Go to contents

NK leader asks 3 key military leaders questions on weaponry

NK leader asks 3 key military leaders questions on weaponry

Posted April. 17, 2012 08:31,   


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is confirmed to have asked a barrage of questions on his nation`s weaponry to three key members of the Stalinist country`s military brass Sunday.

He is known to have used the title "compatriot" on Choe Ryong Hae, chief of the Politburo of the North Korean People’s Army; Ri Yong-ho, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Kim Jong Gak, defense minister, at a military review ceremony for the centennial birthday of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung on Sunday.

The young ruler asked the three officials a flurry of questions on weapons unveiled for the first time at the ceremony, using both the familiar and respectful styles in Korean speech.

A South Korean intelligence source said Monday, “A close analysis of the shape of Kim Jong Un`s mouth in the review ceremony through broadcast scenes aired on the North’s Korean Central TV Station showed that he used the title ‘compatriot’ to the three military leaders, who were in the premiers group with him."

The source said Kim Jong Un asked the trio detailed questions about the types and operating methods of multiple rocket launchers, tanks and missiles that were shown in the ceremony whenever a weapon passed them.

When the North’s new tank Pokpung (Storm) and self-propelled artillery guns were passing the premiers group in the parade, Kim Jong Gak debriefed the North Korean leader about something.

Kim Jong Un was all smiles and widely nodded before asking “These are all tanks, right?” Pointing his finger at the parade of tanks and self-propelled artillery guns, Kim Jong Un reportedly told Ri that “So many weapons have come today...”

The Pokpung is North Korea’s flagship tank that is an improved version of the Russian tank T-62. The Pokpung has a new 125-millimeter main gun and a 14.5-millimeter surface-to-air machine gun more powerful than the 12.7-millimeter machine gun installed in the previous model.

South Korean intelligence also found that whenever new weapons appeared, Kim Jong Un asked questions such as, “Do you pull it to fire?” and “The legs…,” while Ri and Choe answered the questions.

The source said Kim Jong Un also smiled whenever vehicles loaded with ballistic missiles passed, including the new long-range missile, and said, “Great, Great!” Pointing at one missile, he asked, “Have we ever launched it?"

Another source at a South Korean military intelligence unit said, “Kim (Jong Un) was all smiles and made big physical moves throughout the event when asking questions, as if enjoying the world`s keen attention on him. The three military leaders were replying in a cautious fashion, covering their mouths with their hands."

The intelligence unit said the trio made such gestures to prevent information on weapons from being leaked while answering their leader`s questions.

Meanwhile, South Korean and U.S. intelligence are repeatedly analyzing scenes of Kim Jong Un’s dialogue with the three military leaders, which were shown two to five seconds per occasion in the broadcast of the military review ceremony, to catch the exact contents of their conversations.

A South Korean military source said, “If what we closely analyze their comments, it will be helpful to figuring out Kim (Jong Un`s) relationship with the North Korean military and information on North Korean weapons.”