North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Get this Party Started


CMC Vice Chairman and hereditary successor, Kim Jong Un, attending a tour by KJI of the State Theater in central Pyongyang. Yang Hyong Sop (R) told the Associated Press on Friday (8 October): "Now we also have the honor of being led by General Kim Jong-un." (Photo: KCNA)


SPA Presidium Vice President Yang Hyong Sop confirmed to the Associated Press in a Friday interview that Kim Jong Un is the official successor to Kim Jong Il.  Yang told the AP:

“Our people take pride in the fact that they are blessed with great leaders from generation to generation…Our people are honoured to be led by the great president Kim Il Sung and the great general Kim Jong-il. Now we also have the honour of being led by General Kim Jong-un.”

Kim Jong Un, KJI’s third son, was elected to full membership on the Party Central Committee (CC KWP) and appointed a Vice Chairman of the party’s Central Military Commission during the 3rd Party Conference on 28 September 2010.  Overseas DPRK missions were reportedly asked to congratulate KJI on his reelection as KWP General Secretary and register their loyalty to the successor.

This week Kim Jong Un was reported to have attended two different events in two days with KJI, an observation of live fire artillery exercises and a concert by the Unhasu Orchestra.  Jong Un has been a casual member of KJI’s retinue since early 2009, have attended numerous guidance tours and military inspections.


With the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean Workers’ Party, Kim Jong Un has attended several public events in Pyongyang in the company of Jang Song Taek, VMAR Ri Yong Ho, Gen Kim Jong Gak and VMAR Kim Yong Chun, including a fireworks display and a mass games performance on Saturday (9 October).

Kim Jong Un (2nd R), vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), watches mass gymnastic and artistic performance "Arirang" staged to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the founding of the WPK, in Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Oct. 9, 2010. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)

Mass gymnastic and artistic performance "Arirang" is staged to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) in Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Oct. 9, 2010. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)


Parade reviewing facility (R) facing Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang (Photo: GoogleEarth)


Jong Un, and these other personalities, will also participate in reviewing the country’s upcoming military parade.  ROK watchers expect Jong Un to take a place on the reviewing stand beside KJI.  It is expected that this will be one of the largest military parades in Pyongyang, with an estimated 15,000-20,000 personnel.


A Kimilsungia-Kimjongilia arranged flower exhibition held to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean Workers Party which opened on 7 October (Photo: KCNA)


Journalists have received their occasional invitation to camp out at the Hotel Koryo and collect footage, writes NPR’s Louisa Lim:

Inside the Koryo Hotel, a makeshift press center was set up for us journalists, more or less under our noses.  Internet access is spotty, but works for some people some of the time.  Those who can get online can even post on Facebook and Tweet live from Pyongyang, a novelty for those of us based in China.   The schedule appears to be being distributed on a need-to-know basis, with no one admitting to knowing anything about what will happen after the rally tomorrow.  It’s clear that the numbers of journalists allowed into the country have caught many people off-guard here in Pyongyang.  The big, unanswered question is why North Korea has opened its doors to the world’s press at this point in time, and exactly what it wants us to see.

Meanwhile, in advance of KWP foundation festivities, Kim Jong Il and members of the CC KWP Political Bureau did a walk-through of central Pyongyang.    Under the pretext of inspecting the new 620-seat State Theater and the riverside apartments of the State Theatrical Troupe, KJI took the opportunity to walk around Pyongyang and remark about apartment construction in the city.

Noting that the Korean people’s age-old ideal and wishes are becoming a brilliant reality thanks to the high-pitched drive for effecting a great surge, he said that this stirring event in the era of the Workers’ Party has put on the horizon a rosy future of a thriving nation of Juche which will stand imposingly on this land.

Making the rounds of streets of the capital city taking on new looks day by day on the same day, he advanced highly important tasks which would serve as guidelines for turning Pyongyang into a more magnificent and beautiful city.


Kim Jong Il poses with performers from the State Theatrical Troupe in their Pyongyang apartment housing. KCNA reported KJI's visit on 8 October 2010 (Photo: KCNA)


An affiliate of 38 North