N. Korea opens new exhibition hall to mark 10th anniv. of Kim’s leadership

April 11, 2022

North Korea opened a new exhibition hall at a major museum in Pyongyang to mark the 10th anniversary of its leader Kim Jong-un’s rise to power, state media reported Monday, amid efforts to tout his leadership.

At the Korean Revolution Museum, the North displayed photos and videos of Kim’s major “achievements of immortal leadership” since his pledge to build a responsible nuclear weapons state at a congress of the ruling Workers’ Party in May 2016, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

During the congress, Kim said the North will not use nuclear weapons unless its sovereignty comes under threat.

The museum also exhibited a letter Kim wrote in November 2017 to declare that the country has completed the development of the “state nuclear force” after testing a new intercontinental ballistic missile.

In a separate article, the KCNA reported that the North held a national meeting the previous day to commemorate Kim’s leadership, stressing that he “placed the country on the status of a full-fledged military power equipped with an all-powerful physical means of self-defense.”

Kim formally rose to power as first secretary of the ruling party on April 11, 2012, following the death of his father Kim Jong-il in December 2011.

South Korea’s Ministry of Unification said that Pyongyang’s move appears to reflect its efforts to boost internal unity ahead of major anniversaries this month.

“Through such events, North Korea appears to be aiming to boast the stability of leader Kim Jong-un’s regime and strengthen internal unity,” Cha Deok-cheol, the ministry’s deputy spokesperson, told a regular press briefing.

The government will continue to keep close tabs on the North’s activities on the occasion of its major political anniversaries this month, he added.

The North is set to celebrate the 110th birth anniversary of its late founding leader Kim Il-sung on Friday, and the founding anniversary of the North Korean People’s Revolutionary Army on April 25.

Pyongyang appears to be at its final stage of preparations for a mass rally in time for the late leader’s anniversary this week, according to South Korea’s military authorities.

“As reported by the media, many people were seen preparing (for the event) at the square. It is presumed that the massive rally will involve more than tens of thousands of people,” a defense official told reporters.

Citing recent commercial satellite imagery from Planet Labs, the Voice of America, a Washington-based news outlet, reported last week that a crowd of people at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang had been spotted. It seems like that they were holding a rehearsal for a spectacular street parade, observers here said.