inspect the capabilities of the units for action.”
When Jong Un arrived at the drill site, he was briefed about the plan for the drill and the tactical and technical specifications of the improved ballistic rockets, then he ordered General Kim to commence the drill. According to DPRK state media “through the drill the Hwasong artillery unit of the KPA Strategic Force demonstrated before the world their military might as a strong service capable of mounting a preemptive attack on the enemies any time and from any place.”
Jong Un expressed “great satisfaction over the successful successive firing drill of ballstic rockets and congratulated the Hwasong artillery men of the KPA Strategic Force involved in the drill.” Stress was placed by Jong Un on “the need to continue making miraculous achievements in bolstering up the nuclear force one after another in this historic year when Chuch’e Korea made an eye-opening curtain raiser by succeeding in the H-bomb test and set forth tasks of bringing the military deterrent on a higher stage by developing the Chuch’e-oriented nuclear force in every way.”