[imText1]Yanji, China — In contrast to the news that Kim Kyung Hee (Kim Jong Il’s blood sister) will visit Hoiryeong in commemoration of the 90th birthday of Kim Jong Suk, it was confirmed that only upper-level Party officers participated in the celebrations.
Rumors started circulating early this year that Kim Jong Il would visit Hoiryeong, North Hamkyung, which is the birthplace of Kim Jong Il’s mother Kim Jong Suk. However, with the commemorative event approaching, Kim Kyung Hee, instead of Kim Jong Il, was supposed to visit Hoiryeong.
A source in Hoiryeong said in a phone conversation with a reporter on the 23rd, “An event commemorating the 90th birthday of Kim Jong Suk was held in Hoiryeong from the 18th to the 20th of this month and after the 20th, celebrations were held in Pyongyang. Kim Kyung Hee, who was supposed to come, did not show up.”
He added, “Provisions resumed on the 21st in time for the holiday (Kim Jong Suk’s birthday). Items that were given out were rice, corn, noodles, and oil. Holiday provisions such as liquor, gum, juice, socks, hot pepper paste, snacks, and soap were disbursed starting on the 23rd.“
The footsteps of Pyongyang’s upper-level leaders have not ceased coming into Hoiryeong. Chairwoman Park Soon Hee of Union of Democratic Women, Im Kyung Sook of the Ministry of Commerce and other representatives females in North Korea visited Hoiryeong and participated in the 90th anniversary commemorations.
The news of Kim Jong Suk’s 90th birthday anniversary commemorations has been relayed through North Korea’s media.
The Chosun Central Television, with Kim Jong Suk’s birthday coming up, reported on the 21st that oath ceremonies at the party, army, and office levels took place in Hoiryeong on the 20th.
At the ceremony site, the broadcast relayed that large-sized banners were set up praising Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il and the propagandistic signs stating, “Our greatest tribute to Mother Kim Jong Suk, the anti-Japanese heroine. May the revolutionary life and the results of the struggles of the great brethren Kim Jong Suk be immortal!”
The participants in the commemoration were Kim Il Cheol (Minister of the People’s Armed Forces), Kim Jung Gak (First Vice Director of KPA General Political Department), Choi Tae Bok and Kim Ki Nam (the secretaries of the Central Committee of the Party), Yang Hyung Sup (the Vice-Chairperson of the Supreme People’s Committee), Jeon Seung Hoon (the Vice-Minister of the Cabinet), and others high level officials.
In Hoiryeong, a joint performance by the People’s Army’s orchestra opened the day with a concerto “May the loyalty go on forever.” On the 19th, the “Nationwide Youth Students’ Poetry and Singing” took place among 3,000 participants, which consisted of youth and related persons of the Youth League Central Committee in each region.
Even prior to this, the nationwide landscape and crafts exhibitions commemorating Kim Jong Suk 90th birthday anniversary were held on the 12th at the Pyongyang International Cultural Exhibition Hall and on the 18th, a variety of events such as the opening of the Central Arts Show at the Korean Fine Arts Museum was held.
One researcher at a national policy research institute said regarding Kim Kyung Hee’s absence, “It is known that she has been suffering from an alcohol addiction for a long time, so does not make frequent public appearances.”