North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

KCI opens KPA Sports Complex

Kim Cho'ng-il attends the opening of the KPA Sports Complex, which was reported by DPRK media on 5 May 2011. In the first row, seen in attendance are (L-R): NDC Vice Chairman Kim Yo'ng-ch'un (Kim Yong Chun); CMC Vice Chairman Kim Cho'ng-u'n (Kim Jong Un); Yi Yo'ng-ho (Ri Yong Ho); KCI; Kim Ki-nam (Kim Ki Nam); Kim Kyo'ng-hu'i (Kim Kyong Hui); Choe T'ae-pok (Choe Tae Bok); U To'ng-ch'uk (U Tong Chuk) and; Ri Myo'ng-su (Ri Myong Su) (Photo: KCNA)

Kim Cho’ng-il presided over the official opening of the 10,000 square meter (approximately 107, 600 square feet).  DPRK media reported KCI’s attendance at the opening ceremony on 4 May [Wednesday], but neither disclosed when the event occurred nor the location of the new sports complex.  According to KCNA the sports complex has “sports facilities for all kinds of events including basketball, volleyball and indoor football, cultural and welfare facilities and all amenities for spectators.”  Kim Yo’ng-ch’un [Kim Yong Chun], NDC Vice Chairman and Minister of the People’s Armed Forces, made they keynote speech at the opening.

KCNA reports:

Kim Jong Il looked round the exterior and interior of the magnificent sports complex. He expressed great satisfaction over the fact that soldier-builders have successfully built one more great structure meeting the need of the era of songun in a short span of time and highly appreciated their shining feats.

At the end of the inaugural ceremony, he together with the senior officials who accompanied him watched a match played by sports groups of the KPA on the occasion of the inauguration of the complex.

To develop sports is of very weighty importance in augmenting the country’s might by successfully pushing forward the revolutionary struggle and construction and boosting the friendly relations with various countries of the world, he said, setting forth important tasks to serve as guidelines for rapidly developing the nation’s sports.

Present at the inaugural ceremony were senior officials of party and armed forces organs Kim Jong Un, Ri Yong Ho, Kim Yong Chun, Kim Ki Nam, Choe Thae Bok, Kim Kyong Hui, Jang Song Thaek, Kim Jong Gak, Kim Yang Gon, Pak To Chun, Choe Ryong Hae, Thae Jong Su, Kim Phyong Hae, Mun Kyong Dok, U Tong Chuk, Ju Kyu Chang, Kim Chang Sop, Ri Myong Su and members of the Central Military Commission of the WPK Kim Kyong Ok, Kim Won Hong, Kim Myong Guk, Jong Myong Do, Ri Pyong Chol, Choe Pu Il and Kim Yong Chol and Hyon Chol Hae, department director of the NDC, Pak Myong-chol, minister of Physical Culture and Sports, service persons of the KPA and sports persons of the army.

Among the members of the Central Military Commission in attendance, of interest may be Choe Pu-il.  Choe currently serves as Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff and was most prominently seen leading the troop presentation during the October 2010 military parade commemorating the 65th anniversary of the foundation of the KWP.  Prior to his recently advancement, Choe spent most of his career as the leading official of the KPA’s sports organization..

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