Rhetoric during recent tensions contrary to KPA orders

Choi Song Min  |  2015-09-04 11:29
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Kim Jong Un may have fired up rhetoric about declaring a quasi-state of war and being ready to take on full-fledged battle last month, but internally he ordered his troops on the border area to ensure no such thing would happen. Concerned about the immense losses the country would suffer in the case of war, Kim is said to have left strict orders with the military, Daily NK has learned. 

Last month on the 20th, when the South returned artillery fire to the North, family members of soldiers and other residents were temporarily moved to a shelter, a military source in Kangwon Province told Daily NK on Thursday. They received orders from the [Korean People's Army, or KPA] General Staff to absolutely make sure no one got drawn into provocations from the South. 

Unlike the strong countermeasures we usually hear about, threatening to turn the South into a sea of fire if they even so much as touch a blade of grass in our territory, the orders were to make sure not to get involved, so the soldiers were puzzled, the source explained. The orders were handed down from the KPA General Staff to each military corps from the commander in chief Kim Jong Un, he added. 

Specifically, ranking officials were told to ensure no actions were taken based on emotions and to manage troops well to avoid any conflict stemming from accidental fire. Not only that, high-ranking officers under the KPA General Staff were dispatched to units along the border area to confirm the orders were being implemented. 

The whole notion of all-out war was to boost soldiers morale, but the border areas would have seen huge losses if that really happened, since we would have been attacked with state-of-the-art weaponry from the U.S. he asserted. The commander in chief (Kim Jong Un) is well aware of Americas power, so thats why he probably gave out those orders through the General Staff. 

Added the source, the incident has led to confusion among soldiers, since they know that its the North that first provokes the South, yet they are told not to get drawn into provocations. Most soldiers are aware that provocations along the border area originate from the North. 

This account from Kangwon Province was corroborated by another source in North Hwanghae Province. Naval troops based in Haeju in South Hwanghae also received the restrain from engaging order. This is how military officers knew that despite the quasi-state of war, things would not escalate into full-fledged war and end at the negotiating table instead, she explained. 

The order drafted in the name of the KPA General Staff did cause some anxiety among soldiers and their families, but it also led to some officers making sarcastic comments about being scared off without even giving it a fight, she concluded.

*The content of this article was broadcast to the North Korean people via Unification Media Group.

*Translated by Jiyeon Lee

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