Posts tagged Kim Jong Il
From my own monitoring, here are a couple of reports from Voice of Korea, North Korea’s shortwave radio service, on the event surrounding the funeral of Kim Jong Il.
December 29 broadcast (covering the events of the previous day)
Voice of Korea reports on the funeral procession of Kim Jong Il.
December 28 broadcast
Voice of Korea reports that Kim Jong Un visited the bier of Kim Jong Il
The report begins:
Respected Kim Jong Un, vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea and supreme leader of our party, state and army, in reflection of the boundless mourning of the entire army and people of the country and the world progress of humanity, visited the bier of respected Kim Jong Il again and expressed deep condolences on December 27.
He was accompanied by senior officials of the party, state and armed forces institutions Kim Yong Nam, Choe Yong Rim, Ri Yong Ho, Kim Kyong Hui, Kim Yong Chun, Jon Pyong Ho, Kim Kuk Thae, Kim Ki Nam, Choe Thae Bok, Yang Hyong Sop, Ri Yong Mu, O Kuk Ryol, Kang Sok Ju, Pyon Yong Rip, Jang Song Thaek, Kim Jong Gak, Kim Yang Gon, Kim Yong Il, Pak To Chun, Choe Ryong Hae, Kim Rak Hui, Thae Jong Su, Kim Phyong Hae, Mun Kyong Dok, Ju Kyu Chang, U Tong Chuk and Kim Chang Sop…
Hana Electronics and the Hana Music Information Center, one of the last places reported to have been visited by Kim Jong Il before his death, was one of the locations used on Thursday to mourn his passing.
State TV pictures showed a crowd that appeared to be at least in the thousands standing outside the building on the city’s Tongil Street, south of the Taedong River and next to the Tongil Market.
Hana Electronics is one of Pyongyang’s best known electronics companies and produces DVD players.
A large picture of Kim Jong Il was placed in front of the building.
Kim’s visit to Hana Electronics was his penultimate guidance tour and was reported by state-run media on December 15.
He expressed great satisfaction over the fact that the company has produced many various kinds of articles for cultural use after building the production process of electronic products with an annual capacity of hundreds of thousands of products.
Watching DVDs being fitted in the streamline process, he said that products are of high quality and very perfect.
In particular, portable DVD with function of TV is well designed, he said. — KCNA, December 15, 2011
On the same day he was also reported to have visited the Kwangbok Department Store. It was a photo of him on an escalator at the department store that was the last issued of him alive.
TV images also appeared to show several tens of thousands of mourners on Kwangbok Road, several hundred meters south east of the department store.
The two areas were shown in addition to the main memorial ceremony that was talking place in Kim Il Sung Square in the heart of Pyongyang.
TV pictures showed amazing scenes of tens of thousands of people lined up in the square.
It was during that service that Kim Yong Nam said of Kim Jong Un:
Standing at the helm of the Korean revolution is Kim Jong Un, the successor to the revolutionary cause of Juche.
Kim Jong Un is the supreme leader of our party and army and people as he fully personified the ideas and leadership, personality, virtues, grit and courage of Kim Jong Il. — Kim Yong Nam, Pyongyang, Dec. 29, 2011
A three-minute silence was observed across the country at noon. During that silence trains and ships sounded their horns.
Here are some more images of the memorial service from Pyongyang, as shown on Korea Central Television.
North Korea’s state television is playing a leading role in attempting to set a national mood of solemnity as the country moves through its mourning period. The media, especially TV, has always played an important part in the government’s propaganda efforts so what’s on North Korean screens these days?
In three words: Kim Jong Il.
It’s no surprise that news of his death and of the mourning that has followed has filled extra news bulletins.
Around the news softer TV shows, such as those for children and wildlife or science documentaries, have been canceled in favor of documentaries about Kim, his life, his father and patriotic military topics, according to monitoring reports.
Monday evening saw a special on his recent on-the-spot-guidance visits to places in South Hamgyong province, said BBC Monitoring. Such visits were a staple of media coverage of Kim and photos from them spawned the cult blog “Kim Jong Il Looking at things.” His death was reported to have happened on a train while traveling for just such visits (although South Korea’s National Intelligence Service has put the claim in doubt.)
Viewers were also offered documentaries with titles such as: “Military-First Sun That Shines in the World,” “Great Leadership for Breakthrough of Our Style” and Unrolling a Socialist Paradise in the Military-First Era.” Also broadcast was part 250 of the memoirs of Kim Il Sung.
Are people watching this? It’s difficult to tell, but North Korean radio isn’t offering much of an alternative.
In between news bulletins and clips of people expressing their sorrow over the death are programs such as: “Our General Lives Eternally in the Heart of the People,” “Let Immortal Accomplishments in the Military-First Cause Be Inherited Forever,” and the impressively-titled “Let Us More Resolutely Fight To Overcome Today’s Difficult Situation and Achieve a Final Victory in the Juche Revolutionary Cause by Turning Sadness Into Strength and Courage Under the Leadership of the Great Comrade Kim Jong-un.”
One of the interesting things picked up on in the BBC Monitoring reports is the voices being used to provide guidance on mourning. The media isn’t interviewing senior government or party officials but those lower down the hierarchy.
Radio interviews have included manager at Kaesong Youth Park, the principal of Nampo Middle School No1, and a manager at Pyongyang Textile Plant.
Between all the talking both TV and radio networks continue to play patriotic music. But that’s always been a staple of the North Korean media.
If you want to listen for yourself, check out my guide to listening to domestic North Korean radio (it’s possible worldwide if you have a good radio and antenna) or the schedule for Voice of Korea English broadcasts (a stronger signal in many regions of the world.)
What’s missing so far? Hours of reports and documentaries about Kim Jong Un. His visit to pay respects to his father was widely covered, first with still images and then video, but the national media hasn’t spent a lot of time talking about him. That’s perhaps no surprise at such an early stage.
Analysts will be watching closely once Kim’s funeral is over to see how quickly Kim Jong Un becomes a regular part of the media output and how much time and space he is given.
In Seoul and Tokyo (see picture, right) newspapers rushed out extra editions hours after the death was announced. Japanese newspapers publish such extra editions for a handful of major news stories each each year.
Although coming at a bad time for U.S. papers — many Monday editions had been finalized when the news came through at 11pm ET — Kim was featured on the front page of some major titles including most dramatically the free “Metro” newspaper.
The news featured prominently in Asian and European newspapers but barely ranked in some parts of the world, according to a selection of front pages offered online by the Washington-based Newseum. Some of the more dramatic can be seen below and a full selection is available at the Newseum website.
The placement on the front page gives a clue as to the importance of the news in a particular country. Perhaps more interesting is the images used to illustrate the story. Across much of Asia the faces of Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un were given prominence but in other regions — where perhaps their faces are less known — newspapers went for mourners.
North Korea took notice of the coverage. A KCNA dispatch noted the wide foreign coverage — although it didn’t mention what was being said. The story gives some clue as to which foreign media outlets are viewed important. Notably missing is mention of any South Korean media coverage. It also fails to mention Japan’s best-selling daily, the conservative Yomiuri Shimbun.
Xinhua news, People’s Daily and CCTV and ITAR-TASS Monday reported about “Notice to all party members, servicepersons and people” issued in the DPRK on the demise of leader Kim Jong Il.
This sad news was also aired or carried by Prensa-Latina of Cuba, Kyodo and Jiji news, Mainichi Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun, Tokyo Shimbun, Nihon Keizai Shimbun and NHK of Japan and AFP of France, ABC of Australia, AP, UPI, ABC, CNN, VOA, Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today, International Herald Tribune and Baltimore Sun of the United States. — KCNA, December 20, 2011
The news was most prominently featured in papers from the western U.S., where it broke around 8pm.
Most headlines simply announced his death but the Daily News from San Fernando, near Los Angeles, went for “Tyrant vexed the West” and a later Associated Press analysis story on the front page. The Bakersfield Californian also went with something a little bit more imaginative. “Ruthless dictator starved his people while living high life,” it reported.
For the rest of the world, the next editions would be Wednesday morning’s papers. By that time there was more information from Pyongyang and many more images to choose from.
Among the most striking front pages are these from (top row left to right) The Joong-Ang-Ilbo in Seoul, Liberation in Paris, the Bakersfield Californian, (bottom row left to right) Heute (Austria), The Times (London) and Stars and Stripes (Pacific Edition, Tokyo).
The coverage wasn’t all negative. One of the most striking front pages, that possibly had expats in Beijing shaking their heads on Wednesday morning, came from The China Daily which mourned “A Friend’s Departure.” You can read the online version of the story here.
Here’s a larger gallery of newspaper front pages. Even more can be found at the Newseum website.
A day after North Korea was told of the death of Kim Jong Il, his official portrait dominates the front page of the Rodong Sinmun. The newspaper is the most powerful mouthpieces for the ruling Workers’ Party and as such the front page isn’t a surprise.
Page 2 carries the official announcement of his death that was published by on Monday by the Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the National Defence Commission, the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly and the Cabinet of the DPRK.
Page 3 has the names of the members of the national funeral committee. The list, which was published in full on Monday, is led by Kim Jong Un. In the past I’ve written about the use of a larger of bold font on North Korean websites whenever the names of Kim Il Sung or Kim Jong Il are written. That hasn’t yet started on the web for Kim Jong Un but his name does appear in a larger and more prominent font at the head of this page. (It’s the five Hangul characters immediately above the list of three-character names.)
Pages four, five and six cover other announcements from Monday and coverage of mourning. There are seven photographs showing Pyongyang-ites in grief.
The original PDF files of the newspaper pages can be downloaded from the Rodong Sinmun website. The same site also includes conventional web versions of the same stories. If you need to cut and paste the articles it’s easier to do it from the website.
I’ve also placed the PDFs below.
The Voice of Korea, North Korea’s international radio service, made its first broadcast in English after the announcement of the death of Kim Jong Il.
The broadcast was dominated by a news bulletin that attempted to carry some of the emotion being seen and heard on domestic media, but the announcer didn’t reach tears.
The 55-minute long broadcast was recorded on 6285kHz shortwave at 1000 GMT.
00:40 National anthem
02:20 Welcome to English-language program
02:40 Mixed chorus: Song of General Kim Il Sung
05:25 Male chorus: Song of General Kim Jong Il
20:45 Clip ends after the main news item.
The script took the form of a verbatim reading of a lengthy announcement from the central government. With the exception of the major news item, the broadcast was otherwise close to normal. It opened with the same two songs it always does, had a regular episode after the news on the work of Kim Jong Il and played patriotic and revolutionary songs.
The news script closely follows this version carried by KCNA:
Pyongyang, December 19 (KCNA) — The Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly and the Cabinet of the DPRK on Saturday announced the following notice to all party members, servicepersons and people:
The Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly and the Cabinet of the DPRK notify with bitterest grief to all the party members, servicepersons and people of the DPRK that Kim Jong Il, general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK and supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army, passed away of a sudden illness at 08: 30 on December 17, Juche 100 (2011) on his way to field guidance.
He dedicated all his life to the inheritance and accomplishment of the revolutionary cause of Juche and energetically worked day and night for the prosperity of the socialist homeland, happiness of people, reunification of the country and global independence. He passed away too suddenly to our profound regret.
His sudden demise at a historic time when an epochal phase is being opened for accomplishing the cause of building a powerful and prosperous socialist state and the Korean revolution is making steady victorious progress despite manifold difficulties and trials is the greatest loss to the WPK and the Korean revolution and the bitterest grief to all the Koreans at home and abroad.
Kim Jong Il, who was born as a son of guerillas on Mt. Paektu, the holy mountain of the revolution, and grew up to be a great revolutionary, wisely led the party, the army and people for a long period, performing undying revolutionary feats on behalf of the country, the people, the times and history.
Kim Jong Il possessed of personality and qualifications as a great man on the highest and perfect level was an outstanding thinker and theoretician who led the revolution and construction along the path of steady victories with his profound ideologies and theories and remarkable leadership. He was also peerlessly political elder and outstanding and illustrious commander of Songun and peerless patriot and tender-hearted father of the people who recorded the whole history of the revolutionary struggle with ardent love for the country and its people and noble dedication.
Considering it as his lifelong mission to carry to completion generation after generation the revolutionary cause of Juche started by President Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il pushed forward the revolution and construction in line with the idea and intention of the President as the dearest comrade and the most loyal comrade-in-arms of the President.
Kim Jong Il comprehensively developed in depth the immortal Juche idea, Songun idea, fathered by the President and glorified it as the idea guiding the era of independence with his clairvoyant wisdom and energetic ideological and theoretical activities. He firmly defended and carried forward the revolutionary traditions of Mt. Paektu with pure mind, thereby giving a steady continuity to the Korean revolution.
Kim Jong Il, genius of the revolution and construction, developed the party, army and state to be the party, army and state of Kim Il Sung, put the dignity and power of the nation on the highest level and ushered in the golden days of prosperity unprecedented in the nation’s history spanning 5 000 years under the uplifted banner of modeling the whole society on the Juche idea.
Kim Jong Il, supreme incarnation of the revolutionary moral obligation, set a great example in perpetuating the memory of President Kim Il Sung unknown in human political history, thus making sure that the august name of the President, his undying revolutionary career and exploits always shine along with the eternal history of Juche Korea.
Kim Jong Il, great master of politics and illustrious commander born of Heaven, honorably defended the socialist gains, noble heritage bequeathed by the President, by dint of Songun politics despite the collapse of the world socialist system, the demise of the President which was the greatest loss to the nation, the vicious offensive of the imperialist allied forces to stifle the DPRK and severe natural disasters. He turned the DPRK into an invincible political and ideological power in which single-minded unity has been achieved and made it emerge a nuclear weapons state and an invincible military power which no enemy can ever provoke.
True to President Kim Il Sung’s behest, Kim Jong Il set a gigantic goal to build a prosperous and powerful country and led an all-people general advance for attaining it, thus making the drive for a great revolutionary surge rage throughout the country and bringing about great innovations and leap forward on all fronts of socialist construction.
Kim Jong Il, father of the nation and lodestar of national reunification, led all the fellow countrymen to the road of independence and great national unity with his rock-firm will to implement the instructions of the President for national reunification and ushered in the June 15 era of reunification in which the noble idea of “By our nation itself” is materialized.
As a great guardian of socialism and justice, he conducted energetic external activities for the victory of the socialist cause, global peace and stability and friendship and solidarity among peoples under the uplifted banner of independence against imperialism, thus remarkably raising the international position and prestige of the DPRK and making immortal contributions to the human cause of independence.
In the whole period of his protracted revolutionary guidance, he valued and loved the people very much and always shared weal and woe with them. He continued to make difficult forced march for field guidance, making unremitting efforts and working heart and soul to build a thriving country and improve the standard of people’s living. He died from repeated mental and physical fatigue on a train in that course.
The whole life of Kim Jong Il was the most brilliant life of a great revolutionary who covered an untrodden thorny path with his iron will and superhuman energy, holding aloft the red flag of revolution. It was the life of the peerless patriot who dedicated his all to the country and its people.
He passed away to our regret before seeing the victory of the cause of building a thriving nation, the national reunification and the accomplishment of the revolutionary cause of Juche so ardently desired by him, but laid a strong political and military base for ensuring the steady advance of the Korean revolution through generations and provided a solid foundation for the eternal prosperity of the country and the nation.
Standing in the van of the Korean revolution at present is Kim Jong Un, great successor to the revolutionary cause of Juche and outstanding leader of our party, army and people.
Kim Jong Un’s leadership provides a sure guarantee for creditably carrying to completion the revolutionary cause of Juche through generations, the cause started by Kim Il Sung and led byKim Jong Il to victory.
We have the invincible revolutionary army of Mt. Paektu faithful to the cause of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the great unity of the army and people closely rallied around the Party, the best Korean-style socialist system centered on the popular masses and the solid foundation of the independent national economy.
Under the leadership of Kim Jong Un we should turn our sorrow into strength and courage and overcome the present difficulties and work harder for fresh great victory of the Juche revolution.
Our army and people will hold leader Kim Jong Il in high esteem forever with unshakable faith and noble sense of moral obligation. True to his behests, they will make neither slightest concession nor delay on the road of the Juche revolution, the Songun revolution but resolutely defend his undying feats and glorify them for all ages.
All the party members, servicepersons and people should remain loyal to the guidance of respected Kim Jong Un and firmly protect and further cement the single-minded unity of the party, the army and the people.
Under the uplifted banner of Songun, we should increase the country’s military capability in every way to reliably safeguard the Korean socialist system and the gains of revolution and make the torch lit in South Hamgyong Province, the drive for the industrial revolution in the new century, rage throughout the country and thus bring about a decisive turn in building an economic power and improving the standard of people’s living.
We will surely achieve the independent reunification of the country by concerted efforts of all Koreans by thoroughly implementing the Three Charters for National Reunification and the north-south joint declarations.
Our party and people will strive hard to boost friendship and solidarity with the peoples of different countries, guided by the idea of independence, peace and friendship, and build an independent and peaceful, new world free from domination, subjugation, aggression and war.
Arduous is the road for our revolution to follow and grim is the present situation. But no force on earth can check the revolutionary advance of our party, army and people under the wise leadership of Kim Jong Un.
The heart of Kim Jong Il stopped beating, but his noble and august name and benevolent image will always be remembered by our army and people and his glorious history of revolutionary activities and undying feats will remain shining in the history of the country forever.
A familiar newscaster dressed in black appears on screen and makes a tearful announcement: Kim Jong Il is dead. When North Korean state TV and radio broke the news at noon on Monday they had already given advance notice that a major announcement was coming. Its delivery was an attempt to set a national mood of mourning.
On the Internet things were a bit different with the news being carried as if it was any other story.
North Korea’s state media ventured online last year when a new Internet connection was brought to Pyongyang. The state-run news agency, the major national daily and the international radio outlet all have websites and steadily churn out daily propaganda about economic growth, scientific breakthroughs and the trips of Kim Jong Il across the country.
The audience is purely international — almost no one in North Korea has Internet access — and the subject matter not one that lends itself to breaking news. So perhaps it’s not surprising that North Korea’s media didn’t immediately replace their sites with somber pictures, banner headlines, or breaking news tag.
First word came shortly after midday — after the news had broke on TV and radio — with bulletins on the KCNA website.
KCNA’s Korean front page was pretty much the same. North Korea’s other websites, the national Rodong Sinmum daily and Voice of Korea international radio service, didn’t bother to immediately update their websites. Uriminzokkiri, a China-based site with close links to Pyongyang, was also slow out the gate in getting the news up.
But don’t read too much into this. The death of Kim Jong Il is a huge event for the country and the state propaganda machine. The lack of national mourning on the websites is likely much more to do with an inability to turn around a slick website redesign in hours that anything else.
A little over an hour after the announcement, KCNA had added a picture to its front page: