Kim Jong Eun welcomed the 71st anniversary of the late Kim Jong Il’s birth in the customary way earlier today, paying an early morning visit to Keumsusan Palace of the Sun with his wife, Ri Sol Joo, and a coterie of elite officials.
The visit was conducted under the auspices of the military, emphasizing the military-first policy that governs North Korean policy. All attendees were cited by KCNA as “members of the Party Central Military Commission and the National Defense Commission, staff members of the People’s Army Supreme Command and commanding officers,” including those who also hold civilian posts.
According to Chosun Central News Agency (KCNA), the group paid its respects to the embalmed corpses of both Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung, and “proclaimed that they would follow the fatherly General for all eternity, taking the road of the Mt. Baekdu march all the way to the South Sea under the leadership of respected comrade Supreme Commander [Kim Jong Eun], and completing the work of the Juche Songun revolution.”
Interest in South Korea is bound to focus on the phrase, “all the way to the South Sea,” seemingly an emphatic reference to the unification of the two Koreas under North Korean rule.
The Korean-language piece also took the opportunity to state, “Songun Chosun, which is not afraid of any sanctions or pressure due to successfully conducting the third underground nuclear test…” along with a number of other defiant phrases emphasizing North Korea’s nuclear status.