North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Kim Jong Suk’s 100th Birth Anniversary Marked

Commemorative stamp issued on December 23, 2017 for the 100th birth anniversary of Kim Jong Suk, first wife of Kim Il Sung and mother of Kim Jong Il, by the DPRK State Stamp Bureau under the Ministry of Post and Telecoms (Photo: KCNA/Rodong Sinmun).

The 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Jong Suk (Kim Cho’ng-suk), first wife of late DPRK President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng), mother of late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) and Kim Kyong Hui (Kim Kyo’ng-hu’i) and grandmother of Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n), was marked with a central report meeting, deliveries of flowers to her grave and other memorials and other events on December 24 (Sunday).  Kim Jong Suk was born on December 24, 1917 in Hoeryo’ng, present day North Hamgyo’ng Province.  She followed Kim Il Sung into northeast China in the mid-1930s, saved his life on one occasion and protected his political career several times.  She had three children with Kim Il Sung and served as the DPRK’s first lady until her death from an extra-uterine pregnancy in 1949.

View of the platform of the central report meeting held at the People’s Palace of Culture in central Pyongyang on December 24, 2017 to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of Kim Jong Suk (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

A central report meeting was held at the People’s Palace of Culture on December 24 (Sunday).  Among those attending the meeting on the platform were Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium President Kim Yong Nam [Kim Yo’ng-nam], Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Gen. Pak Yong Sik [Pak Yo’ng-sik], Minister of People’s Security Gen. Choe Pu Il [Ch’oe Pu-il], SPA Presidium Vice President (and Kim Family cousin) Yang Hyong Sop [Yang Hyo’ng-sop], DPRK Vice Premier and State Planning Commission Chairman Ro Tu Chol [Ro Tu-ch’o’l], Pyongyang WPK City Committee Chairman Kim Su Gil, SPA Presidium Vice President and Korea Social Democratic Party Central Committee Chairman Kim Yong Dae [Kim Yo’ng-tae], Guard Command Director Gen. Yun Jong Rin [Yun Cho’ng-rin], Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Col. Gen. Yun Tong Hyon [Yun Tong-hyo’n], the leading officials of workers’ and social organizations and senior cadres and functionaries of the party, state and army.  In attendance were DPRK Cabinet Ministers and Commission chairs, leading officials of a variety of national institutions, service members and officers of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] and Korean People’s Internal Security Forces, faculty and students of the Mangyo’ngdae Revolutionary School, and managers and merited workers of Pyonyang-based industrial and commercial production units.

View of the venue and participants of a December 24, 2017 central report meeting marking the 100th birth anniversary of Kim Jong Suk, the paternal grandmother of DPRK leader Kim Jong Un (Photo: KCNA/Rodong Sinmun).

Yang Hyong Sop, SPA Presidium Vice President, WPK Political Bureau Member, Member of the Central Committee of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea, Member of the Presidium of the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland and President of Kim Il Sung Correspondence College, delivers the report (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Yang Hyong Sop delivered a report in which he said that Kim Jong Suk’s “life was the noblest one of a great revolutionary who dedicated her all to the prosperity and rosy future of the country and nation.  The human history recorded a large number of famous women revolutionaries but has not known such a prominent woman revolutionary and genuine patriot as Kim Cho’ng-suk who performed so great and precious exploits.”  Yang also said that “her immortal exploits for the country and the revolution can be found in the fact that she made great contributions to liberating the country with arms, true to the leadership of Kim Il Sung, and laying a solid military foundation for the building of a prosperous country.”

Yang’s report also noted that “in the day when untrodden path of building a country was paved, she had worked heart and soul to arouse all the people to the building of a new country true to Kim Il Sung’s idea and intention.  Her greatest exploit is that she brought up leader Kim Jong Il as the rising sun and thus gave the people the highest honor and happiness of being blessed with the illustrious leaders generation after generation.”  In his report Yang stressed that “the revolutionary career and exploits of Kim Jong Suk who dedicated her all to the prosperity of the country and happiness of its people would remain forever along with the cause of building a powerful socialist nation of Chuch’e.”

Members of the DPRK central leadership participate in a wreath laying ceremony in front of Kim Jong Suk’s memorial bust at Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery in Pyongyang on December 24, 2017 (Photo: KCNA/Rodong Sinmun).

Earlier on December 24, floral wreaths were delivered to Kim Jong Suk’s memorial bust at Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery.  Among those from the central leadership attending the wreath-laying ceremony were Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Gen. Pak Yong Sik [Pak Yo’ng-sik], Minister of People’s Security Gen. Choe Pu Il [Ch’oe Pu-il], DPRK Vice Premier and State Planning Commission Chairman Ro Tu Chol [Ro Tu-ch’o’l], DPRK Vice Premier Ri Ju O [Ri Chu-o], WPK Light Industry Department Deputy Director Pak Myong Son [Pak Myo’ng-so’n] and other senior officials of the party, state and army along with leading functionaries of national institutions, service members and officers of the KPA and KPISF and Pyongyangites.

A floral wreath from Kim Jong Un was placed before the KJS memorial before the ceremony.  During the ceremony, a wreath jointly sent on behalf of the WPK Central Committee, the State Affairs Commission, the SPA Presidium and the DPRK Cabinet was placed in front of the memorial.  Wreaths from the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces, the Ministry of People’s Security, workers’ and social organizations, secondary schools and universities and production units located in Pyongyang were also placed in front of the memorial.  Ceremony participants “paid silent tribute to Kim Jong Suk, recollecting her revolutionary career.  Later the same day, personnel of the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front visited the cemetery to pay their respects to KJS.

Similar wreath-laying ceremonies were also held in Hoeryo’ng, Kimcho’ngsuk County in Yanggang Province, the Kim Jong Suk Naval Academy in South Hamgyo’ng, the Guard Command headquarters element in Pyongyang and other places in the country.

Concerts and other shows took place on December 24 to mark KJS’ birth anniversary and the 26th anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s assumption of the KPA Supreme Command.  The National Symphony Orchestra performed the concert Nostalgia at Moranbong Theater and the Mansudae Art Troupe’s female choir gave the concert Eternal Mother of the Revolution at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater.  The DPRK’s National Theater performed the play Woman Comrade of Mt. Paektu, the revolutionary opera Victory of the Revolution is in Sight was performed at Pyongyang Grand Theater and the dance suite Our Golden Country was performed at Ponghwa Art Theater.  Circus and magic shows happened at the Pyongyang Circus and the National Acrobatic Troupe did an extended juggling routine.  With Sunshine, a revolutionary opera about Kim Jong Suk’s life, was performed by the Yanggang Provincial Art Troupe.  Concerts and shows were also performed in provincial capitals and other places.

Mass dance parties for the DPRK’s young people took place all over the country on December 24, to mark KJI’s supreme commandership and KJS’ birth anniversary.  Dance tunes included “Fortune of Korea,” “Our General Is the Best” and “Unforgettable Echoes Over Samil Lagoon” which expressed “the highest respect and eternal glory to Kim Jong Il and deep reverence for Kim Jong Suk.”


This article was written on 25 Dec 2017, and is filled under Central Committee, Central Military Committee, Central Party Affairs/Cadres 5th Section, central party life, Col. Gen. Yun Tong Hyon (MPAF), colonel general, Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea, Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland (CPRF), Comprehensive Affairs, Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland, DPRK Cabinet, Education Section (PAD), Executive Policy Bureau, Gen. Choe Pu Il, Gen. Pak Yong Sik (MPAF), Gen. Yun Jong Rin, Gen. Yun Tong Hyon, General Affairs, General Federation of Science and Technology of Korea, General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea, Guard Command, Information Section, Jang Chun Sil (KDWU), Jon Kwang Ho, Ju Yong Gil (GFTUK), Kim Family, Kim Il Sung Youth League, kim jong suk, Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un, Kim Yong Dae, Kim Yong Nam, kisyl, KJI Personal Secretariat, KJI-Ko Yong Hui Family, KJI/KJU Ideological Works, Ko In Ho, Korean Children's Union, Korean Democratic Women's Union, Korean People's Internal Security Forces, Korean People's Army (KPA), Korean Social Democratic Party, Korean Workers' Party (KWP), Lecture Guidance, local people's committees, Lt. Gen. Kim Su Gil, Ministry of State Security, Ministry of the People's Armed Forces (MPAF), national holidays, Organization and Guidance Department, PAD Guidance Section, Pak Myong Sun (WPK LID), Pak Yong Sik, Party elders, party life, Party Life Guidance, Political Bureau, Propaganda and Agitation Department, Public Events, Ri Ju O (DPRK Vice Premier), Ri Ryong Nam, Ro Tu Chol, Secretariat, State Affairs Commission, State Planning Commission (SPC), State Security Department, Supreme People's Assembly, uawk, Workers' and Social Organizations, Yang Hyong Sop, Yun Jong Rin, Yun Tong Hyon.

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