Kim Jong Un Observes and Commands Live Fire Joint Exercises of KPA Large Combined Units #324 & #287 and KPA Navy Combined Unit #597

26 Mar
Kim Jong Un observes live fire joint exercises by DPRK ground, naval and artillery forces on the country's east coast on 25 March 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un observes live fire joint exercises by DPRK ground, naval and artillery forces on the country’s east coast on 25 March 2013 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

DPRK state media reported on 25 March (Monday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) commanded live fire joint exercises by Korean People’s Army [KPA] Large Combined (taeyonhap pudae) Units #324 and #287 and KPA Navy Combined (yonhap pudae) Unit #597.  The joint exercises simulated defense of the country east coast, naval landings on a beach by DPRK ground forces.  It utilized light infantry, multiple-launch rocket systems [MRLS] and artillery.  KJU’s last reported public appearance was his attendance at a concert rehearsal by the KPA Song and Dance Ensemble, inspection of musical instruments and clothing produced by KPA factories and a review of historical artifacts designated for the reconstructed war museum in Pyongyang.  Among those attending KJU’s observation and command of the live joint exercises was Gen. Hyon Yong Chol, Chief of the KPA General Staff, Lt. Gen. Pak Jong Chon (staff member, KPA Supreme Command) and Lt. Gen. Rim Kwang Il.  According to KCNA this was an impromptu joint exercise  and KJU “issued an order for drills without any notice and finally examined the landing and anti-landing capabilities of the large combined units of the KPA Ground Force and the KPA Navy combined unit situated in the eastern sector of the front and the east coastal area.”

Kim Jong Un reviews an operations plan during joint live exercises on the country's east coast on 25 March 2013.  Also seen in attendance is Chief of the KPA General Staff, Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (L) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Kim Jong Un reviews an operations plan during joint live exercises on the country’s east coast on 25 March 2013. Also seen in attendance is Chief of the KPA General Staff, Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (L) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Hovercraft (ACVs) of KPA Navy Combined Unit #597 land on the country's east coast whilst ground forces charge toward simulated targets on the beach (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Hovercraft (ACVs) of KPA Navy Combined Unit #597 land on the country’s east coast whilst ground forces charge toward simulated targets on the beach (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Women members of the 1st platoon of KPA Large Combined Unit 324 participate in artillery drills (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Women members of the 1st platoon of KPA Large Combined Unit 324 participate in artillery drills (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

The first phase of the joint exercises involved MRLS in coastal defense “striking and wiping out landing enemies in the waters took place”, followed by the landing of air cushion vehicles [ACVs] (hovercraft) which deployed ground troops.  As KJU watched the beach landing, according to KCNA, he said that service members “look highly-spirited and if it were an actual battle, the enemies would have no time to come to their senses.”  The next phase involved a women’s artillery platoon using MRLS.  KCNA reported that Kim Jong Un “personally designated a firepower position beside him and set a target without any notice before giving an order to destroy it” and the platoon “rapidly took the firepower position and accurately hit the target.”  After this phase of the drill KCNA reported that KJU “shook their hands one by one, praising them as great soldiers and crack shots.”  According to KCNA Kim Jong Un said, “They performed their duties well though he had set without any notice a target which was not envisaged in the drill program and assigned to them duty to destroy it.”  He then took a commemorative photograph with the women warriors and remarked “How praiseworthy Korean women are and a-match-for-a-hundred members of the women’s multiple rocket system can never be compared with nukes.”  KCNA reported that KJU was “earnestly telling them to conduct training better and launch a dynamic campaign to become one-beats-a hundred crack shots at ordinary times and hero artillery women by sending enemy warships to the bottom of the sea in the decisive battles.”

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