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N. Korea tightens security around weapons factories to prevent information leaks

North Korea has tightened security around major weapons factories to keep information about the facilities from leaking to the outside world.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Daily NK source in North Pyongan Province said Monday that the North Korean authorities have more than tripled the number of guard posts in and around North Pyongan Province and Chagang Province – where the weapons factories are concentrated – between the end of last year and the beginning of this year.

The source said that the authorities have increased the number of No. 10 guard posts only along roads in regions with weapons factories in the two provinces, not in ordinary civilian areas. Accordingly, people are required to undergo at least three searches when traveling to and from areas near munitions factories.

No. 10 guard posts, operated by the Ministry of State Security, inspect and search people traveling to and from certain regions.

In particular, the authorities have installed not only checkpoints but also dozens of CCTV cameras near major weapons factories in Ryongchon and Kusong, North Pyongan Province.

The North Korean authorities have doubled and tripled their searches by installing inspection facilities and equipment near the weapons factories, apparently to more thoroughly inspect all people and goods entering and leaving the facilities.

Above all, the North Korean authorities have taken these measures to prevent the leakage of internal information, including all information about production and activities at the factories.

Workers also face more ideological indoctrination

The source further reported that the authorities have “intensified the ideological indoctrination of the workers at the weapons factories since the beginning of the year.”

The ideological indoctrination focuses on “producing more weapons as the nation faces a situation where it has to strengthen its self-defense power due to the ever-worsening tension on the Korean peninsula,” he said.

At the end of the classes, the instructors order participants “not to disclose the contents of the lectures to the outside world,” the source added.

Meanwhile, North Korea’s major weapons factories continue to focus all their resources and personnel on producing artillery shells.

“The factories have been firing on all cylinders since last year,” the source said. “Supplies for grenade production continue to arrive, with so much piled up that they couldn’t use it all even if they continued production until the end of the year.”

The North Korean authorities have kept the ammunition factories running at 100% because of the “special situation” of Russia’s war in Ukraine. In this regard, circumstantial evidence continues to emerge that North Korea is supplying shells and other weapons to Russia.

Even in North Korea’s weapons factories, workers say they have “never produced so many shells in decades” and that the factories have been “producing many more shells than North Korea needs for months.”

Speaking to reporters at the South Korean Defense Ministry headquarters in Yongsan, Seoul, on Feb. 26, Defense Minister Shin Won-sik said that “North Korea’s hundreds of weapons factories are operating at a low rate of about 30%, given the country’s shortage of raw materials and electricity,” adding that “factories producing shells to supply Russia are running at full capacity.”

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.

Please send any comments or questions about this article to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.

Read in Korean

March 20, 2024 at 05:30AM

by DailyNK(North Korean Media)

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