North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

KJI February 2010 Appearances

Songrim, DPRK: Kim Jong Il, general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea and chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, provides field guidance to the Hwanghae Iron and Steel Complex. (Taken recently) KCNA PHOTO

Kim Jong-il February 2010 Appearances (PDF)

In February 2010 Kim Jong-il was reported to have made public appearances 12 times at 11 different locations (he visited the 8 February Vinalon Complex twice).  This is nearly half the number (25) of visits he made in January.  Of the visits he made, four (4) could be classified as related to the economy, seven (7) were concerts or other performances and one (1) was his meeting with the Chinese Party’s delegation.

Perhaps the General-Secretary decided to use his birthday month to relax from his manic schedule.  There were unconfirmed reports that KJI held meetings in early February with Provincial KWP Secretaries and members of his inner circle when he learned of the currency denomination’s backfiring.  Then again, KJI despises office meetings so maybe he camped inside one of his bunker-like offices for a round of conference calls.

In February 2010, 23 different personalities joined KJI.  Giving some credence to recent reports that KJI is relying on “old friends and family members”  he was most frequently accompanied in February by Jang Song-thaek and Kim Kyong-hui.  Mr. Jang and Ms. Kim were both reported to be in KJI’s entourage nine (9) times.  They were followed by KWP Secretaries Kim Ki-nam and Choe Thae-bok who accompanied KJI six (6) times, and a KPA contingent of VMAR Kim Yong-chun, Gen. Kim Jong-gak and Gen Ri Yong-ho who accompanied the Supreme Commander five (5) times.

Other notes about KJI’s cohorts in February 2010:

–February 2010 saw the first time former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Yong-il and former Minister of Culture accompanied KJI since assuming new KWP Department Director’s positions at the beginning of 2010.

–DPRK Premier Kim Yong-il accompanied KJI to a return inspection tour of the 8 February Vinalon Complex.  This illustrates that observing KJI’s cohorts does not indicate an elite’s status/power.  We’ve been watching Premier Kim’s activities and noticed that since his visit to the vinalon complex, he did not participate in any major celebrations for KJI’s Birthday or the Lunar New Year.  When he appeared at two events last week he did not have any speaking or reporting roles.

–State Security Department Senior Deputy Director and NDC Member Col. Gen. U Tong-chuk joined KJI for the first time since Col. Gen. U attended the dinner party organized for former US President Bill Clinton

–February 2010 was the longest period of time(28 days) since November/December 2009 when KJI was not accompanied by his KPA confidantes Gens. Hyon Chol-hae and Ri Myong-su.

Kim Jong-il attends the performance of Evgeni Onegin with the Russian Ambassador (Photo: KCNA).

Kim Jong-il inspects vinalon cotton. DPRK Premier Kim Yong-il is 1st from right (Photo: KCNA)


This article was written on 01 Mar 2010, and is filled under Guidance Tours, Jang Song-thaek, Kim Jong-il, KJI Personal Secretariat, North Korean press, On the Spot Guidance.

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