North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Kim Jong Un Observes and Guides Mountain Warfare Drill

Kim Jong Un greets members of a mountain warfare infantry element subordinate to KPA Unit #1045 in a photo which appeared top-center on the front page of the November 26, 2016 edition of the WPK daily newspaper Rodong Sinmun.  Also in attendance, background L, is WPK Vice Chairman and SAC Vice Chairman Choe Ryong Hae (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un greets members of a mountain warfare infantry element subordinate to KPA Unit #1045 in a photo which appeared top-center on the front page of the November 26, 2016 edition of the WPK daily newspaper Rodong Sinmun. Also in attendance, background L, is WPK Vice Chairman and SAC Vice Chairman Choe Ryong Hae (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

KJU’s last observed appearance was his field inspection of KPA Large Combined Unit (taeyonhap pudae) #380

DPRK state media reported November 26 (Saturday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) observed and guided ski combat drills by a mountain warfare infantry element subordinate to Korean People’s Army [KPA] Unit #1045.  Also in attendance was Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK) Vice Chairman and State Affairs Commission [SAC] Vice Chairman Choe Ryong Hae [Ch’oe Ryong-hae].

Service members of a mountain warfare infantry element subordinate to KPA Unit #1045 participate in a ski warfare exercise in a photo which appeared on the bottom left of the front page of the November 26, 2016 edition of the WPK daily organ Rodong Sinmun (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Service members of a mountain warfare infantry element subordinate to KPA Unit #1045 participate in a ski warfare exercise in a photo which appeared on the bottom left of the front page of the November 26, 2016 edition of the WPK daily organ Rodong Sinmun (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Jong Un was briefed about the mountain warfare element’s training plan and ordered them to begin the drill.  According to state media reporting, “soldiers appeared on the top of a mountain all of a sudden and skied down a steep slope, flying the colors of the supreme commander and the national flag of the Republic.”  Whilst watching the drill unfold, Kim Jong Un “highly praised them for their successful training.”  He underscored the “need to steadily improve the forms and methods of mountain infantry training in quality as required by modern warfare and the features of offensive and defensive operation theaters and maximize the demand for training under the simulated conditions of an actual battle so as to decisively improve the marksmanship of the soldiers and decisively bolster up their capabilities to overcome mountains, speed up the march on them, carry out assault and maneuver in the field.”

Kim Jong Un observes a ski combat exercise by a mountain warfare unit subordinate to KPA Unit #1045 in a photo which appeared on the bottom right of the cover of the November 26, 2016 edition of the WPK daily newspaper Rodong Sinmun (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un observes a ski combat exercise by a mountain warfare unit subordinate to KPA Unit #1045 in a photo which appeared on the bottom right of the cover of the November 26, 2016 edition of the WPK daily newspaper Rodong Sinmun (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

He said that the “mountain infantry soldiers must strike the enemy troops without giving them a chance to recover their senses by crossing mountains in the theater of battle in emergency” and called on “the commanding officers to organize combat drills under the simulated conditions of a real battle by taking advantage of the most rugged terrains and thus train them to be brave and agile fighters.”

Kim Jong Un and Choe Ryong Hae pose for a commemorative photo with officers and service members of a mountain warfare infantry element subordinate to KPA Unit #1045 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un and Choe Ryong Hae pose for a commemorative photo with officers and service members of a mountain warfare infantry element subordinate to KPA Unit #1045 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Prior to a commemorative photo-op, Jong Un “highly praised them for their successful training” and issued “tasks facing the mountain infantry units, noting that they have important combat mission to perform as the country has steep mountain ridges and a lot of snow.”

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