North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Kim Jong Un Visits Islets in KPA Southwestern Front

Kim Jong Un on his personal boat prior to his inspection of Kali and Jangjae Islets (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un on his personal boat prior to his inspection of Kali and Jangjae Islets (Photo: Korean Central Television).

KJU’s last observed appearance was his inspection of Mahap Islet

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View of the area of Kim Jong Un’s November 12, 2016 field inspection within the zone of the KPA’s Southwestern Front Command. The yellow line denotes the North-South border (Photo: Google image).

DPRK state media reported November 13 (Sunday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) inspected Korean People’s Army [KPA] units on Kali (Kal-to) and Jangjae [Changchae] Islets in West [Yellow] Sea.  Also in attendance were KPA General Political Department Director and State Affairs Commission Vice Chairman VMar Hwang Pyong So [Hwang Pyo’ng-so], Director of the KPA General Staff Operations Bureau and 1st Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff Colonel-General Ri Yong Gil [Ri Yo’ng-kil], KPA Artillery Bureau Director and Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff Major-General Pak Jong Chon [Pak Cho’ng-cho’n], IV Army Corps Commanding Officer Lieutenant-General Ri Song Guk [Ri So’ng-kuk] and IV Army Corps Political Commissar Major-General Ri Yong Chol [Ri Yo’ng-ch’o’l].

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Kali Islet (Kal-to) in January 2015 (Photo: Google image).

Kim Jong Un and senior members of the KPA high command Col. Gen. Ri Yo'ng-kil and Lt. Gen. Ri So'ng-kuk embark on a raft from his personal boat to Kali Islet (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un and senior members of the KPA high command Col. Gen. Ri Yo’ng-kil and Lt. Gen. Ri So’ng-kuk embark on a raft from his personal boat to Kali Islet (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un arrives on Kali Islet (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un arrives on Kali Islet (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un’s first stop was Kali Islet.  Jong Un, Colonel-General Ri,  Lieutenant-General Ri, along with three of Jong Un’s bodyguards, rode in a raft “on the southernmost tip of the western sector of the front by sailing up there despite high waves from where the base of the south Korean puppet forces on Yo’np’yo’ng Island was in sight.”  The Kali Islet “outpost newly set up thanks to his far-sighted wisdom and operational plan has turned into a powerful firepower strike base…capable of frustrating frequent risky military provocations of the enemy in the waters of the West Sea, firmly defending the inviolable territorial waters of the country and opening fire to wipe out the enemy the moment they perpetrate even a slight reckless provocation.”

Kim Jong Un makes remarks to senior members of the KPA high command and the command staff of the Kali Islet defense element (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un makes remarks to senior members of the KPA high command and the command staff of the Kali Islet defense element (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un is briefed about Kali Islet's planning and operations whilst looking at Yo'npy'o'ng Island, ROK (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un is briefed about Kali Islet’s planning and operations whilst looking at Yo’np’yo’ng Island, ROK (Photo: Korean Central Television).

A view of Yo'np'yo'ng Island, ROK from Kali Islet, DPRK (Photo: Korean Central Television).

A view of Yo’np’yo’ng Island, ROK from Kali Islet, DPRK (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un reviews a map of military deployments in the West Sea. Also in attendance (L-R) are KPA Artillery Bureau Director Maj. Gen. Pak Cho'ng-cho'n, KPA General Political Department Director VMar Hwang Pyo'ng-so and KPA General Staff Operations Bureau Director Colonel-General Ri Yo'ng-kil (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un reviews a map of military deployments in the West Sea. Also in attendance (L-R) are KPA Artillery Bureau Director Maj. Gen. Pak Cho’ng-cho’n, KPA General Political Department Director VMar Hwang Pyo’ng-so and KPA General Staff Operations Bureau Director Colonel-General Ri Yo’ng-kil (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un reviews military positions with senior KPA high command and IV Army Corps commanders (Photo: Korean Central Television)

Kim Jong Un reviews military positions with senior KPA high command and IV Army Corps commanders (Photo: Korean Central Television)

Jong Un toured the barracks, mess hall, greenhouse and classrooms and issued “important instructions to improve the standard of the living of the soldiers on the islet and took benevolent steps for doing so.”  He was briefed about the unit’s equipment and force deployment as well as the “the performance of the naval guard duty of the units under the 4th Corps at the front.”  Kim Jong Un approved the combat planning for “firepower strike at Yo’np’yo’ng Island” and indicated “important tasks for rounding off combat preparations and increasing combat capability of the outpost.”  He expressed his “expectation and belief that the commanding officers and soldiers of the outpost would devotedly defend their post in the West Sea on the southernmost tip of the southwestern sector of the front of the socialist country.”

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Changjae Islet in 2015 (Photo: Google image).

Kim Jong Un rides in a raft to Changjae Islet (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un rides in a raft to Changjae Islet (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un after his arrival on Changjae Islet (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un after his arrival on Changjae Islet (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Service members of the Changjae Islet coastal defense detachment greet Kim Jong Un's arrival (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Service members of the Changjae Islet coastal defense detachment greet Kim Jong Un’s arrival (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un issues instructions whilst touring the living quarters at the Changjae Islet coastal defense detachment (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un issues instructions whilst touring the living quarters at the Changjae Islet coastal defense detachment (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un tours the greenhouse and rabbit cages on Changjae Islet (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un tours the greenhouse and rabbit cages on Changjae Islet (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un moved onto Jangjae Islet.  After greeting the detachment’s command, he greeted members of the KPA service members stationed on Jangjae Islet.  Jong Un toured the barracks, classrooms, washroom, mess and the defense detachment’s farms.  He “showed profound loving to be conveyed to posterity” when being briefed about the detachment’s supply service.  He said that the “confrontation with the enemy is the one of fire and, at the same time, a stand-off in idea and faith.  The soldiers of the the defense detachment should be provided with lots of ideological pabulum, if they are prepared to be the strongest in mental power who do not abandon their revolutionary faith even though they may die, defenders of socialism standing guard over the first line of the class struggle and the stalwart fighters for national reunification.”  Jong Un reiterated “the need to train the soldiers to be fighters with versatile knowledge and cultural entertainments” and was “very satisfied with Jangjae Islet clad in thick verdure.”

Kim Jong Un inspects an artillery piece on Changjae Islet (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un inspects an artillery piece on Changjae Islet (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un issues instructions to an artillery squad at Changjae Islet coastal defense detachment (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un issues instructions to an artillery squad at Changjae Islet coastal defense detachment (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un presents an automatic rifle to a service member of the Changjae Islet coastal defense detachment. Behind Jong Un are a member of the Guard Command and the head of close security escort detail (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un presents an automatic rifle to a service member of the Changjae Islet coastal defense detachment. Behind Jong Un are a member of the Guard Command and the head of close security escort detail (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Commemorative photograph of Kim Jong Un, members of the KPA high command and service members and their families of the Changjae Islet coastal defense detachment (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Commemorative photograph of Kim Jong Un, members of the KPA high command and service members and their families of the Changjae Islet coastal defense detachment (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

KPA service members and their families wave and shout as Kim Jong Un departs (Photo: Korean Central Television).

KPA service members and their families wave and shout as Kim Jong Un departs (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un waves back to the KPA service members and their families as he departs Changjae Islet (Photo: Korean Central Television).

Kim Jong Un waves back to the KPA service members and their families as he departs Changjae Islet (Photo: Korean Central Television).

He ascended an observation post and was given a report “on the performance of the combat duty by the defense detachment.”  He was also briefed about the “current combat preparations of weapons and combat and technical equipment.”  He toured artillery positions and issued instructions for rounding off its combat preparations” whilst noting the detachment “has a very important duty to perform.”  Jong Un presented ceremonial binoculars and an automatic rifle to the detachment on Jangjae Islet, then attended a commemorative photo-op and greeted KPA service members, officers and their families.

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