North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Jong Un Visited Wonsan Aggie in April ’09?

An image from an April 2009 visit to the Wonsan Agricultural University that may include CMC Vice Chairman and hereditary successor Kim Jong Un (3rd R). The photo also includes CC KWP Secretary Kim Ki Nam (2nd R) and possibly his two siblings, sister Kim Yo Jong (R) and brother Kim Jong Chol (3rd L) (Photo: KCNA and Yonhap)

Yonhap has discovered a possible image of Kim Jong Un, Vice Chairman of the Party Central Military Commission and Kim Jong Il’s hereditary successor.  The photo was aired on KCTV, and derives from Kim Jong Il’s guidance tour of Wonsan Agricultural University in April 2009. 

Mainichi Shimbun reported in November 2009 that the CC KWP Propaganda and Agitation Department released a document about KJI’s trip to the Wonsan university, and KJI was said to have remarked to officials at the school, “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 2009 image supposedly depicting Jong Un is a commemorative “line up” photograph.  Though grainy, the photograph seems to depict Jong Un and CC KWP Secretary and KJI confidante, Kim Ki Nam.  Yonhap also reports that the photograph may include Kim Jong Un’s two siblings: older brother, Kim Jong Chol,  and younger sister, Kim Yo Jong.  Kim Ki Nam was part of KJI’s succession campaign and is responsible for sloganeering, having been the author, most recently, of “What the Party Decides, We Will Do!”  Kim Jong Un was also recently observed taking notes in a film digest of KJI’s June 2010 activities.

Last week, Yonhap reported a possible sighting of the youthful Ms. Kim, and KJI’s technical secretary and current wife Kim Ok, attending the commemorative photo shoot at Kumsusan with Party Central Committee members and other participants in the 3rd Party Conference.

Meanwhile, Kim Jong Il took in a concert given by KPA Unit 10215 in his first appearance since the conlcusion of the 3rd Party Conference.  KJI has attended three previous performances of Unit 10215 (which has links to State Security and the DPRK’s military education system) since 2009.  He last attended a concert given by the unit during festivities for the Day of the Sun this past April.

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