North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Supreme Commander Kim Jong Il Guides Firing Drill of KPA Unit

Kim Jong Il is briefed during live fire artillery exercises of KPA Unit #966 by former chief of the KPA General Staff Ri Yong Ho in December 2011. This was Kim Jong Il’s last field inspection of a DPRK military unit (Photo: KCNA)

Korean Central News Agency (13 December 2012)

Pyongyang – Kim Jong Il, general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission, commanded a firing drill of the Large Combined Unit 966 of the Korean People’s Army.

After receiving salute he mounted on the observation post and was briefed on the firing drill there before guiding it.

With the start of the drill, powerful striking means opened fire on the targets all at once.

After watching the drill he expressed great satisfaction over the fact that servicepersons are fully prepared to defeat any sudden attack from the enemy and defend the socialist motherland impregnably and highly appreciated their successful drill.

The Korean socialist system centered on the popular masses will remain forever as an invincible bulwark as there are the steel-like elite army, the matchlessly strong army of vanguard fighters of the songun revolution who are ready to devote their youths and lives to the party and the leader, the country and the people, he said.

Then the Supreme Commander inspected the combined training ground of the unit to learn about the situation of the combat and political training for the new year.

He gave the commanding officers and staff members of the KPA Supreme Command accompanying him the precious instructions to be implemented by the KPA.

A commander of KPA Unit #966 briefs Kim Jong Il on live fire exercises in December 2011. Also in attendance are Kim Jong Un, Gen. Kim Kyong Ok and former chief of the KPA General Staff Ri Yong Ho (Photo: KCNA)

The KPA should be further strengthened to accomplish the cause of the Songun revolution, the revolutionary cause of juche pioneered in the forests of Mt.Paektu, through generations, he stressed, calling for steady and big efforts to bolstering up the military capability, the sovereignty of the country and the nation and national strength.

Underlining the need to stir up the training spirit of Mt. Paektu in every training ground true to the WPK’s idea of pushing back the frontiers of latest science and technology and thus prepare all the servicepersons to be stalwart combatants, he said: It is very important for the KPA guarding the forefront of socialism with the arms of revolution and class, to stage exercises in an effective way.

He posed for a picture with the servicepersons involved in the drill.

Accompanying him were Kim Jong Un, vice-chairman of the WPK Central Military Commission; KPA Vice Marshal Ri Yong Ho, Presidium member of the Political Bureau of the C.C., WPK and chief of the KPA General Staff; Kim Kyong Ok, first vice department director of the C.C., WPK; KPA Generals Kim Won Hong, Pak Jae Gyong and Hyon Chol Hae; and staff members of the KPA Supreme Command.

View of part of the premises of KPA Unit #966 (Photo: KCNA/KCTV screengrab from a KDFS/PHI documentary film)

Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un watch KPA Unit #966’s live fire exercises in December 2011 (Photo: KCNA/KCTV screengrab from a KDFS/PHI documentary film)

Live fire exercises of KPA Unit #966 in December 2011 (Photo: KCNA/KCTV screengrab from a KDFS/PHI documentary film)

Kim Jong Il acknowledges (top) a greeting from officers and service members of KPA Unit #966 (middle) prior to a commemorative photograph session (bottom) (Photo: KCNA/KCTV screengrab from a KDFS/PHI documentary film)

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