North Korea Leadership Watch

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Did the Morningstar General visit Wonsan Aggie in April?

Kim Jong-il at the Wonsan University of Agriculture Greenhouse in April 2009 (Photo: KCNA)

AFP channels a report from the Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun which obtained a PAD document that relates Kim Jong-un joined his dad when General-Secretary Kim conducted a guidance tour of the Wonsan University of Agriculture on or around 26 April 2009.  Mainichi Shimbun reports: “This is the first public document to make an announcement regarding General Kim Jong-un. The document was made when Kim Jong-il provided on-site guidance during a visit to the North Korean southeastern naval base city of Wonsan.  The title of the document is ‘Kim Jong-il Converses with Activists While Giving On-Site Guidance at Wonsan University of Agriculture.”

Mainichi Shimbun then relays the following remarks made by General-Secretary Kim within the document: “This is a very significant university where the stunning achievements of Great Leader Kim Il-sung and Mother Kim Jong-suk are exemplified.  Today I have come here with General Kim [Jong-un].  This is a glorious university which has served the Great Leader, Mother Kim Jong-suk, me and General Kim.”

The April 2009 trip was General-Secretary Kim’s second trip to the Wonsan University of Agriculture in 2009.  On this particular tour, Kim Jong-il visited the university’s new greenhouse.  The KCNA report only notes the presence of the usual trio of KWP Secretary Kim Ki-nam, KWP Financial Planning Director Pak Nam-gi and KWP Administration Director Jang Song-thaek.  Not reported, but present at this guidance tour was United Front Director Kim Yang-gon, NDC Director and KPA General Hyon Chol-hae (in Zhongshan civvies), Kangwon Provincial KWP Chief Secretary Ri Chol-pong and Kangwon Provincial People’s Committee Chairman Ko Chong-tok.  It should go without saying, however, that Kim Jong-un’s presence would not be reported nor would the Morningstar countenance have any prominence in this tour’s photographs.

This certainly adds more grist to the mill, not about current succession planning perhaps, but about the possible succession campaign underway in Spring 2009.  As AFP notes “South Korean officials have said relations between the two Kims after junior intervened in military personnel matters without consulting his father.”

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This article was written on 29 Nov 2009, and is filled under Guidance Tours, Jang Song-thaek, Kim Family, Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un, leadership succession, On the Spot Guidance, succession.

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