North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Kim Jong Un Observes and Commands Large Live Fire Artillery Exercise

Kim Jong Un smiles whilst watching a live artillery exercise conducted by elements under the KPA Southwestern Command (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

Kim Jong Un smiles whilst watching a live artillery exercise conducted by elements under the KPA Southwestern Command (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

KJU’s last observed appearance was his visit to the Cuban Embassy in the DPRK to pay a condolence call on the death of Fidel Castro

Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) observed and commanded a live fire drill of artillery elements under the Korean People’s Army [KPA] Southwestern Front Command [Southwestern Command Zone] on December 1 (Thursday).  No senior members of the KPA high command were observed to have attended the drill.

Views of an artillery drill and Kim Jong Un observing the drill which appeared on the bottom left of the front page of the December 2, 2016 edition of Rodong Sinmun (Photos: KCNA/Rodong Sinmun).

Views of an artillery drill and Kim Jong Un observing the drill which appeared on the bottom left of the front page of the December 2, 2016 edition of Rodong Sinmun (Photos: KCNA/Rodong Sinmun).

Jong Un remarked that “December 1 is the first day when the combat and political training for the new year started” and he congratulated “all the officers and men of the army who have turned out as one in the training.  The year 2017 is of significance as it marks the 105th birth anniversary of President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng), the 75th birth anniversary of leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) and the 85th founding anniversary of the KPA.  Let the revolutionary turn in the combat and political training adorn the next year with proud success in enhancing the fighting strength.”

Kim Jong Un observes an artillery drill in photos which appeared on the bottom right of the December 2, 2016 edition of the WPK daily organ Rodong Sinmun (Photos: Rodong Sinmun/KCNA).

Kim Jong Un observes an artillery drill in photos which appeared on the bottom right of the December 2, 2016 edition of the WPK daily organ Rodong Sinmun (Photos: Rodong Sinmun/KCNA).

Taking a bird’s eye observation post, Kim Jong Un was briefed about the combat training plan.  Participating in the drill were artillery elements of island defense detachments in the West Sea [Yellow Sea] who are tasked “to strike the 6th marine brigade and the Yo’np’yo’ng unit under the south Korean puppet Command for the Defense of Northwestern Islands” along with artillery elements deployed to the front “tasked to strike the military installation and the reactionary ruling organs in Seoul and other operational theaters of South Korea, the direction of main and secondary attacks on the front.”

Kim Jong Un views a live fire drill of artillery elements of the KPA Southwest Command Zone in photos which appeared top-center of the December 2, 2016 edition of the WPK daily newspaper Rodong Sinmun (Photos: Rodong Sinmun/KCNA).

Kim Jong Un views a live fire drill of artillery elements of the KPA Southwest Command Zone in photos which appeared top-center of the December 2, 2016 edition of the WPK daily newspaper Rodong Sinmun (Photos: Rodong Sinmun/KCNA).

According, state media reporting the drill simulated strikes of “the five islands in the southwest sea, including Paekryo’ng and Yo’np’yo’ng, and the enemy cities and military installations and reactionary ruling organs in the direction of the KPA’s main attack.”  Jong Un said that “nothing and nobody would survive in such a strike.”  He stressed that “if a war breaks out, such a deadly strike should inflicted upon the south Korean forces to completely break their will of counteraction at the start and make a clean sweep of them.”

View of a live fire artillery exercise and Kim Jong Un reacting to it which appeared in the middle-left of page 2 of the December 2, 2016 edition of the WPK daily newspaper Rodong Sinmun (Photos: KCNA/Rodong Sinmun).

View of a live fire artillery exercise and Kim Jong Un reacting to it which appeared in the middle-left of page 2 of the December 2, 2016 edition of the WPK daily newspaper Rodong Sinmun (Photos: KCNA/Rodong Sinmun).

 

After heading a “resolve” made by IV Army Corps Commander Lieutenant-General Ri Song Guk [Ri So’ng-kuk] “to wipe out the enemies with merciless strikes on their dens once the Supreme Commander gives an order,” Jong Un replied that “when a war of justice starts, the sound of gunfire for victory made by the artillery units on the southwestern front would greatly encourage other units of the KPA advancing southward.”

Views of a live fire artillery exercises by artillery units under the KPA Southwest Command (Photos: Rodong Sinmun/KCNA).

Views of a live fire artillery exercises by artillery units under the KPA Southwest Command (Photos: Rodong Sinmun/KCNA).

Kim Jong Un expressed “his great satisfaction over the successful artillery firing contest and intensive striking drill.  It is the WPK’s view on giving importance to the artillery and artillery philosophy to open the gate to national reunification with the artillery and celebrate the victory of national reunification with fireworks displayed by the artillery.  The Party has a great belief and expectation in the artillery, the iron first of the People’s Army in a great war for national reunification.”

He said that “modern warfare is just an artillery duel and the application of the artillery in a modern war, which goes in three dimensions–sky, land and sea–irrespective of the front and the rear, is a major factor decisive of the victory in operation and combat.”  Jong Un issued “important tasks for bolstering up the artillery force.”

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