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As winter training ends, N. Korean military takes action to tighten combat discipline

The General Staff Department of the North Korean military has issued a surprise telegram to the entire army explaining the combat situation and calling for a one-month emergency mobilization. It appears that the military authorities are trying to tighten combat discipline, which has become lax with the end of winter training.

Speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons, a Daily NK source in the North Korean military said the General Staff Department issued the order on Apr. 7. The telegraphed order called for a one-month emergency mobilization starting from Apr. 9 and set out combat conditions, with the Combat Training Bureau of the General Staff Department saying the aim was to once again test the readiness and responsiveness of each unit.

The source said the General Staff Department wanted to keep the military on its toes as soldiers slack off on their military duties in the spring after the end of winter training, when they shift en masse to outside projects and military-run side businesses, and to tighten discipline.

In fact, some units that completed their winter training in late March missed or simply failed to respond to wire or wireless telegraph signals sent unannounced by the General Staff Department to test combat readiness.

This means that the General Staff Department, disturbed by this apparent laxity on the part of the soldiers, moved to prevent lax combat discipline during the spring, when soldiers are mobilized for outside projects and side businesses.

“The Combat Training Bureau of the General Staff Department said that the purpose and meaning of the telegram on surprise combat circumstances and the emergency call is to strengthen each unit’s control and maintain combat mobilization readiness at a high level,” the source said. “Units that received the order generally believe that it was issued to maintain a tight combat readiness, which can become slack while soldiers work on outside projects and side businesses.”

He added: “Some commanders believe that the order is part of a temporary military drill, but some others believe that the order will be used as an opportunity to strengthen the army’s readiness for combat mobilization, while at the same time reaffirming the state of military discipline in each unit.”

Unlike the General Staff Department, which is moving aggressively to address the issue of lax military discipline – a common problem in the spring – some commanders in the field are approaching the issue with less gusto.

“Some commanders are complacent about the General Staff Department’s order, saying it issues the same order every year,” the source said. “They believe that the order won’t cause any major changes in the combat readiness of the Korean People’s Army units, which have to handle many outside tasks such as base construction, side businesses, agricultural support and various construction projects.”

Translated by David Black. Edited by Robert Lauler. 

Daily NK works with a network of sources living in North Korea, China, and elsewhere. Their identities remain anonymous for security reasons. For more information about Daily NK’s network of reporting partners and information-gathering activities, please visit our FAQ page here.

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Read in Korean

April 15, 2024 at 01:00PM

by DailyNK(North Korean Media)

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