Concert theme: ”Celebration of the first anniversary of Kim Jong Un’s election as first secretary of the WPK and first chairman of the NDC of the DPRK” says the KCNA, but that did not seem to have anything to do with the performance; this is really a morale rising military concert for the field troops
Place: Soldiers’ hall at the KPA Large Combined Unit 630, location unknown
Audience: Mostly young soldiers
KJU: Not present, nor any other top Pyongyang brass
KCNA: Approving in an indirect way; calendar>>April 11, 2013
Note: Although the quality of the video is not too good, this is a spirited concert, thanks to the enthusiastic young audience and the absent elite. Contains interesting footage of the soldiers, and of the Band in non-stage attire.

Basist Ri Sol-lan has left the band, being replaced by Jon He-ryon. Likewise Kim Hyang-sun has left, and the other synthesizer is now being played by Kim Yong-mi, who returned after a half year absence.

00.00.13 Arrival at the base
In the advertisement board is written:
경애하는 최고사령관동지께어
보애주신 모란봉악단을
열렬히 한영합니다
which may be means something like: “Welcoming warmly Moranbong Band kindly ordered here by the Supreme Commander”.

00.01.40 Introductory ceremonies
00.03.32 Songs and dances by soldiers
00.06.12 Fighting performances by soldiers
00.10.08 Moving to the concert hall

00.11.03 우리를 보라 Urirŭl pora Look at us! 我らを見よ
Composer: Hwang Jin-yong 황진영, lyrics: Jang Tongu 전동우, 1992

00.15.06 이 땅에 밤이 깊어갈 때 I tange pami kiphŏgal te When night falls on the land この地に夜がふけていく時
Composition: Kim Un-ryong 김운룡, lyrics: Cha Yong-do 차영도, 2013
A new composition by this vice director of MBB. In YouTube the song is known with the title ”When I walk deep at night”.
Trio: Pak Mi-kyong, Kim Yu-kyong, Ryu Jina

00.19.10 전사의 노래 Jŏnsaye nore Soldier’s song 戦士の歌
Lyrics: Jong Tongu 전동우, 1964
Solo: Ryu Jina

00.24.00 내 삶과 조국 Ne samgwa joguk My life and motherland 我が命と祖国
Composition: Ri Kyong-hun 리경훈, lyrics: Kim Sok-chon 김석천, date unknown
Trio: Pak Mi-kyong, Kim Yu-kyong, Pak Son-hyang

00.27.24 조국은 영원히 기억하리라 Jogugŭn yŏngwŏni kiŏkharira Remembering our motherland forever 祖国は永遠に記憶せん
Composition: Hwang Jin-yong 황진영, 1986
Instrumental, violin quartet

00.31.02 복받은 인민의 노래 Pokbatŭn inminye nore Song of people who received happiness 幸福をもらった人民の歌
Composition: Ryu U-hyon 류우현, lyrics: Cha Ho-gun 차호근, 2013
Again a new song from non-veteran creators, and although nothing is known of Ryu, Cha has been announced as a lyricist of the orchestra in 2014.08.27, when he received a special prize for one of his lyrics. Presumably also Ryu is attached on it.
Trio: Pak Mi-kyong, Jong Su-hyang, Kim Yu-kyong

00.34.54 진군 또 진군 Jingun to jingun Marching and marching 進軍また進軍
Composition: Hwang Hak-gun 황학근, lyrics: group, 1950
Instrumental, string quartet

00.38.32 단숨에 Tansume In one breath 一気に 一口气
Composer: Hwang Jin-yong 황진영, lyrics: Yun Du-gun 윤두근, 2003
Instrumental, string quartet. In this version also the singers stay on the stage, singing the title word every now and then. The audience was expecting this song.

00.45.19 인생의 영광 Insengye yŏngkwang Glory of life 人生の栄光
Composition: U Jong-hui 우정희, 2013.
A new song also from a veteran composer. Published already before this concert, as the soldier boys know the lyrics.
Trio: Ryu Jina, Ra Yu-mi, Pak Son-hyang

00.50.31 우리의 행군길 Uriye hengungil On our march 我らの行軍の道
Composition: Song Dong-chun 성동춘, lyrics: O Yong-je 오영재, 1985
1st trio: Jong Su-hyang, Ra Yu-mi, Pak Son-hyang; 2nd trio: Pak Mi-kyong, Kim Sol-mi, Ri Myong-hui. String quartet also performing. Interesting and effective choreography.

00.54.40 인민은 일편단심 Inminŭn ilphyŏndansim Single-minded people 人民は一片丹心
Composition: U Jong-hui 우정희, lyrics: Ri Ji-song 리지성, 2012
Starting trio: Kim Yu-kyong, Ryu Jina, Pak Son-hyang, with first Ri Myong-hui, then the higher pitch trio Pak-Kim-Jong added later. Similar chorography as in the new year concert, different from the February concert, where also Ra Yu-mi participated. Continuous small changes.

00.59.34 운명도 미래도 맡긴 분 Unmyŏngdo miredo matgin pun Our fate and future entrusted on him 運命も未来も任せた方
Composition: Kim Un-ryong 김운룡, lyrics: Ri Myong-gun 리명근, 2013
Again a new KJU song, the second Kim Un-ryong composition in this concert.
Septet. Ra Yu-mi did not return to the stage. She participated in two songs; spare use of the new comer.

01.03.04 Bowings, clappings and flowers
01.03.51 Speeches for raising military morale
01.05.22 Leaving the base

U Jong-hui 2, 2012+2013
Kim Un-ryong 2 2013
Ryu U-hyon 1 2013
Hwang Jin-yong 3 old, but one of them Tansume

Lyrics new
Ri Myong-gun 1 2013
Cha Ho-gun 1 2013
Cha Yong-do 1 2013
Ri Ji-song 1 2012

No creation info 1, apparently older

12 songs; 5 new + Tansume, 6 old. Half and half. 7 songs by MBB vice directors, more than ½.

Clearly one of the more important concerts, despite the fairly poor video quality. Many changes in style. In view of the visible changes in personnel during spring 2013, systematic use of military dress and military hair style, start of performances with the State Merited Chorus and now this visit to the military base, the military image of the band was strenthened.

New younger composers and lyricists start to produce new KJU songs. The proportion of these songs to KIS and KJI era songs rises rapidly. Here at least five of them, alternating with older songs with good melodies, and the arrangement and message of Tansume is so different from the old versions that it can be counted among the new songs. Thus, half were new KJU songs. The first era of rather free and perhaps a bit amateurish experimentation in 2012 is clearly over. A disciplined and professional KJU legitimation era has begun. However, musicians still are in an important role as performers, not only a background orchestra for the singers. The changes still are only incremental.

The visit to the military base was a master piece in terms of public relations. There is no doubt about the authenticity of the admiration of the young boys of the band, which is shown more clearly as the top brass that accompanied MBB to the camp was not present in the concert. MBB was placed alone with the soldiers. but it all was duly videoed, and an efficient propaganda film of the sincere attitude of the military towards MBB and as an extension towards KJU, who arranged the band there, was created.


Members of the audience


Choe Jong-im started to play percussion instruments, in addition to occasionally blowing at her saxophone. Anyway, this kept her at the stage throughout the concerts. There behind Hong Su-kyong.

Choe Jong-im rum

Kim Yong-mi moved from piano to synthesizer, on the place left empty by Kim Hyang-sun

Kim Yong-mi


Jon He-ryon came to play bass in place of Ri Sol-mi

Jon He-ryon



2 thoughts on “2013.04.11”

  1. MBfan said:

    I am positive that I saw Ri Ok hwa in the fighting exhibitions, seated alongside the lady musicians. Her military uniform forces me to think that she has a role in the leadership or supervision of the band in the early MBB times (or even until now.)
    Here are the pictures:

    • pekkakorhonen said:

      You think she is the second from right, between Pak Son-hyang and Kang Phyong-hui? There certainly is someone with a higher military rank; I do not think anyone else has noticed it before. Hair style and shape of the face would fit, I agree. Yet, as has been commented here so many times, absolute certainty is difficult to get. If she really is Ri Ok-hua, she did not arrive from nowhere to perform in the September 2014 concert, but was someone who was moved once from the background troops to the front stage. This is important information, but still, let’s keep a small question mark here, and use the word “perhaps”.

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