Korea conducts joint navy-artillery night training drill

Korea conducts joint navy-artillery night training drill

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Drill tests joint defensive operation capability, tests new technology
North Korea’s Korean People’s Army conducted a “night naval fire strike drill” attended by Kim Jong Un,the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Tuesday.
Artillery units from the KPA 10th Corps and vessels from the KPA Navy’s East Sea Fleet – including the North’s surface effect ship seen last February – participated in the joint drill somewhere in the 10th Corps area near Wonsan, on the country’s East Coast. Such joint service drills help to test and improve the ability of KPA units of different types and from different commands to coordinate in a single military operation.The drill was, according to state media, focused on naval vessels and artillery units firing upon enemy vessels in defense of the North’s territory. Wonsan is one of the largest and most important ports and transportation hubs in North Korea and its defense would be critical in any conflict.
Additionally, the KPA was reportedly testing new military technology. Pyongyang’s state media reported that in this drill the KPA made use of a new “real time sea monitoring and firepower command system device.”
According to the KCNA, Kim noted “the KPA’s study and development of the real-time naval monitoring and firepower commanding system are of weighty importance in staging trainings under the simulated conditions of an actual war and putting them on a scientific and modern basis.”
Kim reportedly said that “the KPA has settled military scientific and technological issues capable of putting all enemy moves under control and wiping out all of them in the territorial waters of the country.”
It is common for the North, through state media, to boast of improved military capabilities as a demonstration of the state’s military, technological and economic abilities both as propaganda toward the North Korean people and deterrent toward foreign powers.
Among the officials who accompanied Kim were Pak Yong Sik, Pak Jong Chon, Hong Yong Chil and four others.
Though state media has not yet confirmed it by referring to him with the title, Pak Yong Sik is likely the North’s new minister of the People’s Armed Forces, replacing Hyon Yong Chol. In recent state media reports of military events attended by Kim, Pak’s name has been listed just after that of KPA General Political Bureau Director Hwang Pyong So and just before that of Chief of the KPA General Staff Ri Yong Gil, which was the case with Hyon when he was People’s Armed Forces minister.
Pak Jong Chon was, until last December or January, formerly director of the Firepower Commanding Department as well as a vice chief of the KPA General Staff, though he was succeeded by Yun Yong Sik in those posts. Pak has recently started making appearances with Kim again and his appearances suggest he is still focused on artillery.
Hong Yong Chil is a deputy director in Machine-Building Industry Department of the Worker’s Party of Korea and a key leading official in the North’s arms industry. He is normally present at military drills in which new weapons and technology are being tested or demonstrated. This is consistent with the claim in KCNA that new technology was being employed in the drill.
The report of the North Korean drills comes a just two days after Pyongyang denounced joint military drills conducted by the United States and South Korea. – NK News
Featured image: KCTV

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