North Korean Authorities Hold Lectures to Promote Country’s Military Strength

2015-05-07
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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) poses with soldiers on Ung Islet in the Sea of Japan (which North Korea calls the East Sea of Korea) in an undated photo.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) poses with soldiers on Ung Islet in the Sea of Japan (which North Korea calls the East Sea of Korea) in an undated photo.
AFP Photo/KCNA via KNS

A central propaganda team from the North Korean Workers Party has been touring the country to give mandatory lectures to citizens on the country’s military might against its two main foes, sources inside the country said.

“The main object of this lecture tour is to instill confidence in North Korean residents by emphasizing that North Korea will defeat South Korea and the U.S.,” a source in North Pyongan province, which borders China, told RFA’s Korean Service.

The lectures stress North Korea’s strong military force by showing a video that the North Korean Air Force created of soldiers flying airplanes close to the ground and rising above objects as they appear and undertaking high-speed flight training, he said.

The video also shows aircraft carriers smashed by submarines off the coast of Wonsan in late January, while North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches, he said.

Staged at Kim Jong Un’s request, North Korea’s Navy and Air Force conducted joint drills simulating strikes against U.S. aircraft carriers off of Wonsan, a port city and naval base in Kangwon province on the westernmost shore of the Sea of Japan (which North Korea calls the East Sea of Korea).

A report issued by the country’s Korean Central News agency on Jan. 31 said: “The drill was conducted with main emphasis on rounding off the war method of mounting surprise air and naval attacks on the U.S. imperialists' carrier which sailed into the operation waters in the southern half to make military strikes at strategic targets of the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] and helping combat flying corps and submarine units get familiar with combat methods, command and coordination.”

“Residents who attended the lecture believed that most of its contents were somehow true” another source in North Pyongan province said. “Only some residents who frequently have access to information from the outside world know that lectures are wrapped up in bluff and exaggeration.”

Some residents who attended the lecture sneered at North Korean authorities behind their backs, asking why they hesitated to fight the U.S. and South Korea despite the country’s supposedly strong military, the source said.

“North Korean residents believe the government’s propaganda that flight training at low altitudes demonstrates a high degree of airmanship, which can incapacitate the enemy’s radar, despite knowing that authorities covered up the truth that one of the country’s military planes crashed during training,” he said.

Both sources said quite a few number of North Koreans want a war to break out between their country and the U.S. and South Korea because they have lived tough lives surviving famine, economic hardship and human rights violations, and feel they have nothing to lose.

Reported by Joon Ho Kim of RFA’s Korean Service. Translated by Yunju Kim. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.

CH. 1: MANDARIN | CANTONESE

CH. 2: VIETNAMESE | BURMESE | KOREAN

CH. 3: KHMER | LAO | UYGHUR

CH. 4: TIBETAN

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