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N. Korea reassigns soon-to-be-retiring generals to specialized fields

North Korea is reassigning experienced army, navy and air force generals who have reached retirement age as researchers in specialized fields such as military technology and combat operations, Daily NK has learned.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Daily NK source in the North Korean military said the military conducted a personnel shakeup from Apr. 3 to Apr. 20 to “transfer some generals in the fields of technology, operations, equipment and combat training who have reached retirement age but are highly regarded from their army, navy or air force units to the General Staff Department’s Operations and Tactics Research Center as researchers. This was all in accordance with a decision made at a plenary meeting of the military’s party committee late last month.”

In short, the General Staff Department has begun to lay off many of the research center’s underproductive personnel while transferring soon-to-be-retired generals with deep experience and knowledge in technology, operations, equipment and combat training who still have skills to the center as researchers.

Until now, researchers at the Operations and Tactics Research Center of the General Staff Department believed their jobs were for life. However, with talk that more than half of the existing researchers will be replaced in the latest reshuffle, the staff now understands that even researchers will be replaced if they are incompetent.

This move shows that the North Korean military seems to value professionalism and experience, with an emphasis on competence.

A sign of fundamental change in military strategy? 

Within the military, people say the shakeup is an opportunity for the party to reemphasize that personnel decisions will be based on results and ability, the source said.

“Within the military, people see this reorganization of the research organization of the General Staff Department not as a simple personnel reorganization, but as a signal of a fundamental change in the party’s military strategy and defense policy,” he said.

“The General Staff Department believes that the personnel reshuffle reflects the Central Committee’s demand to improve the KPA’s medium- and long-term military operations and tactics research capacity, which can have a profound impact on achieving supremacy in the future battlefield,” the source said. “It is also hoped that the generals newly assigned as researchers will play a central and decisive role in establishing more effective and strategic military operations and tactics.”

The General Staff Department has assigned the new researchers the initial task of evaluating the strategic changes of the Korean People’s Army and the military strategies present in the international community – especially those of neighboring countries – and researching strategic simulations in response to them from various angles.

“High-ranking generals throughout the military are taking notice because research positions allow you to enjoy lifetime benefits because you won’t be fired when you get old as long as you have the skills,” the source said.

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 19, 2024 at 11:30AM

by DailyNK(North Korean Media)

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