North Korea stages artillery competition to evaluate mechanized troops

Seoul, Nov 7 (EFE).- North Korea held an artillery fire competition among its military’s mechanized troops’ sub-units to evaluate them and improve their combat capabilities, state media reported Sunday.

The Saturday competition was held “in a new heyday in strengthening the state defense capabilities under the banner of self-defense” and “aimed at inspecting and evaluating how the mechanized troops of the KPA (Korean People’s Army) have conducted drills in order to increase their mobile artillery combat capabilities,” state-run KCNA news agency said.

Pak Jong Chon, one of the five members of the powerful presidium of the political bureau of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, “guided” the artillery fire competition along with General Rim Kwang Il, chief of the General Staff of the KPA.

Pak has overseen Pyongyang’s recent missile launches.

The state media did not report the presence of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who has attended similar drills in the past.

“Pak Jong Chon was greatly satisfied with the competition results,” according to KCNA.

“As soon as the firing orders were given by the commanders of the combined units, gun barrels to annihilate the enemy competitively shelled the target to accurately hit it,” the state agency reported.

The winning unit received a certificate, a medal and a badge, it added.

The competition took place at a time of an increase in tests of this kind by North Korea.

The reclusive country conducted four missile tests in September, which led to an escalation in tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The North Korean regime has accused South Korea and the United States of “double standards” in judging its military activities as “provocation” while defending their own as deterrent.

It has claimed that it is improving its military capabilities for self-defense and in response to joint maneuvers that the South and the US frequently carry out in the vicinity of its territory and which it describes as a threat. EFE


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