The recent trend of Kim Jong Il’s official activities after China visit

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)
NK Brief 2011-6-13

Kim Jong Il has made four official appearances from May 28 to June 3 since his last visit to China, starting with industrial facility inspections. This could be construed as North Korea’s attempt to highlight current facility-building projects and the superiority of its leadership in improving the people’s economy, and to rally the North Korean people.

Kim commemorated his recent unofficial visit to China by attending a celebratory performance. In a speech, he commented on the outcome of the visit and encouraged solidarity and morale building of its people.

On his return from China, Kim provided field guidance at the construction site of Huichon Power Plant. He called for the early completion of the plant as an essential step in resolving North Korea’s chronic power shortage. Specifically, Kim commented, “Resolving the power shortage is the major task in order to build a strong and prosperous nation . . . . appropriate units must ensure timely production of facilities, equipments and materials.” Kim is reported to have visited the construction site of Huichon on five occasions from September 2009 to December of last year.

In addition, Kim visited a fish breeding institute and Kosan Fruit Farm, encouraging the pursuit of technology development projects through modernization and scientific advancement.

At the fish breeding institute, Kim called for the improvement of the ecological environment of the fishery and for the increase in fish production by constructing more fish farms and by advancing the facility in a way that meets the demands of industrialization and modernization.

Similarly at the Kosan Fruit Farm (located in the Gangwon Province), production was stressed once again as an important task. Kim called for the improvement in fruit production through modernization and the integration of science and technology. This was Kim’s third visit to the farm since 2008.

Kim’s official visits this year are slightly fewer in number compared with the same period of time last year: from 70 visits in 2010 (19 military-related, 29 economic-related, 6 foreign-related, 13 other activities), to 60 visits in 2011 (13 military-related, 28 economic-related, 6 foreign-related, 13 other activities) in 2011.

All major DPRK news outlets covered Kim’s recent visit to China. The Politburo of the Workers’ Party of Korea Central Committee organized a meeting calling for the strengthening of DPRK-China relations. Likewise, the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly praised the current DPRK-China economic cooperation activities and growing friendship between the two nations.

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