Following North Korea’s attempt to show off its long-range artillery and medium- and short-ranged super-large multiple rocket launchers during the military parade on Oct. 10, a Daily NK source says North Korea has begun creating units based near the Korean border to operate these weapon systems.

According to a Daily NK military source in North Korea on Tuesday, on Oct. 24 North Korea’s Supreme Command ordered the Central Frontline Rocket Regiment of the Strategic Force Command (Singye, North Hwanghae Province) to increase in size through the organization of two battalions (about 1,500 troops) equipped with new multiple rocket launchers.

The Central Frontline Rocket Regiment is a mechanized firepower unit whose basic means of warfare are North Korea’s medium- and short-range missile systems.

However, the regiment recently deployed 600mm super-large multiple rocket launchers, a high-precision weapon system unlike the unit’s existing missiles. Ultimately, this meant that new units were needed to carry out the Supreme Command’s new operational plan to deploy concentrated firepower along the front.

icbm
New ICBM presented during the Party Foundation Day parade on Oct. 10. / Image: KCNA

That is to say, the plan – which calls for strikes on South Korea’s entire capital region around Seoul – is currently underway. “The strategy is to raze enemy strongholds in a short period by concentrating as much firepower as possible,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “With this full-scale unleashing of firepower along the front, the Supreme Command intends to sweep the enemy without giving them time to even open their muzzles.”

It is noteworthy that this runs contrary to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s claim in his Party Foundation Day address last month that North Korea’s “war deterrent” is being developed “not [to be] aimed at others,” but rather “to defend ourselves.”

Another source in the country told Daily NK that under Kim’s direction, the country has been working hard on artillery and missiles, but “it’s true that [the regime] is still only paying attention to ‘offensive capabilities.’” He added, “Frankly, the regime has been weak on building ‘defensive capabilities.’”

North Korea’s military, which has better offensive than defensive capabilities, appears to have adopted a strategy of maximizing destruction by concentrating maximum firepower in the shortest period of time. 

The source described the mood in the military, saying that the leadership “also knows that R&D to develop defensive systems requires a lot of money” and that “We have no choice but to pay attention to tactically deploying advanced offensive weapons capable of pin-point strikes.”

Meanwhile, in accordance with the Supreme Command’s order, the command of the Strategic Force Command’s regiment in Singye commenced work on relevant tasks on Oct. 26.

These tasks include expanding its artillery unit, including forming two battalions of seven companies each, along with selecting military officers; selecting officers and soldiers for one company (110 soldiers), three platoons and three squads; creating weapons stations and escorting and deploying the new multiple rocket launchers; and, approving a wartime combat organizational chart (for use in training during peacetime).

“The final order from the leadership is that the creation of new units should be completed by the start of winter training on Dec. 1, and that training should begin as usual along with artillery training,” the source said.

Please direct any comments or questions about this article to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.
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Jeong Tae Joo is one of Daily NK's full-time journalists. He focuses on North Korean military matters. Please direct any questions about his articles to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.