North Korean military authorities have reportedly handed down a special order to the so-called “Storm Corps,” the nation’s most elite special forces unit, to “prepare for guerilla warfare,” distributing to the unit 3D military maps of South Korea’s major regions.

Formally the 11th Corps, the Storm Corps is based in Dokchon County, South Pyongan Province.

According to a Daily NK source in the North Korean military on Friday, North Korea’s supreme command telegraphed the order to the headquarters of the Storm Corps on July 19.

The supreme command ordered the unit to “carry out preparatory training based on the transformation of South Korea’s topographical structure,” stressing that modern guerrilla warfare requires “thorough preparations for standard mountain warfare along with urban warfare.”

elite military unit storm corps border landmine
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un observing Storm Corps training in 2013. / Image: Rodong Shinmun

Distributing to all branches of the army new topographical maps in the guise of an order entitled, “Systemic Transformation of Tactical Topography in Areas of Operation,” the supreme command basically ordered the Storm Corps in particular to begin training for urban guerrilla war to infiltrate target objectives.

To put this another way, they ordered the Storm Corps to properly familiarize themselves with the transformed urban topography of South Korea — the “enemy” — and carry out intensive training, re-establishing operation plans for small-unit combat infiltrations.

Accordingly, the Storm Corps has begun training to boost its guerrilla combat capabilities. The unit is also carrying out joint operations and a reorganization of its command and control. This suggests the unit believes it must not neglect rear-area support matters as well.

In particular, one of the unit’s major tasks during this year’s summer training is to build a new training field where personnel can practice attacking mockups of South Korea’s strategic facilities, including the presidential palace, Cheong Wa Dae.

According to the source, the supreme command stressed that the Storm Corps “must cherish the firm conviction that they will suppress military threats in South Korea and dynamically bring forward the unification of the Fatherland through ‘strong defensive power,’” and that the corps must “prepare all combat personnel as phoenixes of guerrilla warfare.”

Meanwhile, the supreme command reportedly issued similar orders to other special forces units as well, including the light infantry units of frontline corps, divisional sniper brigades, sniper brigades of the navy, air force and anti-air units, and the light infantry regiments of frontline divisions.

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.