Kim Jong-un Visits Troops, Oversees Training Match

Kim Jong-un Visits Troops, Oversees Training Match

( – South Korea (ROK), the US, and 11 other United Nations Command Member States recently completed Freedom Shield 2024, an 11-day military exercise simulating multi-domain operations in the Korean theater. North Korea (DPRK) interpreted that operation as an overt threat, and Kim Jong-un visited three training drills conducted by DPRK military forces at the same time. The supreme leader also took the time to interact with members of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) after the completion of a war game.

On March 14, the DPRK-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) published a report detailing Kim’s visit to oversee a training match between two large combined tank units attached to the KPA the previous day. The vice-chairman of the Worker’s Party of Korea and the Central Committee’s secretary accompanied Kim.

Kim observed the training exercise alongside high-ranking military officials like the DPRK’s national defense minister, the KPA’s chief of General Staff, the National Defense vice minister, the KPA General Staff director of tanks, and other command officers. The North Korean leader also received a report detailing the exercise’s plan.

Kim praised the tanks’ rapid advance, calling the drill a “spectacular and… grandiose” display of the DPRK’s military might. The 105th Guards Seoul Ryu Kyong-Su Armored Division was declared the winner of the war game, but the KCNA didn’t list which division it opposed during the exercise.

The KCNA reported that Kim reviewed the tank crews after the drill was completed. Shortly afterward, he boarded a recently unveiled main battle tank, “took the control lever, and drove [the armored vehicle] himself,” to the glee of the KPA officers and enlisted men.

According to the KCNA, the tankmen erupted in spontaneous applause and vowed to continue their efforts to become “stalwart fighters” who can use their tanks — “invincible iron horses” — against North Korea’s enemies if necessary. The KPA command staff and exercise participants pledged everlasting loyalty to Kim and their “selfless, devoted efforts” to defend the DPRK and its people.

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