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Back-to-Back DPRK Delegations Visit Europe

2 Nov
DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kung Sok Ung (R) shakes hands with Peter van Tuijl (L) in The Hague on 20 October 2013 (Photo: Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict).

DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kung Sok Ung (R) shakes hands with Peter van Tuijl (L) in The Hague on 20 October 2013 (Photo: Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict).

DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kung Sok Ung and delegation of the DPRK Foreign Ministry returned to the DPRK on 2 November (Saturday) after a 17-day visit to European countries.  Many of Kung and the delegation’s appearances in Europe were not publicized.  Kung visited The Hague during 18 to 20 October.  During his stay in Holland he met with officials from the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict, including the executive director of its global secretariat Peter van Tuijl.  From 24 to 27 October Kung Sok Ung visited Spain, where the DPRK recently opened an embassy.  On 25 October Kung met with Spain’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Gonzalo de Benito, Director-General of North America, Asia and the Pacific Ernesto de Zulueta and Spain’s Ambassador to the DPRK and ROK Luis Arias.  According to the Spanish government, Kung and other DPRK officials “declared its interest in increasing bilateral relations and in exploring future routes to collaboration in all spheres.”  Spanish officials declared their strong position against nuclear proliferation and the need for Pyongyang to contribute to peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and the East Asia region, complying with its international obligations” and  “encouraged the DPRK to continue taking tangible steps, following on from the reopening of the Kaeso’ng industrial complex, towards reducing the tension between the two Korean countries.”  Spanish officials also told Kung that they hoped meeting with him would contribute to “supports the international community’s efforts to achieve peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.”

On the same day Kung Sok Ung returned to the DPRK, a delegation of the Korean Workers’ Party led by KWP International Affairs Department Deputy Director Ri Yong Chol departed Pyongyang to attend a meeting of communist parties in Portugal and to visit France.

Kim Jong Un Meets with Syrian Delegation

25 Jul
Kim Jong Un (C) poses for a commemorative photograph with Assistant General Secretary of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party Abdullah al-Ahmar in Pyongyang on 24 July 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (C) poses for a commemorative photograph with Assistant General Secretary of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party Abdullah al-Ahmar in Pyongyang on 24 July 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) met with Syrian Ba’ath Arab Socialist Party Assistant General-Secretary Abdullah al-Ahmar and other members of a Syrian delegation on 24 July (Wednesday).  Attending the meeting with Kim Jong Un were Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary and Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department Kim Ki Nam, KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Kim Yang Gon and 1st Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Kye Gwan.  The Syrian delegation arrived in Pyongyang earlier on 24 July and were received at Pyongyang Sunan Airport by KWP Secretary and Director of International Affairs Kim Yong Il, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Hyong Jun and Haissam Saad, interim charge d’ affaires of the Syrian Embassy in the DPRK.  The delegation is one of many foreign delegations and groups visiting the DPRK to participate in events commemorating the 60th anniversary of the victory/armistice of the Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War).  Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to the construction of a children’s hospital and dental hospital in Pyongyang.

According to KCNA, al-Ahmar “offered warmest congratulations to Marshal Kim Jong Un and the friendly Korean people on behalf of President Bashar Al-Assad and the Syrian people on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the victory in the Fatherland Liberation War and expressed best wishes for Kim Jong Un’s good health and happiness and for the Korean people’s success in the efforts to build a thriving nation” and he “expressed belief that the relations of friendship and cooperation that exist between the Syrian Arab Republic and the DPRK would continue growing strong in the interests of the two peoples.”  Kim Jong Un “warmly welcomed the delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic which made a long trip to come to the DPRK for taking part in the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the victory in the Fatherland Liberation War and extended a militant salute to President Bashar Al-Assad and the Syrian people.”  According to KCNA Kim Jong Un said “he was pleased to meet” al-Ahmar who had met with late DPRK founder and President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) on several occasions.  Kim Jong Un “noted it is a great encouragement to the Korean people that the party and government of Syria dispatched the delegation to the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the victory in the war.”  Kim Jong Un also “exchanged with the guests views on the issue of boosting the bilateral relations and other issues of mutual concern including the regional situation.”

Kim Jong Un’s meeting with Syrians “proceeded in a friendly and amicable atmosphere.”  After the DPRK-Syrian interaction, Abdullah al-Ahmar presented a gift to Kim Jong Un, who “expressed deep thanks.”

Kim Jong Un and senior DPRK officials meet with a  Syrian delegation in Pyongyang on 24 July 2013.  The Syrian delegation arrived earlier in the day to participate in events commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of active hostilities of the Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un and senior DPRK officials meet with a Syrian delegation in Pyongyang on 24 July 2013. The Syrian delegation arrived earlier in the day to participate in events commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of active hostilities of the Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Choe Ryong Hae Arrives in Beijing for 3 Day Visit

22 May
VMar Choe Ryong, Director of the KPA General Political Department and Member of the KWP Political Bureau Presidium, poses for a commemorative photograph at Pyongyang Airport on 22 May 2013, prior to his departure to Beijing as a "special envoy" of DPRK leader Kim Jong Un.  Members of Choe's delegation to China are: Kim Hyong Jun (2) of the DPRK Foreign Ministry, Col. Gen. Ri Yong Gil (3) of the KPA General Staff, Kim Song Nam (4) of the KWP International Affairs Department and Lt. Gen. Kim Su Gil of the KPA (Photo: KCNA).

VMar Choe Ryong, Director of the KPA General Political Department and Member of the KWP Political Bureau Presidium, poses for a commemorative photograph at Pyongyang Airport on 22 May 2013, prior to his departure to Beijing as a “special envoy” of DPRK leader Kim Jong Un. Members of Choe’s delegation to China are: Kim Hyong Jun (2) of the DPRK Foreign Ministry, Col. Gen. Ri Yong Gil (3) of the KPA General Staff, Kim Song Nam (4) of the KWP International Affairs Department and Lt. Gen. Kim Su Gil of the KPA (Photo: KCNA).

DPRK state media reported that a senior delegation led by VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department,  departed Pyongyang and arrived in Beijing on 22 May (Wednesday).  VMar Choe, acting as a “special envoy for Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n),” was joined on the trip by Col. Gen. Ri Yong Gil (Chief of the KPA General Staff Operations Bureau), Kim Song Nam (Deputy Director of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] International Affairs Department with the portfolio for Chinese relations), Kim Hyong Jun (Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs) and  Lt. Gen. Kim Su Gil (KPA/Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces).  Citing unnamed diplomatic sources in Beijing, Yonhap News Agency reported that after arriving in Beijing at around 10:30 AM, Choe and the delegation were driven to Diaoyutai Guest House.  At the airport the DPRK delegation was received by DPRK Ambassador to the PRC Ji Jae Ryong and Deputy Director of the International Liaison Department of the Communist Party of China [CPC] Central Committee.

VMar Choe Ryong Hae (1) shakes hands with Liu Jieyi (2), deputy director of the Communist Party of China Central Committee International Liaison Department, after arriving in Beijing on 22 May 2013.  Also seen in attendance are Kim Song Nam (3) and Col. Gen. Ri Yong Gil (4) (Photo: KCNA).

VMar Choe Ryong Hae (1) shakes hands with Liu Jieyi (2), deputy director of the Communist Party of China Central Committee International Liaison Department, after arriving in Beijing on 22 May 2013. Also seen in attendance are Kim Song Nam (3) and Col. Gen. Ri Yong Gil (4) (Photo: KCNA).

Wang Jiarui (R), vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and head of the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, meets with Choe Ryong Hae, special envoy of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) top leader Kim Jong Un, and a member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, in Beijing, capital of China, May 22, 2013. (Xinhua/Ding Lin)

Wang Jiarui (R), vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and head of the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, meets with Choe Ryong Hae, special envoy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) top leader Kim Jong Un, and a member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, in Beijing, capital of China, May 22, 2013. (Xinhua/Ding Lin)

Shortly after his arrival in Beijing, Choe Ryong Hae  met with Wang Jiarui, head of the CPC Central Committee International Liaison Department.  Details of the meeting were not disclosed in Chinese media.

During his visit, VMar Choe will most likely meet with senior Chinese officials including PRC President Xi Jinping.  This is the first reported visit by a senior DPRK official acting as a representative for Kim Jong Un, since KJU formally became supreme leader in January 2012.  Choe Ryong Hae and the members of the delegation are the most high level DPRK officials to publicly visit China since August 2012 when Jang Song Taek (Vice Chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission and Director of the KWP Administration Department) led a large delegation on a weeklong visit in his capacity as the DPRK’s Chairman of the DPRK-China Joint Guidance Committee.  Choe’s arrival in Beijing was the first publicized visit by the head of the KPA General Political Department since November 2009, when then-Gen. Kim Jong Gak led a KPA delegation on a visit to Beijing and to Jilin Province.

The visit to China by Choe Ryong Hae and the senior delegation occurred after a close adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the DPRK.  Isao Ijima, an adviser to Abe with ties to the DPRK leadership, visited Pyongyang during 14 to 17 May.  Ijima was unofficially accompanied on his DPRK visit by members of Chosen Soren (Chongryon), the pro-DPRK association of Korean residents in Japan.  During his stay, Ijima met with KWP Secretary for International Affairs Kim Yong Il, Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium President Kim Yong Nam (the DPRK’s nominal head of state and #2 leading official) and DPRK Ambassador-at-Large (with the portfolio for DPRK-Japan interactions) Song Il Ho.  Ijima’s visit to Pyongyang was criticized as “unhelpful” by the South Korean government and viewed with some ambivalence by the United States, however Ijima’s trip was supported by China with Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei saying, “We hope tensions on the Korean Peninsula will be eased, and regional peace and stability will be secured through the contact (between Iijima and North Korea)We hope (the latest visit) will be beneficial for resolving problems, including the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

Choe and the delegation also arrived in Beijing one day after the DPRK released a Chinese fishing trawler and its 16 crew members.  The Dalian-based trawler “Liaoning Generic Fishing No. 2522″ and the crew members were captured in Chinese waters by an unknown group of DPRK pirates on 5 May 2013 and held until 21 May 2013.  The captured fisherman were held for a $75,000 ransom that was not paid   The Chinese Foreign Ministry and Chinese border security forces informed the DPRK about the trawler’s capture and demanded that DPRK authorities investigate the ship’s seizure.  The incident was not publicized until the fishing boat’s owner wrote about it on his microblog.  After the incident was publicized, the Chinese government requested that the DPRK release the trawler and its crew.

Choe Ryong Hae and the delegation’s visit to Beijing also occurs one month before Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to hold a meeting with US President Barack Obama and a possible summit in Beijing in June with South Korean President Park Geun-hye.  The Xi-Obama meeting has been scheduled for 7 June and 8 June at the former estate of Walter and Lee Annenberg, Sunnylands, in Rancho Mirage, California.  The South Korean government has yet to finalize a date and itinerary for Park Geun-hye’s visit to China in June.  Park initially wanted a visit to China to be her first trip as ROK President, but instead she traveled to the United States on a six-day working visit in early May.

Choe Ryong Hae’s arrival in Beijing incited a round of speculation by Pyongyang watchers.  Professor Lee Nam-joo told Yonhap “It may be the start of policies that can ease tensions and lead to dialogue.  The envoy should be able to help reduce tensions which have reached unprecedented levels recently”  and Professor Yang Moo-jin said that “Pyongyang may seek to highlight the close ‘blood alliance’ that existed between the two countries and seek an outlet for inter-Korea talks as well as dialogue with the United States.”  Professor Yang also said that  “with Washington and Beijing expected to touch on North Korea at an upcoming summit meeting, the envoy can explain to China the North’s position, which may open new dialogue channels not only between Pyongyang and Washington but between South and North Korea.”

Talks between the DPRK delegation and senior Chinese officials will likely touch on strategic issues including the DPRK’s launch of a rocket/ballistic missile on 12 December 2013 and the 12 February 2013 test of a nuclear device.  If China was hoping that a senior-level interaction would cause the DPRK to return to the Six Party Talks on denuclearization they are likely to find that Choe Ryong Hae’s visit may not bear the fruit that they seek.  DPRK Ambassador to the Russian Federation Kim Yong Jae gave an interview with Russia’s Interfax news service, published on 21 May, in which he said, “The army and the people of North Korea, who are living in the conditions of permanent nuclear threats, sanctions and a blockade, will in every possible way reinforce nuclear deterrence forces that are destined to protect the sovereignty of the country and a right for the nation to exist, safeguard peace and promote stability in the region.”

Kim Yong Jae also said “The essence of the US strategy in Korea is to strangle North Korea. It is North Korea that is the first object in implementation of the [USA's] strategy in the Asia-Pacific region.  The US global strategy is a strategy of domination of the whole planet and to implement it, a strategy of reorienting [the USA] to the Asia-Pacific region has been launched. In accordance with it, pressure is also being built up on China and Russia in the Northeast Asia and a special geopolitical role is assigned to the Korean peninsula” and that “the people of this region, like other world peaceloving forces, not only failed to exert pressure on the USA to disrupt its large-scale military exercises, but also succumbed to the influence of a sophisticated information war to dishonour North Korea on the part of the USA and South Korea.”

DPRK Ambassador Presents Credentials to Heir Apparent of Qatar

5 May
Qatar's Heir Apparent and Deputy Emir, HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (L) accepts a letter of credence from DPRK Ambassador So Chang Sik (R) at his Emiri Diwan office on 22 April 2013 (Photo: Emiri Diwan of HH Deputy Emir and Heir Apparent and Gulf Times)

Qatar’s Heir Apparent and Deputy Emir, HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (L) accepts a letter of credence from DPRK Ambassador So Chang Sik (R) at his Emiri Diwan office on 22 April 2013 (Photo: Emiri Diwan of HH Deputy Emir and Heir Apparent and Gulf Times)

DPRK state media reported on 4 May (Saturday) that DPRK Ambassador So Chang Sik presented his diplomatic letter of credence (credentials) to the heir apparent of Qatar and deputy emir, Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.  Ambassador So, who is is resident ambassador to Kuwait, was one of ten foreign ambassadors to present his letter of credence at the Emiri Diwan office on 22 April 2013.  According KCNA, the Crown Prince told So “I wish HE (His Excellency) Kim Jong Un, supreme leader of the DPRK, good health and big success in his work.”  The Crown Prince also remarked that “I am very pleased to see the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries developing on good terms, the heir apparent said, hoping that the relations would grow stronger in the future” and he “expressed belief that the DPRK would demonstrate its might as a stronger country, beating back all challenges against it despite the extremely acute situation on the Korean Peninsula.”

Kim Jong Un Visits Ku’msusan and Attends Banquet to Mark KPA Anniversary

26 Apr
Kim Jong Un (8th L) and senior members of the DPRK's national security community pay their respects to statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il at the Ku'msusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang on 25 April 2013, the official 81st anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People's Army.(Photo: KCNA)

Kim Jong Un (8th L) and senior members of the DPRK’s national security community pay their respects to statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il at the Ku’msusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang on 25 April 2013, the official 81st anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People’s Army.(Photo: KCNA)

DPRK state media reported that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visited the Ku’msusan Memorial Palace of the Sun and attended a banquet on 25 April (Thursday), to mark the official 81st anniversary of the foundation Korean People’s Army [KPA].  KJU’s last reported public appearance was his attendance at a rally and military “march-past” on Ku’msusan Plaza.  KJU first visited the preserved remains of his grandfather, late DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung, and his father, late leader Kim Jong Il, at the Ku’msusan Memorial Palace.

Floral baskets (C) and honor guards representing (L, R) the KPA's three conventional service branches at Kumsusan on 25 April 2013 (Photos: KCNA)

Floral baskets (C) and honor guards representing (L, R) the KPA’s three conventional service branches at Kumsusan on 25 April 2013 (Photos: KCNA)

He was accompanied by Kim Yong Nam (Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium President), Pak Pong Ju (DPRK Cabinet Premier), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Jang Song Taek (Vice Chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission [NDC]), Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Kim Kyong Hui (KWP Secretary and KJU’s aunt), Pak To Chun (KWP Secretary), VMar Kim Yong Chun (Vice Chairman of the NDC and Director of the KWP Civil Defense Department), VMar Ri Yong Mu (Vice Chairman of the NDC), VMar Hyon Chol Hae (1st Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces and Director of the KPA General Logistics Department), Gen. Kim Won Hong (Minister of State Security), Gen. O Kuk Ryol (Vice Chairman of the NDC), Col. Gen. Choe Pu Il (Minister of the People’s Security), Ju Kyu Chang (Director of the KWP Machine-Building Industry Department), Col. Gen. Kim Chang Sop (Director of the Ministry of State Security’s Political Bureau), Col. Gen. Ri Pyong Sam (Director of the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces Political Bureau) and “commanding officers of the WPK Central Military Commission, the National Defence Commission of the DPRK and the KPA.”

KJU and the KPA’s high command first visited a room containing statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.  Floral baskets from Kim Jong Un, the Party Central Committee the Party Central Military Commission and the NDC were placed in front of the statues.  KJU then visited the rooms containing the preserved remains of his grandfather and father where he “made bows. . .in the humblest reverence,” according to KCNA.

A banquet hosted by the DPRK National Defense Commission at Mokran House in central Pyongyang on 25 April 2013, to commemorate the 81st anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People's Army.  (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

A banquet hosted by the DPRK National Defense Commission at Mokran House in central Pyongyang on 25 April 2013, to commemorate the 81st anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People’s Army. (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un also attended a banquet hosted by the NDC at Mokran (Moknan) House in central Pyongyang.  Attending the banquet were “senior party, army and state officials, members of the WPK Central Military Commission and the NDC of the DPRK, commanding officers of the KPA, officials of the party and armed forces organs, ministries and national institutions and service personnel of the KPA and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces” and “diplomatic envoys of foreign countries and military attaches of foreign embassies here and their spouses.”  Before the banquet, the Moranbong Band gave a performance.

After the performance, a toast speech was delivered by Jang Song Taek (Chang So’ng-t’aek; Jang Song Thaek), Vice Chairman of the NDC, Director of the KWP Administration Department and Kim Jong Un’s uncle.  According to KCNA, during his speech, Mr. Jang “paid highest tribute to the great Generalissimos Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il who strengthened the KPA into the matchless revolutionary army and led it to the road of victory and glory, breathing with arms all their lives” and that “upon the authorization of Marshal Kim Jong Un, supreme leader of our party and people and supreme commander of the KPA, he warmly congratulated the service personnel defending the sky, land and seas of the country as firm as a rock and all the people dynamically struggling to build a thriving nation.”  Mr. Jang “noted that the revolutionary armed forces are ushering in the greatest heyday of their development as they are holding Kim Jong Un, who is identical to the Generalissimos, in high esteem as supreme commander” and he “stressed the need to steadily bolster nuclear force for self-defence both in quality and quantity and perform new miracles and feats in building a thriving socialist nation in the spirit of the historic March, 2013 Plenary Meeting of the Central Committee of the WPK.”

National Meeting Commemorates Official KPA Anniversary

24 Apr
25 April House of Culture in Pyongyang, the venue for the 24 April 2013 national meeting marking the official foundation of the Korean People's Army (Photo: Google image)

25 April House of Culture in Pyongyang, the venue for the 24 April 2013 national meeting marking the official foundation of the Korean People’s Army (Photo: Google image)

DPRK state media reported that a national meeting marking the official 81st anniversary (25 April) of the foundation of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] was held at the 25 April House of Culture in Pyongyang on 24 April (Wednesday).  Attending the meeting were Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium President Kim Yong Nam, DPRK Cabinet Premier Pak Pong Ju, Director of the KPA General Political Department VMar Choe Ryong Hae ,”other senior party, state and army officials, officials of the party and armed forces organs, ministries and national institutions, service personnel of the KPA and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces, officials of institutions, factories and enterprises, those of merits in aiding the army, families of service personnel and people in Pyongyang, the chief of the Pyongyang mission of the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front and overseas Koreans” along with invited “foreign diplomatic envoys and representatives of international bodies and members of the military attaches corps here and foreign guests.”

Gen. Hyon Yong Chol, Chief of the KPA General Staff (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Gen. Hyon Yong Chol, Chief of the KPA General Staff (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Chief of the KPA General Staff Gen. Hyon Yong Chol delivered the meeting report.  According to a gist provided by KCNA, Gen. Hyon said:

President Kim Il Sung founded the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army, the first revolutionary armed forces of Chuch’e type on April 25, Chuch’e 21 (1932). This made it possible for the Korean people to have their genuine army for the first time in history and since then there started a new history of the Korean revolution which was hewed out with arms and has won victory and advanced with arms.

He trained the KPRA into the powerful main force of the anti-Japanese national liberation struggle in the flames of the anti-Japanese revolution, defeated Japanese imperialism and liberated Korea. In the complicated situation of building a new country he realized the cause of building the regular armed forces without delay, led the Fatherland Liberation War to victory and developed the KPA into a heroic army which shattered to smithereens the myth of the U.S. imperialists’ “mightiness”.

The Chuch’e-based cause of army-building developed in depth onto a new higher stage thanks to the outstanding Military-First (So’ngun) revolutionary leadership and Military-First (So’ngun) politics of leader Kim Jong Il.

He established the Military-First (So’ngun) politics as the basic political mode under socialism as required by the changed reality and developing revolution in the 1990s. He put forward the KPA as the main force for accomplishing the revolutionary cause of Chuch’e on the principle of giving priority to the army over the working class for the first time in history, and put its position and role on the highest level.

The Korean revolutionary armed forces have grown to be the army of the leader, the party and the people under the care of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, demonstrating its invincible might. They are the greatest patriotic legacy left by Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

Today the KPA is ushering in greatest heyday of its development as it is led by Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un.

He set forth the line on simultaneously pushing forward economic construction and building of nuclear force at the historic March, 2013 plenary meeting of the C.C., the Workers’ Party of Korea. This is a special great event which provided the immortal banner for final victory of the Military-First (So’ngun) revolution.

[Let us] conclude the nuclear showdown with the U.S. with the arms of Mt. Paektu (Paektusan), reunifying the country and winning a final victory in building a thriving socialist nation and accomplishing the revolutionary cause of Chuch’e.

The U.S. and the puppet south Korea are bringing the dark clouds of a nuclear war to hang over the Korean Peninsula despite the repeated warnings of the DPRK, he said, stressing that if another undesired war breaks out due to the unpardonable behaviors of the U.S. imperialists and their followers, the army and people of the DPRK will put an end to the long-standing history of confrontation with the U.S. and bring a bright day of national reunification without fail.

DPRK Ambassador Presents Letter of Credence to Mongolian President

22 Apr
DPRK Ambassador to Mongolia, Hong Gyu (L), shakes hands with Mongolian President Taskhiagiin Elbegdorj (R) in Ulan Bator on 16 April 2013 (Photo: Info Mongolia/Government of Mongolia)

DPRK Ambassador to Mongolia, Hong Gyu (L), shakes hands with Mongolian President Taskhiagiin Elbegdorj (R) in Ulan Bator on 16 April 2013 (Photo: Info Mongolia/Government of Mongolia)

DPRK state media reported on 19 April (Friday) that newly appointed ambassador Hong Gyu presented his letter of credence to Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj on 16 April.  According to KCNA, President Elbegdorj told Hong “Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il who paid deep attention to the development of the Mongolia- DPRK friendly relations at all times,” “expressed conviction that the bilateral friendly relations would grow stronger under the care of the dear respected Kim Jong Un in the future” and said “It is the consistent stand of the Mongolian government to boost the Mongolia-DPRK friendly relations.”  President Elbegdorj also “supported the DPRK’s policy to achieve the independent and peaceful reunification of the country.”

Hong Gyu and a DPRK diplomat (L) meet with Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (C) and  Mongolian government officials in Ulan Bator on 16 April 2013 (Photo: Info Mongolia/Government of Mongolia)

Hong Gyu and a DPRK diplomat (L) meet with Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (C) and Mongolian government officials in Ulan Bator on 16 April 2013 (Photo: Info Mongolia/Government of Mongolia)

According to Mongolian media, during the meeting with Hong Gyu, President Elbegdorj “noted that that the 65th year anniversary of diplomatic relations established between Mongolia and North Korea marks in 2013 and emphasized that the bilateral relationship between the two countries would further boost.”  Hong Gyu extended the greetings of “young Supreme Leader of North Korea” Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) and reiterated KJU’s invitation for President Elbegdorj to visit the DPRK.  Mongolian media also reported that Hong Gyu “pledged to accelerate its (DPRK) economic reform.”  President Elbegdorj “expressed Mongolia’s readiness of contribution to solve this (inter-Korean) dispute peacefully” and “appealed for multi-lateral talks to be held in Ulaanbatar on security of North-East Asia countries” and said that he would welcome “bilateral or multilateral talks to organize in Ulaanbatar.”  Hong Gyu and President Elbegdorj agreed to expand cultural and sports exchanges.  According to Mongolia media reporting, at the end of the meeting, Hong Gyu said that the DPRK “may face severe food shortages.  Therefore, we ask Mongolia to seek possibilities of delivering food aid.”

DPRK Foreign Ministry Issues Statement Protesting UNSCR 2094 (2013)

9 Mar
Senior officials of the DPRK Foreign Ministry: DPRK Cabinet Vice Premier Kang Sok Ju (L), Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun (C) and 1st Vice Minister Kim Kye Kwan (R) (Photos: KCNA, Russian Federation Council and Kyodo)

Senior officials of the DPRK Foreign Ministry: DPRK Cabinet Vice Premier Kang Sok Ju (L), Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun (C) and 1st Vice Minister Kim Kye Kwan (R) (Photos: KCNA, Russian Federation Council and Kyodo)

DPRK Foreign Ministry Building near Kim Il Sung Square in central Pyongyang (Photo: Google image)

DPRK Foreign Ministry Building near Kim Il Sung Square in central Pyongyang (Photo: Google image)

DPRK state media reported on 9 March (Saturday) that the country’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement denouncing United Nations Security Council Resolution 2094 (2013) as “clear proof that the UNSC was abused for the implementation of the hostile policy of the U.S. to bring down the ideology and system chosen by the people of the DPRK by disarming and suffocating it economically.”  The DPRK Foreign Ministry’s English-language statement is as follows:

The UN Security Council on Thursday cooked up another “resolution on sanctions” against the DPRK over its third nuclear test with the U.S. as a main player.

The “resolution” is a clear proof that the UNSC was abused for the implementation of the hostile policy of the U.S. to bring down the ideology and system chosen by the people of the DPRK by disarming and suffocating it economically.

The U.S. wantonly violated a sovereign state’s legitimate right to launch a satellite and has escalated the moves to stifle the DPRK. It is, therefore, the arch criminal which compelled the DPRK to conduct an underground nuclear test for self-defence.

Had the UNSC been impartial even a bit, it should have taken issue with the high-handed hostile acts of the U.S. against the DPRK, to begin with, as it pushed the DPRK, which had planned to focus its efforts on economic construction and improvement of people’s living standard, to a nuclear test.

However, from the beginning the UNSC has taken a wrong way of creating a vicious cycle of tension, paying heed to the unilateral demand and assertion of the U.S. only in disregard of the root cause of the hostility between the DPRK and the U.S. and the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula.

The UNSC has cooked up five “resolutions on sanctions” against the DPRK at the instigation of the U.S. for the last eight years but they only resulted in the DPRK’s bolstering of its nuclear deterrent qualitatively and quantitatively quite contrary to what they expected.

The DPRK’s nuclear deterrent has provided a firm guarantee for defending the country’s sovereignty and vital rights and served as an all-powerful treasured sword for shattering the U.S. moves to ignite a nuclear war and bringing earlier the historic cause of national reunification.

The DPRK, as it did in the past, vehemently denounces and totally rejects the “resolution on sanctions” against the DPRK, a product of the U.S. hostile policy toward it.

The U.S. and its allies’ adoption of the base “resolution on sanctions” aimed to bar the DPRK from conquering space and weaken its nuclear deterrent would only result in increasing the capability of Songun Korea a thousand times.

The UNSC committed such crime as encouraging the U.S. in its shameless attempt to unleash a nuclear war under the pretext of “nuclear nonproliferation”, creating a touch-and-go situation on the Korean Peninsula.

The DPRK has already clarified its firm stand that it would take stronger countermeasures in succession and lead them to a great war for national reunification in case the U.S. opts for conflict finally.

The DPRK will fight it out and win a final victory without fail by its own efforts and its own way.

The world will clearly see what permanent position the DPRK will reinforce as a nuclear weapons state and satellite launcher as a result of the U.S. attitude of prodding the UNSC into cooking up the “resolution.”

Students Hold Lunar New Year’s Concert

11 Feb
DPRK central leadership attend schoolchildren's Lunar New Year's concert at Mangyo'ngdae Schoolchildren's Palace on 10 February 2013.  In this image (L-R) are Kang Sok Ju; Yang Hyong Sop; Choe Tae Bok; Choe Yong Rim; Kim Yong Nam; Kim Ki Nam; VMar Kim Yong Chun; VMar Ri Yong Mu (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

DPRK central leadership attend schoolchildren’s Lunar New Year’s concert at Mangyo’ngdae Schoolchildren’s Palace on 10 February 2013. In this image (L-R) are Kang Sok Ju; Yang Hyong Sop; Choe Tae Bok; Choe Yong Rim; Kim Yong Nam; Kim Ki Nam; VMar Kim Yong Chun; VMar Ri Yong Mu (Photo: KCTV screengrab)

10 February 2013 Lunar New Year's concert including a musical number including costumed character that anthropomorphizes the U'nha-3 rocket (Photos: KCNA/KCTV screengrab)

10 February 2013 Lunar New Year’s concert including a musical number including costumed character that anthropomorphizes the U’nha-3 rocket (Photos: KCNA/KCTV screengrab)

DPRK state media reported on 11 February (Monday) that the schoolchildren gave a Lunar New Year concert at Mangyo’ngdae Schoolchildren’s Palace on Sunday.  Attending the performance from the central leadership were Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium President Kim Yong Nam, DPRK Cabinet Premier Choe Yong Rim, Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretaries Kim Ki Nam and Choe Tae Bok, NDC Vice Chairmen VMar Kim Yong Chun and Ri Yong Mu, SPA Presidium Vice President Yang Hyong Sop,  DPRK Cabinet Vice Premier Kang Sok Ju along with “officials of party, armed forces and power organs, social organizations, ministries and national institutions, servicepersons of the Korean People’s Army and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces, officials in the fields of science, education, literature and arts, public health and media, persons of merits and Pyongyangites and “present there on invitation were the chief of the Pyongyang Mission of the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front, overseas Koreans, and diplomatic envoys of different countries, representatives of international organizations and members of the military attaches corps here and their wives.”  According to KCNA, Director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Department, VMar Choe Ryong Hae, attended the performance, but was not observed in photographs or film footage of the performance.

Scenes (L, R) from a 10 February 2013 Lunar New Year's performance by Pyongyang schoolchildren and invited foreign audience members (C) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

Scenes (L, R) from a 10 February 2013 Lunar New Year’s performance by Pyongyang schoolchildren and invited foreign audience members (C) (Photos: KCTV screengrabs)

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Performances which were part of a Lunar New Year’s concert held at Mangyo’ngdae Schoolchildren’s Palace in western Pyongyang on 10 February 2013 (Photos: KCNA)

The schoolchildren began their performance “with prologue “We Make Lunar New Year’s Bow to Marshal Kim Jong Un.”  They also performed “New Year’s Performance in Star Country,” “trio and chorus ‘We Are Happy under Care of Marshal Kim Il Sung,’” “duet and chorus ‘Let Us Sing Louder Song of General Kim Jong Il,’” “small chorus of immortal classic masterpiece ‘We Will Carry Forward the March That Started on Mt. Paektu,’” “piano and chorus ‘Let’s Learn for Thriving Korea,’” “Thank You Marshal Kim Jong Un,” “music and dance of Korean schoolchildren in Japan ‘Our country led by Marshal is best’” and “national instrumental music and song ‘Flower Gate of Happiness.’” According to KCNA, the “performers highly praised the great Generalissimos Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il as eternal sun who devoted their all to the rising generation, calling children as the king of the country” and “vividly depicted the bright appearance of schoolchildren growing up to be kid doctors, talents and soldiers under the blue sky of the country.”

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