June 24, 2022 13:17
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his top brass have discussed aggressive frontline reinforcements along the border with South Korea, state media said Thursday.
At a meeting of Workers Party's powerful Central Military Commission on Wednesday, Kim "discussed expanding operational missions of frontline Army units and revising operational plans and organization accordingly," the North's Korean Central News Agency said.
Kim expressed "the strategic view and determination of the Party Central Committee, which has taken crucial military measures to enhance the operational capabilities of the front-line units," it added.
It is unusual for the regime to make its military planning public. A Unification Ministry official here said, "Normally, they keep military plans under wraps. We think that they'll likely ramp up military threats since they made it public and also deliberately showed an image of a map of the eastern part of South Korea."
There are fears that the fresh deployments could eventually include tactical nuclear weapons. On April 16, the North tested two new tactical missiles that flew about 110 km at a maximum speed of Mach 4.0 and an altitude of some 25 km in their trajectory.
At the time, state media said, "The new-type tactical guided weapon system... is of great significance in drastically improving the firepower of the frontline long-range artillery units and enhancing the efficiency in the operation of tactical nuclear weapons."
Nine days later, the regime unveiled four new tactical missiles carried on mobile launch vehicles during a military parade, and on June 5 it fired eight short-range ballistic missiles of four different types from different locations.
Pundits speculate that they are supposed to carry tactical nuclear warheads, and the launches were aimed at testing the efficiency of multiple launches of short-range missiles aimed at South Korea.
State media also showed an image of the North Korean chief of staff briefing Kim with a military operation map. Though pixelated, the shape of the map looks like the eastern coast of South Korea, including the industrial hub of Pohang in North Gyeongsang Province. It seems the map was marked with major targets which North Korea could strike in a war.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com