Kim Jong Eun attended an event commemorating the 66th anniversary of the founding of the Chosun Children’s Union at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang yesterday, marking the first time since June, 1994 that a North Korean leader has attended such an event.
Kim’s second public speech, given at the event and subsequently published by Rodong Shinmun this morning, did not contain any surprises, instead focusing on encouraging attending children to remain loyal to the regime.
“June 6th is both a day for the Chosun Children’s Union and a precious day for our Party and entire people,” Kim declared. “Nowhere else in the world are there young students like ours, hundreds of thousands all wearing the red necktie and standing united in one organization, growing steadily into the heroes of tomorrow.”
Kim then went on to say, “Even in the days when the motherland was going through the trials of the March of Tribulation, our Children’s Union members overcame the difficulties, studied hard and actively undertook our school, our guard post and political activities as they dripped the sweat of patriotism.”
The founding day events are held annually, this year occurring from June 3rd to 8th. According to the North Korean media, 20,000 young representatives from around the country are in attendance, the largest number in North Korean history. In North Korea, opportunities to visit the nation’s capital are sparingly rationed, meaning that spending almost a week in the city is a big honor for students from the provinces, as shown in a recent Daily NK report on the scale of bribes some parents were prepared to give to get their children a seat on the train to Pyongyang.
Typically effusive, Chosun Central News Agency also reported on the event, saying, “Marking the first moments of Juche in its 100s and having Children Union representatives from around the country gather together to celebrate the founding day of the Union is a noteworthy event in our Party and the motherland’s history, as well as an epochal event in human history.”
However, the state media also used the opportunity to focus anger on the South Korean government, saying, “The traitor Lee Myung Bak administration is spouting lies about fatherly love for our children and slandering our celebration events.”