Starting the countdown to the scheduled rocket launch, the North Korean General Staff issued at 2 P.M. on April 1 an emergency order, “On Keeping a Wartime Operational Status,” to all military organizations and the People’s Army.
A source from North Hamkyung Province said on Friday in an interview with Daily NK, “An urgent decree under the name of the General Staff of the People’s Army was issued through the military communications line, aimed specifically at the People’s Army, the People’s Security Forces, the Worker’s and Peasant’s Red Guard and the Young Red Guard.”
The source added that, “A decree issued by the General Staff generates much more tension than an order from the National Defense Commission. Therefore, locals are now asking, ‘What if a real war occurs?’ and the feeling of unrest is growing.”
The General Staff’s decree states, “The American and Japanese imperialists and South Chosun (Korea) puppet factions are trying to preemptively attack us by arranging their forward-deployed naval forces along our East coast, because they have lost their nerve in advance of our peaceful satellite launch.”
“If the enemies frantically add fuel to the fire of war by any means they can, our revolutionary military forces may well crack down on the enemy citadels preemptively. Coping with this strained situation, the General Staff of the Chosun People’s Army therefore orders the wartime operational status for all our revolutionary forces.”
Accordingly, the officers of the army, cadres of the provincial party, and those higher than Director of the People’s Committee of each province were all ordered to stand by for 24 hours.
According to the source, the members of the Military Committee of the Provincial Party in Musan, North Hamkyung Province are standing by in a wartime operations gangway constructed by the No. 50 Department. In an emergency summons to the Worker’s and Peasant’s Red Guard ordered by the vice-director of the Civil Defense Corps in Musan at around 5 A.M. on the 2nd of April, a decree to prepare “emergency boxes” containing food, first-aid medicine and others was handed down.
In addition to the orders of the General Staff, the authorities prohibited the people from traveling.
The source added with some annoyance, “I don’t know why the U.S. and Japan are bothering us so much, although they are always launching satellites. Our country made a fuss about producing missiles that other countries couldn’t intercept, but now, why are they making trouble?”