Amphibious units capable of raiding S.Korean shores, say military experts
North Korea has conducted amphibious landing and defensive drills while its military swore to maintain a readiness to “liberate” Seoul, the North’s state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported on Sunday.
While the exact day of the training was not revealed, the publishing date indicated the North Korean training could have occured soon after the U.S. – ROK Ssang Yong training, a similar exercise which concluded on March 18.
“While suppressing enemies’ coastal defense, combatants landed on the coast to dismantle the obstructions while attacking enemies’ strongholds and command posts,” the Rodong Sinmun reads.
According to the article, the training was conducted to review the practicality of surprise landing attacks on the “Southern Operation Zone,” indicating South Korea’s shores.
“The Korean People’s Army (KPA), lead by comrade Kim Jong Un … has sworn to maintain the readiness to carryout Operation: Liberate Seoul and Operation: Liberate the Southern Part,” the report added.
Military advisers said North Korea’s landing operations on South Korea will not be fully effective due to strong defenses along the coast.
Nonetheless, they pointed to North Korea’s Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) as one of the biggest threats to South Korea.
“The KPA’s LCACs can carry out quick amphibious raids along the South Korean coast,” Kim Min Seok, a senior researcher at the Korea Defense and Security Forum told NK News.
Another expert warned that North Korean LCAC landings would lead to artillery engagements.
“The attacks carried out by LCACs on Baengnyeong Island (the island nearest to North Korea) is what we should worry about,” said Kim Il-suk, the former advisor to the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the UN.
“Before amphibious landings, the North will try to wipe out South Korean defenses by firing Multiple Rocket Launchers (MRLs), which will eventually lead to the artillery engagements between the two forces.”
While an article from the U.S. Marine website did not mention whether the Ssang Yong training was aimed at North Korea, Pyongyang described it as “training to practice a preemptive strike against the republic (North Korea).”
“Our military must train repeatedly according to the newly provided coastal defense tactics to sink all of the enemies’ landing units,” said Kim Jong Un during the North Korean training.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s marine force is known to have composed a “Spartan 3000″ quick reaction force, which is capable of invading North Korea within 24 hours, the Joongang Ilbo reported Sunday.
During a phone call with NK News, a public relations officer from Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said they could not confirm when exactly the North Korean amphibious training occurred. – NK News