Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported on 10 July (Thursday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) attended and supervised a “tactical rocket firing drill” by the Korean People’s Army [KPA] Strategic Force. Attending the drill with him were VMar Hwang Pyong So (Director of the KPA General Political Department), Col. Gen. Pak Jong Chon (Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff and Director of the Firepower Command Department), Col. Gen. Yun Tong Hyon (Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces) and Hong Yong Chil (Deputy [vice] Director of the WPK Machine-Building Industry Department). KJU’s last observed appearance was at a national memorial service commemorating the 20th anniversary of the death DPRK President and founder Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng).
According to KCNA the “drill was conducted as a combination of a sudden movement and firepower strike to assess and inspect the actual combat capabilities of the above-said units.” Prior to the drill KJU was brief on the “firing plan worked out by the Staff of the Strategic Force, the designated flight orbit and the blockade of the targeted waters, etc.” then issued an order for the drill to commence. According to KCNA the drill “once again fully demonstrated the tactical rockets’ high capability of hitting the targets and combat capability” and it “helped accurately define the order of combat actions and firepower missions of the strike units of the Strategic Force in the western sector of the front in case of emergency and round off the firing methods according to different enemy targets.”
Kim Jong Un “expressed great satisfaction over the fact that the drill was successfully staged in combination with rapid movement as required by a modern warfare” and he “gave important instructions for rounding off the combat preparations of the Strategic Force and applying the Chuch’e-oriented rocket combat methods.” He said that “we should be prepared for both words and actions. However fair-minded and just we are, we may become a bargaining chip for the strong and our precious history inherited with blood will loose its shine in a moment if we are weak.” He also “expressed great expectation and conviction that the units of the Strategic Force would as ever further step up the combat readiness of rockets and always keep themselves ready to promptly fire them by undergoing drills under the simulated conditions of an actual battle and thus cope with the reckless confrontation hysteria of the enemies to stifle the DPRK by force at any cost with powerful military deterrent.”