[imText1]Kim Jong Il Visited the Military Bases 8 Times in March.
On 3 March, Kim Jong Il visited military base 1522 and air force base 991 in one day. Especially starting from 20 March, he visited military base 851 (20 March), women’s base under the command 824 (22 March), military base 604 (23 March), air force base 435 (24 March), institute to educate new soldiers under military base 236 (25 March), and military base 3406 (26 March). He has been visiting one military base a day for a week.
If this continues, it seems that he will visit military bases more than 10 times a month. Last year, Kim Jong Il visited the military bases most frequently in November and he made 13 visits. He also made 8 visits in March and April.
Kim Jong Il does not make an advanced notice for the visits. The dates of inspections can only be speculated based on the dates the news was on Chosun Central News Agency. According to the North Korean defectors who used to be soldiers in the military in North Korea, the news of his visit can be released after anytime between couple days and couple months.
Then, what is the reason that North Korea has been releasing a number of news of Kim Jong Il’s visit to military bases recently?
Above all, it can be analyzed as their intention to publicize that they will stick to their military-first policies in reaction to joint military drills between the United States and South Korea and financial sanction by the United States.
Reaction to Joint Military Drills and Financial Sanction
The time period that the reporting on Kim Jong Il’s visit to the military has been released is around the time when South Korean and the US military have announced that RSOI will be starting. RSOI is the annual drill that checks up the process and reinforcement that the US military will carry out in case of emergency. This year, the drill has started on 25 March.
North Korea has said at the meeting with the spokesman for JoPyungTong on 14 March and with the spokesman for Panmunjum on the 15th that “On 25 March, the US plans to use aircraft carrier “Kittyhoak” and “Striker” for multi dimensional attack drill in sky, sea and land. Preemptive strike is not the prerogative that the US has, but we can carry out preemptive strike for defense as well”.
North Korea has been using the same strategy whenever such relationship with the US has recurred. They publicized that Kim Jong Il visited the military base in order to emphasize the role of “the chief executive for revolution” and encouraged the soldiers, and in order to disillusion the people.
During this time, many different military events are held. On the 16th, the symposium for the fervent on enthusiast rally for Oh Jung Hup 7 regimental colors was held with Cho Myung Rok, the Director of General Political Bureau(MPAF) and other high officials, and delivered congratulatory remarks from Central Military Committee in order to heighten the atmosphere.
For Formation of Anti US Unification Struggle in Regards to South Korea
Kim Jong Il’s visit to the military and anti US struggle is not unrelated. North Korea has warned many times that “Cooperation with external military power” cannot be justified, referring to PSI, Joint military drill between the US and South Korea and agreement with US military on strategic flexibility.
It can be analyzed that North Korea is trying to put military pressure and create cracks between the US and South Korea, in the name of “cooperation between the same people”.
On 12 March, Rodong Shinbun reported a declaration against joint military drills between the US and South Korea through a discussion with spokesman of ‘Korean National Peace Committee.’ The intention can be to heighten the anti US sentiment among the North Korean people, emphasize that they need to prepare for the war, and also in order to instigate the South Koreans to rise up for anti US struggle as well.