North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Memorial Events Held to Mark Death of Marshal Hyon Chol Hae

Kim Jong Un kneels in front of the grave of Marshal Hyon Chol Hae on 19 May 2023 at Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery in Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun/KCNA).

DPRK elites marked the one-year anniversary of the death of KPA Marshal Hyon Chol Hae (Hyo’n Ch’o’l-hae) on 19 May (Friday).

Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n; KJU) and Minister of National Defense Gen. Kang Sun Nam (Kang Sun-nam) went to Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery to visit Hyon’s grave.  In placing a flower at the grave he recalled “the sincere and resolute appearance and praiseworthy life of the revolutionary soldier who remained boundlessly loyal to the cause of the Party with his genuine revolutionary traits and noble humanity and devoted himself to the country, the revolution and people without any slight affectations and selfishness.”  KJU and Gen. Kang “paid a silent tribute to the memory of Hyon Chol Hae, son of the great DPRK and distinguished elder loyalist produced by the Chuch’e revolution.”

Kim Jong Un and Minister of National Defense Kang Sun Nam bow in front of a monument during a visit to the Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery on 19 May 2023 to mark the one-year anniversary of the death of KPA Marshal Hyon Chol Hae (Photo: KCNA/Rodong Sinmun).

As he looked at Hyon’s photograph which adorns his grave marker, KJU “had a dialogue with him in innermost heart for a long time, a beloved soldier whom he never forgot whenever the country was overcoming the worst difficulties and ushered in a new heyday of bolstering up the national defense capabilities.”  When Hyon accompanied KJU, the late marshal was a “source of strength and courage.”  KJU remarked that the “feats of the veteran revolutionary who devoted his whole life to the revolutionary cause of Chuch’e will be immortal along with the history of our Party and the country and that Hyon Chol Hae will always be in the hearts of the Korean people and the service personnel of the People’s Army.”

Photos: Koren Central News Agency

Kim Jong Un also paid his respects before the Patriotic Martyrs’ Cemetery’s memorial monument, where he “paid high tribute to the martyrs, praying that their valuable life recorded in the history of the country would be immortal on the eminence of respect and honor, generation after generation.”

View of the platform of a 19 May 2023 memorial service marking the one-year anniversary of the death of KPA Marshal Hyon Chol Hae (Photo: KCNA).

A memorial service commemorating Hyon’s death anniversary was held at 25 April House of Culture.  The event was “filled with solemn memory and sorrow of the late Marshal of the Korean People’s Army.”  Hyon was a “most faithful man who followed and supported the leaders with faith, obligation and conscience with the transparent revolutionary outlook on the leader and glorified the most valuable life in the sacred history of the leaders, and the general adviser of the Ministry of National Defense of the DPRK who performed immortal exploits for the building of a powerful army of Chuch’e type, prosperity of the country and succession and development of the revolutionary cause.”

Among those coming out to the platform for the memorial service were Korean People’s Army [KPA] Vice Supreme Commander and elder military elite Vice Marshal Ri Myong Su (Ri Myo’ng-su), former KPA General Political Bureau Director and retired party elite Vice Marshal Hwang Pyong So (Hwang Pyo’ng-so’), DPRK Premier Kim Tok Hun (Kim Tok-hun), Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Secretary for Organizational Affairs and Director of the WPK Organization Guidance [organizatoin leadership] Department [OGD] Jo Yong Won (Cho Yo’ng-wo’n), Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Standing Committee President Choe Ryong Hae (Ch’oe Ryong-hae), WPK Secretary for Defense Industry and WPK Central Military Commission [CMC] Vice Chairman Ri Pyong Chol (Ri Pyo’ng-ch’o’l), Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui (Ch’oe So’n-hu’i), Minister of National Defense Gen. Kang Sun Nam (Kang Sun-nam), Pyongyang WPK Committee Chief Secretary Kim Su Gil (Kim Su-kil), WPK Secretary for Propaganda and Agitaton [information and publicity] Ri Il Hwan (Ri Il-hwan), WPK Secretary for Military Affairs and CMC Vice Chairman Ri Yong Gil (Ri Yo’ng-kil), WPK Central Auditing Commission Chairman Kim Jae Ryong (Kim Ch’ae-ryong), WPK Secretary for Economic Affairs and Director of the WPK Economic Affairs Department Jon Hyon Chol (Chon Hyo’n-ch’o’l), KPA General Political Bureau Director Jong Kyong Thaek (Cho’ng Kyo’ng-t’aek), WPK Secretary for Science and Education Pak Thae Song (Pak T’ae-so’ng), Chief of the KPA General Staff Pak Su Il (Pak Su-il), DPRK Vice Premier and State Planning Commission Pak Jong Gun (Pak Cho’ng-kun), Minister of State Security (State Security Department Director) Ri Chang Dae (Ri Chang-tae), WPK Propaganda and Agitation Department [PAD] Director Ju Chang Il (Chu Chang-il), WPK United Front Department Director Ri Son Gwon (Ri So’n-kwon), WPK Munitions Industry Department Director Jo Chun Ryong (Cho Chun-ryong), Minister of Public Security Ri Thae Sop (Ri T’ae-sop), WPK International Affairs Department Director Kim Song Nam (Kim So’ng-nam), WPK Agriculture Department Director Ri Chol Man (Ri Ch’o’l-man), and WPK Light Industry Department) Han Kwang Sang (Han Kwang-sang). Also in attendance were other senior cadres of the party, government and military, faculty and cadets of the three revolutionary schools and members of Hyon’s family.

WPK Secretary for Information and Publicity Ri Il Hwan delivers the memorial speech during the service marking the one year anniversary of the death of Hyon Chol Hae (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Service participants held a moment of silence for Hyon Chol Hae.  Ri Il Hwan delivered a memorial speech.

Ri said that the “sorrow of bidding farewell to Hyon Chol Hae, which left an indelible loss in the history of the Korean revolution, still lingers in the hearts of all the people and service personnel of the Korean People’s Army” and he “referred to the brilliant life of the martyr who led and encouraged the Korean people as a model of loyalist, steadfast revolutionary and genuine human in the forefront of the revolution advancing toward a new victory, always being together with the Korean people in their struggle and life for the past one year.”

View of the 25 April House of Culture, the venue for the memorial service for Hyon Chol Hae (Photo: KCNA).

Ri remarked that KJU “valuing most the genuine revolutionary traits and humanity of Hyon Chol Hae who was remained true to the leaders, the revolution and duty all his life, showed the noble example of the harmonious whole of the leader and soldier with the boundless love and obligation.”  Ri said that Hyon was a “loyal elder who enjoyed the highest honor and happiness as a soldier and Korean revolutionary under the warm care of Kim Jong Un” and emphasized “that the noble life and distinguished feats of Hyon Chol Hae will be immortal as they are filled with legendary stories about love, trust, loyalty and repayment between the leader and soldiers.”  Ri noted that “our cause inheriting the victorious course under the leadership of the great WPK requires younger generations to succeed the soul and spirit of the loyalists of the preceding generations and that all the people and service personnel of the KPA should leave the trace of a worthwhile life in the struggle for accomplishing the revolutionary cause of Chuch’e.”

Ri Il Hwan “paid high tribute to the noble life of Hyon Chol Hae” and called “for waging a dynamic struggle for the accomplishment of the cause of building the Korean-style socialist power led by Kim Jong Un and for the rosy future of our powerful country by carrying forward the batons of idea, faith, loyalty and patriotism of the revolutionary martyrs.”  According to DPRK state media, the memorial service participants “renewed their firm will to make strenuous effort for the cause of the WPK and steady development of the state and the armed forces of the DPRK by regarding the life of the veteran revolutionary faithful to the cause of the leaders as an example and faithfully upholding the idea and leadership of Kim Jong Un, who is our destiny and future.”

Photo: KCNA/Rodong Sinmun



This article was written on 21 May 2023, and is filled under 2007-2010 kpa management, 2012 KPA promotions, Cadre Affairs, Central Committee, Central Military Committee, Choe Ryong Hae, Choe Son Hui (FA), Choe Tong Myong [SED], Col. Gen. Pak Su Il (GSD/MPS), DPRK Cabinet, DPRK External Relations, DPRK Premier, Events Management Section, Executive Policy Bureau, Fourth Korean Workers' Party Conference, Gen. Pak Jae Gyong, Gen. Ri Myong Su, Gen. Ri Pyong Chol, Gen. Ri Yong Gil, General Affairs, gsd, gsob, Guard Command, Han Kwang Sang, Ho Chol Man (CAD), Hwang Pyong So, Hwang Pyong So (GPD; KPA VMAR), ideological slogans, International Affairs Department WPK, International Department, Jo Chun Ryong, Jo Yong Won, Jong Kyong Thaek (State Security), Ju Chang Il (PAD), Kang Pan Sok Revolutionary School alumni, Kim Chong-un inspections, Kim Family, Kim Hyong Sik (WPK CC Legal Affairs Department), Kim Jae Ryong (Jagang WPK Provincial Committee Chief Secretary), kim jong suk, Kim Jong Un Visits, Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un, Kim Kyong Ok (OGD), Kim Song Nam (IAD), Kim Tok Hun, KJI Personal Secretariat, KJI-Ko Yong Hui Family, KJU Personal Secretariat, Ko Yong Hui, Korean People's Army Supreme Command, Korean People's Internal Security Forces, Korean People's Army (KPA), Korean Workers' Party (KWP), KPA basic party organizations, KPA Cadres Bureau, KPA External Relations, KPA General Logistics Department, KPA General Political Bureau, KPA General Political Department, KPA General Staff, KPA infantry corps, kpa IV army corps, KPA Large Combined Units, KPA Organization Department, KPA Party Life, KPA supernumerary organizations, KPA Supreme Command, KPA WPK Committee, kpif, KWP Science and Education Department, Light Industry Department, Lt. Gen. Kim Su Gil, Machine Building Industry Department, Military Affairs, military economy, military security command [msc], Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ministry of people's security, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of State Security, Ministry of the People's Armed Forces (MPAF), MPAF GPB, National Defense Commission (NDC), Office of Military Officers, Organization and Guidance Department, Pak Su Il (MPS/corps), Pak Thae Song (KWP CC Dept), Party elders, party life, Political Bureau, Propaganda and Agitation Department, Provincial Party Committees, Provincial Party System, Public Events, Pyongyang Defense Command, Pyongyang WPK Committee, Ri Chang Dae (SSD), Ri Chol Man (DPRK Vice Premier/Minister of AG), Ri Hi Yong [NHAM WPK PC], Ri Il Hwan, Ri Pyong Chol, Ri Son Gwon (CPRC/UFD), Ri Thae Sop (MPS/corps), Secretariat, South P'yo'ngan KWP Provincial Committee, State Affairs Commission, State Planning Commission (SPC), State Security Department, succession, Supreme People's Assembly, Third Party Conference, United Front Department, VMar Hyon Chol Hae, VMar Ri Yong Mu, Workers' and Social Organizations, WPK Economic Affairs Dept, Yon Hyong Muk.

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