North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

KJI Praises Jong Un in Propaganda Documents (revised 21 April)

Supposed photograph of Kim Jong-un in 1998, around age 14

In documents reportedly distributed to KWP cadres in December 2009, Kim Jong Il is quoted as praising Kim Jong Un, his youngest son and hereditary successor, for looking after his health and welfare.  Daily NK‘s Shin Joo Hyun reports that DNK “exclusively obtained a copy of propaganda materials use to indoctrinate North Korean cadres about Kim Jong Eun’s greatness in December 2009.”

For example, Kim Jong Il is quoted in the material as saying, “The Captain has been assisting me with lots of my work. I have been achieving good results in the Central Committee of the Party since I was 22 years old, but our Captain is also doing well, and is the most respectful to me.”

“I was moved to tears when I saw how he took care of my health and security. His mind to think of me is full of sincerity,” Kim added.

Kim also praised last year’s fireworks as being the work of Jong Eun, as reported by The Daily NK last week, saying, “The Youth Captain showed his exceptional ability by producing the entire program of fireworks and songs. He stayed up several nights in order to prepare the fireworks. This is his extraordinary and notable ability.”

He added, “By doing so, his loyalty to the leader was instilled deeply.”

Kim Jong Il further emphasized, “He is a genius of geniuses. He has been endowed by nature with special abilities. There is nobody on the planet who can defeat him in terms of faith, will and courage.”

Kim also explained how he was impressed when he saw Jong Eun drive military equipment in a demonstration in October last year. “Although he is a small and good looking boy, he said he would drive that into Seoul in emergency,” Kim said.

Mainichi Shimbun is alleging that Kim Jong Un appeared with KJI in early March at a guidance tour of the Kim Chaek Iron and Steel Complex. Mainichi cited a Party directive about the 5 March edition of Rodong Sinmun which were alleged to contain many KJU photos.  The ROK Ministry of Unification rebutted this report.

The man in question is believed to be Kim Kwang Nam (there’s 15 minutes of fame).  Mr. Kim is believed to be the chief engineer of the iron and steel complex, who has previously escorted KJI.  Here is a photo of KJI’s guidance tour and Mr. Kim:

The man alleged to KJU is 1st from L

Kim Kwang Nam, chief engineer of the Kim Chaek Iron and Steel Complex (Photo: KCTV)

The DNK report does not state whether KJU was responsible for this year’s fireworks displays commemorating Kim Il Sung’s birthday.  Chosun Ilbo reports the country spent approximately $5.4 million on the display held last Wednesday (14 April) evening in Pyongyang.

North Korea spent more than US$5.4 million on fireworks displays along the banks of the Taedong River in Pyongyang on Wednesday to celebrate former leader Kim Il-sung’s 98th birthday the following day.

A North Korean source on Friday said the North had imported about 60 tons of fireworks from China for the display and invited foreign engineers for technical assistance. “They must have spent more than W6 billion for the fireworks and their display, transportation, and labor,” the source said

The regime temporarily cut power and banned driving in an area near the Juche Tower for the fireworks spectacular to maximize the effect. The North’s state-run Korean Central Television broadcast the fireworks for an hour from 9 p.m. on Thursday, and reran it the following morning.

Meanwhile it seems that more signs of KJI traveling to Beijing are being found.  A Yonhap report on the 9 April arrival of a delegation of the DPRK Taephung International Investment Group headed by Office #39 deputy director Jon Il Chun was interpreted as the country securing Chinese investments prior to KJI’s arrival.  Asahi Shimbun reports on the possible presence of a top unnamed KJI aide in Beijing.

The aide who led the delegation earlier this month is a senior member of the Workers’ Party of Korea who not only oversees security for Kim and his family but also heads up national security agencies. The aide is involved in managing Kim’s daily schedule and providing for the leader’s personal needs. North Korean sources described the official as the “closest of Kim’s close aides.”

An official responsible for Kim’s security has visited Beijing 10 to 14 days before each of Kim’s four visits to China since 2000, the sources said.

The North Korean delegation also included the deputy chief of the international department of the Workers’ Party of Korea [Kim Song Nam], who participated in the negotiations over Kim’s visit.

The deputy chief, who studied in China and is believed to have strong ties with the country’s Communist Party, accompanied Kim and his late father Kim Il Sung on visits to China and was their interpreter in previous talks with Chinese leaders.

Fireworks display on the Taedong River in honor of the Day of the Sun (Photo: KCNA and Yonhap)

An affiliate of 38 North