North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

KPA’s 79th

On Sunday and Monday [24 and 25 April] the DPRK commemorated the 79th birthday of the Korean People’s Army [KPA].  KCNA published a statement about the anniversary and its “invincible army”:

The Korean people are greeting the anniversary of the heroic Korean People’s Army, which falls on April 25.

Founded nearly eighty years ago, the KPA has developed to be an invincible army with sophisticated offensive and defensive means under the guidance of the great leader and the great party.

Its development is closely related with the outstanding and sagacious leadership of Kim Jong Il.

After formulating the songun politics as the socialist political mode, he has inspected many army units to make all the soldiers steadfast in ideology and faith.

Regarding the military affairs as the most important national priority, he has defended the nation, revolution and socialism and propelled the overall socialist construction with the army as the core.

Members of a KPA unit place floral bouquets at the foot of the Kim Il-so'ng statue on Mansu Hill in Pyongyang on the 79th anniversary of the KPA's foundation (Photo: KCNA)

Directors of the State Merited Chorus receive guidance from KCI following a September 2010 concert (Photo: KCNA)

Kim Cho’ng-il attended a concert given by the State Merited Choir, which was reported by DPRK media on 24 April [Sunday]

He warmly congratulated the performers and audience on the 79th birthday of the KPA.

Its repertoire included such colorful numbers as male chorus “Long Live Generalissimo Kim Il Sung”, female solo and male chorus “Where Are You, Dear General?,” male solos and male choruses “For My Only Motherland” and “We Will Defend the Leadership of the Revolution at the Cost of Our Lives”.

The performers enthusiastically sang of the glorious history of the heroic KPA in which it has covered the path of victory and glory under the uplifted red flag of the revolution and fully demonstrated the iron faith and indomitable will of the army and the people of the DPRK to accomplish the revolutionary cause of juche that started in the forest of Mt. Baekdu and the cause of building a great prosperous and powerful nation.

He expressed great satisfaction over the splendid performance given by the State Merited Chorus. He highly appreciated its success made in the performance and extended thanks to all its creators and artistes.

The nearly 80 years-long history of the KPA is shining as a glorious one in which it created a precious tradition in the van of songun revolution and has firmly preserved it, he noted, expressing great expectation and belief that the KPA would creditably fulfill its honorable mission as a standard-bearer and a shock brigade in putting into practice the party’s determination and will to translate the desire of President Kim Il Sung in his lifetime into reality and provide the people with the most civilized and happy life by building a thriving socialist nation on this land without fail.

Central report meeting held at the People's Palace of Culture on 24 April 2011 for the 79th anniversary of the foundation of the KPA (Photo: KCNA)

On 24 April, at the People’s Palace of Culture in Pyongyang,  central report meeting was held.  CC KWP Secretary and Chief KWP Secretary of the Pyongyang City Committee, Mun Kyo’ng-t’ok presided over the meeting.  NDC Vice Chairman and Minister of the People’s Armed Forces, Kim Yo’ng-ch’un (KPA VMar) delivered the keynote speech. Rostrum members included: Kim Rak-hui; Kim Yang-ko’n; Hong Sok-hyong; Kang So’k-chu; Choe T’ae-pok; Kim Ku’k-t’ae; Cho’n Pyong-ho; Ch’oe Yong-rim; Kim Yo’ng-nam; Yi Yo’ng-ho; Yi Yo’ng-mu; O Ku’k-yo’l; Kim Cho’ng-kak; U To’ng-ch’uk and Paek Se-pong.

After congratulating service members and officers of the KPA, veterans and previous members of the KPA on the occasion, Kim Yo’ng-ch’un said, in part:

During the whole course of his leadership over the Korean revolution, President Kim Il Sung held fast to the idea and principle of giving importance to the army and giving precedence to the military affairs and steadily built up the revolutionary armed forces and thus defeated the two imperialist formidable enemies and provided firm military guarantee for the victorious advance of the revolution and construction, the reporter said, adding: The feats the President performed to build the revolutionary armed forces while firmly adhering to the idea and line of attaching importance to the army in the whole period of his protracted leadership over the revolution will shine forever in the history of the country as they are the most precious of the revolutionary feats performed by him in his lifetime.

The KPA founded and strengthened by the President has entered a new higher stage of its development, glorifying the history of genuine continuity to the cause of army building under the songun revolutionary leadership of Kim Jong Il.

Grasping the grim situation created due to the vicious moves of the imperialist allied forces to isolate and stifle the DPRK and the requirement of the developing revolution in the 1990s, Kim Jong Il pursued the songun politics in an all-round way with the KPA as the main force of revolution to usher in the greatest heyday of army building.

Senior army, government and party leadership visit Revolutionary Martyrs' Cemetery on 25 April 2011 on the 79th anniversary of the KPA's foundation. In the front row are: Pak Chae-kyo'ng (Pak Jae Gyong), Kim Cho'ng-kak (Kim Jong Gak), Kim Yo'ng-ch'un (Kim Yong Chun), Kim Yo'ng-nam (Kim Yong Nam), Kang So'k-chu (Kang Sok Ju) and Hong So'k-hyong (Hong Sok Hyong) (Photo: KCNA)

Pak Chae-kyo'ng, Kim Cho'ng-kak, Kim Yo'ng-ch'un and Kim Yo'ng-nam place flowers near graves on Mt. T'aesong (Photo: KCNA)

KCNA reported on 25 April of civilians and other DPRK citizens visiting members of the KPA’s three service commands, bringing with them gifts from Kim Cho’ng-il, as part of the 19-year publicity campaign to promote unity between citizens and soldiers.  This is sometimes called people-army unity or army-people solidarity and derives from a remark made by Kim Il-so’ng who said, “guerrilla troops will not be able to survive when they are away from the people, like fish cannot live when they are out of water.”

Meetings for conveying gifts sent by leader Kim Jong Il took place at units of the KPA.

Members of the delegations conveyed to servicepersons news of the rear where a great surge is being effected in the efforts to improve the standard of people’s living and handed the aid materials prepared by people with sincerity.

They congratulated the servicepersons on the army day.

Servicepersons showed the road covered by their units with pride and their training, fully armed with the spirit of devotedly defending the leader and the country.

Members of the delegations looked round educational rooms, bedrooms, mess halls, non-staple food stores, soldiers’ halls and other places.

Then they had sports and amusement games and art performances together with servicepersons.

They heard stories from the soldiers who set examples in combat and political trainings and conveyed to them the wishes of the people to see them glorifying their military service with exploits as befitting soldiers of Supreme Commander Kim Jong Il.

A dancing party near the Triumphal Arch in Pyongyang on 25 April 2011 for the 79th anniversary of the KPA's foundation. Note the top of the Ryugyong Hotel in the background (Photo: KCNA)

A performer of the Mansudae Art Troupe on 25 April 2011 (Photo: KCNA)

Senior party, government and army leadership attend a performance of the Mansudae Art Troupe at East Pyongyang Grand Theater on 25 April 2011. In attendance (L to R): Hong So'k-hyong (Hong Sok Hyong), CC KWP Secretary and director of Planning and Finance (partially obscured); Kang So'k-chu (Kang Sok Ju), DPR Vice Premier; Kim Yo'ng-nam (Kim Yong Nam), SPA Preisdium President; Ch'oe Yong-rim, DPRK Premier; Yi Yo'ng-mu(Ri Yong Mu), NDC Vice Chairman; and, O Ku'k-yo'l (O Kuk Ryol), NDC Vice Chairman (Photo: KCNA)

The Mansudae Art Troupe gave a performance at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater:

Invited to enjoy the performance were diplomatic envoys of different countries, members of the military attaches corps and representatives of international organizations here and overseas compatriots visiting the socialist homeland.

The performance began with the chorus of “Song of Revolutionary Army.”

Its repertoire included mixed duet and chorus of the immortal classic masterpiece “Song of the Ten-point Programme of the Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland,” female solo “Mt. Paektu Is the Cradle of the Revolution,” dance “Victory of the Revolution Is in Sight,” male trio “My Song in the Trench,” female instrumental concert “We Long for You, General” and male solo “Soldiers Live near the General.”

The performers sang high praises of the immortal exploits President Kim Il Sung performed by accomplishing the historic cause of building Juche-based revolutionary armed forces and providing the ever-victorious tradition and those of leader Kim Jong Il who led the cause of building a thriving socialist nation to victory with his original songun politics.

A performance was also given by the art squad of the C.C. of the Youth League at the plaza of the Party Founding Memorial Tower on the same day.

Its repertoire included female trio “Ongheya of Victory of songun” and male quartet “His Field Guidance Is the Guerrilla Way.”

Military attaches stationed in the DPRK salute after presenting floral wreaths at the Revolutionary Martyrs' Cemetery in Pyongyang on 25 April 2011 (Photo: KCNA)

An affiliate of 38 North