Following the end of the North Korean military’s winter training period, soldiers are now returning to work construction projects and military-owned farmland, Daily NK has learned. 

The training period, which began on Dec. 1, officially concluded on Mar. 22 with the submission of evaluations by each branch of the military to the 9th Division of the General Staff Operations Bureau (GSOB), according to Daily NK military sources in the country on Mar. 26. 

A final report created from these evaluations was submitted to the KPA Supreme Command on Mar. 24, sources reported. 

On Mar. 22, the GSOB issued an order to the military to focus on tilling military-run farm fields and construction projects, although the orders emphasized that units must maintain their combat readiness.

The orders were a reflection of Kim Jong Un’s governing philosophy, which states that the KPA must both protect the nation while taking part in “socialist construction.” 

“The military is expected to fully shift to construction work from Mar. 30,” one military source told Daily NK. “In the wee hours of Mar. 23 – a day after the winter training period ended – soldiers from some units were sent to work the fields.” 

Daily NK sources said that marksmanship was strongly emphasized during the winter military drills. Regardless of the weapon—from rifles to tanks and armored carriers, multiple rocket launchers, coastal artillery and aerial weapons—the main focus was enhancing accuracy.

Every shooting range, moreover, reportedly had a slogan that read, “We shall destroy our bitter enemies, the American invaders.” 

The Supreme Command is expected to hand down praise or punishments to each branch of the military depending on results of the evaluations, sources said. 

The results are expected to be reflected in the country’s summer military drills, which are held from July to September.

*Translated by Violet Kim

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.