N.Korea Modernizing Conventional, Mass Destructive Weapons

  • Our Bureau
  • 11:00 AM, September 3, 2016
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N.Korea Modernizing Conventional, Mass Destructive Weapons
This July satellite image shows Munchon Naval Base of North Korea. Four naval squadrons are subordinate to KPA Navy Unit 155. Photo Credit: 38 North.

North Korea is upgrading its largest naval facility Munchon located on the east coast, including conventional as well as mass destructive weapons.

Satellite images analyzed Thursday on 38 North, a website of Johns Hopkins University, suggest that the country’s leader Kim Jong Un is likely to be investing heavily on the country's largest naval facility for coastal defenses.

Analysts Joseph Bermudez and Curtis Melvin state that North Korea has put aggressive efforts on Munchon, developing enhanced training facilities, upgraded conventional naval weapons systems and improved special operations abilities, since the time Kim Jong Un has assumed power in 2014.

The action of leader Kim Jong Un is part of his strategy to improve North Korea’s conventional military capabilities and special operations forces in parallel with its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, experts said.

According to the analysis, improvements to the headquarters and base for Korean People's Army Navy Unit 291, a navy sniper brigade, began after Kim provided field guidance to the unit in May 2013.

Also the North has consolidated five navy sniper battalions of its East Sea Fleet at Munchon. The move will improve training, apart from facilitating amphibious attacks against South Korea in the event of conflict, the analysts say.

After upgrading the facility, the country will also have capability to moderately increase its ability to mount longer and more frequent naval patrols farther out in the East.

Besides, the infrastructure revitalization of the facility will also increase the country’s operational readiness and coastal defense capabilities in the central portion of the East Sea.

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