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Kim Jong Un conducts first military inspection this year

Kim Jong Un conducts first military inspection this year

Posted July. 02, 2018 07:18,   

Updated July. 02, 2018 07:18


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has conducted a field inspection of Korean People’s Army (KPA) for the first time in this year.

The Korean Central News Agency of North Korea reported Saturday that during his visit to the KPA Unit 1524, Kim stressed “the need to intensify political and ideological education and the education of faith in conformity with the specific character of the duty of the unit” and “thus reliably defend the post and carry on service with the steadfast class stand.”

The North Korean leader also visited a firm in Sindo County and a cosmetics factory in Sinuiju, located near Dandong, which serves as a hub for trade with China, according to the reports of Pyongyang’s media outlets over the weekend. Kim’s wife Ri Sol Ju accompanied him for a visit to the cosmetics factory. “I had always hoped for a visit to the cosmetics factory in Sinuiju. They are famous for producing ‘Pomhyanggi (spring scent)’ cosmetics,” said Kim. “The factory should never praise itself as Pomhyanggi-trademarked cosmetics are very popular among the people and in great demand.”

Meanwhile, Hwang Pyong So, former head of the North Korean army’s political bureau, reportedly accompanied Kim on his on-site inspections. Though Hwang had occasionally appeared in the photographs and video footage of the country’s state media, this was the media’s first direct mention of Hwang in about eight months since last October when he attended an event to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the foundation of Mangyongdae Revolution Academy.

Given that Hwang’s name was mentioned by the media prior to that of the party’s director Han Kwang Sang, there is a possibility that Kim Jong Un appointed Hwang as the first vice director of the party’s State Affairs Commission in order to keep Vice Chairman Choe Ryong Hae in check.

In-Chan Hwang hic@donga.com