North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

KJU Attends Groundbreaking of Sop’o Apartment Complex

Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) attended a groundbreaking ceremony for construction of an apartment complex in Sop’o neighborhood in Pyongyang on 25 February (Saturday).  Also in attendance was his daughter, Kim Ju Ae (Kim Chu-a’e), DPRK Premier Kim Tok Hun (Kim Tok-hun), WPK Secretary for Organizational Affairs Jo Yong Won (Cho Yo’ng-wo’n), WPK Secretary for Propaganda and Agitation (Publicity and Information) Ri Il Hwan (Ri Il-hwan), WPK Secretary for Economic Affairs Jon Hyon Chol (Cho’n Hyon-ch’o’l), DPRK Vice Premier Pak Hun and WPK Workers’ and Social Organizations Department Director Ri Tu Song (Ri Tu-so’ng).  This was Kim Ju Ae’s first observed, publicized event that was not directly linked to military affairs or the DPRK defense industry.

Personnel for the apartment construction will come from members of the Youth League including the Paektusan Hero Youth Shock Brigade.  According to DPRK state media, “the great Party Central Committee entrusted the Socialist Patriotic Youth League and the Paektusan Hero Youth Shock Brigade with the important revolutionary task to make our young people, who have always served as a powerful driving force of state development in the historic course of the Korean revolution pioneered in Mt. Paektu, reliably carry forward the proud tradition of loyalty and patriotism in the ongoing general advance.  Such great trust is giving further momentum to enthusiasm for the revolution and patriotic zeal of millions of young people across the country.”

The groundbreaking ceremony’s venue “was brimming with the revolutionary enthusiasm of young builders determined to create new legendary tales about the heroic youth as standard-bearers in building socialist civilization at the worthwhile theater for translating into a proud reality the long-cherished desire of the Party Central Committee.”

When KJU arrived with Kim Ju Ae the ceremony participants cheered “looking up to the great father who put forward the young people as the vanguard and shock brigade in the struggle for socialist construction and as the promising young main forces taking the lead in ushering in a new era of the country’s prosperity and has shown all kinds of love and affection for them, while making a new history of attaching importance to the youth on this land.”

KJU delivered the following remarks:


Dear Paektusan Hero Youth Shock Brigade members, who have come to a major site of the capital city construction with the mettle and spirit of sacred Paektu,

Dear young volunteers, who have come from across the country true to the ennobling duty and call of the times of “For the victory of our cause!” and “For our capital city of Pyongyang!”

Seeing you, who have gathered here representing the vigor, bravery and passion of the millions of young people in the whole country, I feel immensely refreshed and encouraged.

Today I have come here to feel in person the mettle of proud young people, who are full of ardor, fighting spirit and self-confidence for bringing about a sea change without fail in the forefront of the capital city construction, and to encourage you.

I feel most delighted to be proclaiming with you this meaningful groundbreaking for building a new modern street, a project that will write another proud page in the annals of the youth movement of our country, resplendent with bravery and feats.

Now as I am standing here, I am reminded of the unforgettable day, when I celebrated eight years ago in the lead-up to the 70th anniversary of the founding of our Workers’ Party of Korea with the young fighters born of Mt Paektu the commissioning of a new power station, which had been built majestically at the foot of Mt Paektu, with the words Hero Youth written on its dam.

It is a solid fortress of faith our young people built with youthful vigor and unstained and warm patriotism and loyalty in defense of our cause; it is also a monument they dedicated to their motherland. The immortal feats performed by the Paektusan Hero Youth Shock Brigade are etched in golden letters in the history of our Party as well as in the history of the Korean youth movement.

The spirit of the Paektusan hero youth was stoutly carried forward in the vigorous struggle of splendidly transforming the city of Samjiyo’n, a sacred place of the revolution, and of reconstructing the railways in the northern mountain area, and has spread like a prairie fire to all the working places of offensive across the country. This spirit has become a symbol of the indefatigable features and fighting mettle of young builders in our era and part of the invincibility of socialist Korea that is rising uniquely in the face of trials.

With conviction that if this great spirit is elevated to a higher level any gigantic project can be carried out briskly, our Party has decided to arrange a new theater of activities, a grand theater for our young people, where they can fully display their burning patriotic zeal once again in the course of giving a spur to the comprehensive development of socialist construction.

More specifically, it has decided to entrust the Socialist Patriotic Youth League and Paektusan Hero Youth Shock Brigade with the whole of the important project for forming a characteristic street by building over 4 000 flats in the area of the northern gateway to the capital city of Pyongyang on the sidelines of the construction of 10 000 flats in the city in 2023.

The Party’s intention is to help our young people demonstrate more powerfully the heroic spirit and patriotic devotion unique to the Korean youth in the grand construction site in the capital city and prepare themselves more satisfactorily as successors to the revolution, reserves of the Workers’ Party and capable builders of socialism.

Not long after the Party called upon them, as many as 100 000 young men and women from all the Youth League organizations across the country have volunteered for the capital city construction and immediately left for Pyongyang amid warm encouragement and send-offs from all other people. Seeing this, the whole country was deeply impressed.

In this course, our praiseworthy Paektusan Hero Youth Shock Brigade has been expanded and reinforced by several times.

I have no doubt that our young builders will create a dignified symbol of the development of socialism and its future, which will startle the world, at the northern gateway to Pyongyang by fully displaying the mettle of the Korean young people who are prepared to brave fire and water in response to the call of the Party and motherland and who love waging the revolution and working.

Dear young builders,

When the golden age of construction in Pyongyang has reached its record high, you have joined in it as honorable builders.

The importance of the tasks assigned to you young builders lies not only in the fact that you will help to increase the number of flats for the capital city citizens by several thousands.

The new street you are going to erect is truly a worthwhile and proud project, which is geared to ushering in a new phase of the development of the Chuch’e-oriented architecture.

There will be formed a grand street axis and residential quarters consisting of super-highrise apartment houses and other houses of different shapes in good harmony with public buildings. It will provide a model and important experience for the development of the Chuch’e-oriented architecture and, in particular, for the capital city construction.

The large architectural group of this characteristic street will vividly illustrate the prestige of our country which is developing by leaps and bounds, and will clearly and proudly demonstrate to the world how dynamically our struggle for advance is developing in a more extensive and vigorous manner in the face of harshest ordeals and difficulties.

In this sense, this is not simply a construction project but a kind of political campaign indicative of the character of our revolution.

Such a revolutionary mission of crucial importance has been entrusted to you.

I believe that I will be able to witness, in your energetic endeavor here in this project site, the fact that the mettle and fighting spirit of performing, in whatever they do, feats which will represent the times and remain in history, which pulsated among young people of the preceding generations, still pulsates among young people of the current generation.

As you all know, not only the project for building 4 100 flats here but also second-stage project for building 10 000 flats in the Hwasong area and construction of the Kangdong Greenhouse Farm have been launched simultaneously on the construction front in the capital city for this year.

Because all the construction projects are intended for the wellbeing of the capital city citizens and for motherly Pyongyang, our glorious capital city, our Party attaches equal importance and is giving a strong push to them. Still, I emphasize that it pays particularly closer attention to the construction of the new street you have shouldered.

It is partly because the completion of this street is of great significance, but more importantly because it has a great significance and is precious in that the 100 000-strong contingent of young people, who have come from every part of the country, will be tempered in a revolutionary way and grow up in the course of construction.

Construction of the new street is a challenging struggle as you will have to complete the colossal project in a short span of time. So after launching the project, you might encounter difficulties from the outset.

However, the force of hot-blooded young people who are burning with loyalty and patriotism can break through any trials and hardships.

Because you lack in experience and skills and you are unaccustomed to much work, you may waver or feel feeble-hearted. But you must courageously overcome them by relying on the organization, collective and comrades and by recalling the pledges you made when you volunteered.

You should learn from and assist one another to make collective innovations in carrying out the project and devote pure conscience and sincerity to build all the items of the project to be quality ones which you can bequeath with pride to posterity.

The whole country will see our young people growing stronger and wiser with each passing day in the looks of the architectural structures rising floor by floor, and see their ideals, ambitions, lofty dreams, courage and pluck which are growing beyond recognition in the grand appearance of the wonderful new street at the gateway to the capital city.

Just like the generations of your grandfathers and grandmothers, fathers and mothers, you will have the youthful pride and honor of having shed your precious sweat for the capital city construction, and will record in your autobiography the stories of merits, in which you can proudly say my capital city, my Pyongyang.

Moreover, the massive contingent of young people who have grown up here will, after returning to their home towns and villages, take the lead in the efforts to bring about radical changes with the mode of struggle and pattern of creation they have acquired in the capital city construction, and this is the greatest outcome our Party prioritize over anything else in the construction of the new street.

Laudable young builders,

The time has come for working a miracle.

The present era of successive struggles pins its hope on your morale.

It is time to prove your true merits.

Pyongyang citizens are encouraging you, young builders; Youth League organizations that have recommended and dispatched you and your parents who have willingly let their beloved children take leave of them are watching you; all the other people across the country are looking forward to success in your struggle.

Besides them, the whole world will watch what the heroic mettle and unyielding struggle of our Korean young people will present.

I am fully convinced that the laudable Socialist Patriotic Youth League and Paektusan Hero Youth Shock Brigade will prove themselves worthy of the call of the times and the expectations of the people through their indomitable and heroic struggle, and thus build a splendid new street that will go well with our young people’s heightened temperament, incomparable heroic spirit and precious honor, without fail in this area in 2023.

I hope that every one of you will overcome trials in good health and emerge as honorable victors without fail.


For the dignified honor of the Korean young people,

For the eternal prosperity of our socialist state and our capital city of Pyongyang,

For our parents, siblings and friends,

Let us all struggle courageously.

When KJU finished his speech, the ceremony participants “deeply moved with high honor and happiness, raised stormy cheers again.”  KJU presented a flag to the Youth Hero Shock Brigade to its top cadres.  Members of the shock brigade “raised shouts of their firm will to create a new legendary story about construction representing the era by amplifying once again the Paektusan hero youth spirit and mettle in carrying out the grand construction project, holding aloft the honorable flag given by the respected fatherly Marshal Kim Jong Un as the banner of struggle and advance.”

The ceremony participants “made a solemn pledge to report their victory to the fatherly Marshal after successfully building another ideal street for people in Pyongyang, the heart of Chuch’e Korea, through an all-out charge in the spirit and mettle of Korean youth, knowing no impossibility by carrying forward the proud history and tradition of the Korean youth who answered the Party’s call with their devoted service.”

Kim Jong Un, Kim Ju Ae and the platform participants of the party and government ceremoniously shoveled some dirt to break ground on the project.  KJU pressed a detonator which blew up more dirt and triggered a fireworks display “in the sky of February to bless our young people turned out in the heroic struggle and advance.”  The  The ceremony venue was “full of the roar of slogans of loyalty reflecting the faith and will of all the participants determined to devotedly defend the absolute dignity and prestige of the Party Central Committee and fully display the brave stamina of a large contingent of young people in the great era of Kim Jong Un by most creditably and perfectly carrying out the tasks assigned by Kim Jong Un no matter what ordeals and difficulties may block their way.”

KJU commented that the “spirit and stamina of our young people” is “very high” as they “devote their all to the implementation of the Party’s plan, keeping the loyalty to the Party and the revolution as their greatest honor and pride.  The Paektusan Hero Youth Shock Brigade, which has built a solid fortress of faith in defending our cause with ardent vigor and patriotism, and other young people should become the backbone in the ongoing grand socialist construction.”  KJU expressed his “expectation and belief that our youth braving any difficulties in response to the Party’s call would proudly build another luxurious street, an innovative entity representing a prosperous and power country, deeply mindful of their sacred duty and the call of the times–‘For the Victory of Our Cause!’ and ‘For Pyongyang, Our Capital City!'”

An affiliate of 38 North