What You Need to Know:
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently went on a three-day inspection tour, visiting some of the country’s weapons factories.
State media reported that he personally surveyed facilities engaged in manufacturing artillery systems, launch vehicles for nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, and other advanced military equipment.
Kim pledged to accelerate efforts to enhance his military’s readiness for combat, according to State media.
This inspection took place amid the backdrop of the United States and South Korea preparing for joint military exercises.
During his visit to an unspecified factory producing large-caliber artillery systems, Kim emphasized the facility’s crucial role in bolstering the military’s “war preparations.”
In subsequent visits to two other factories, Kim prioritized the delivery of launcher trucks capable of transporting and firing ballistic missiles. He also urged for the rapid expansion of production, particularly focusing on more reliable engines for cruise missiles and drones.
Photographs released by North Korea showcased Kim inspecting huge launcher trucks designed for intercontinental ballistic missiles, hinting at their potential reach to the U.S. mainland. Other images depicted Kim firing scoped rifles during a visit to a small arms factory, where he stressed the need for modernizing soldiers’ firearms.
For those interested, below are sections from an article about Kim’s visit that was published by the state owned Korean Central News Agency.
“Kim Jong Un, general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and president of the State Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, gave field guidance to major munitions factories including a factory producing shells of large-caliber multiple rocket launchers from August 3 to 5 to learn about the implementation of the core goal of the Party’s policy on munitions industry.
He highly praised the factory for making great successes in the work to attain the long-term goal for updating production processes, assigned at the 5th Plenary Meeting of the 8th Central Committee of the WPK, and to create the capacity for serial production of large-caliber multiple rocket launcher shells, a task set forth by him during his field guidance to the factory on November 9 last year.
He expressed great satisfaction with the fact that the Party’s policies are correctly implemented at the factory as it has improved the precision processing capability and realized automation by introducing new equipment and measuring devices on a large scale into the whole production process to create the serial production capability for the shells of ultra-precision large-caliber multiple rocket launchers and radically improved the working environment condition.
He repeatedly expressed his great pleasure over the fact that various measuring devices were introduced to ensure the scientific accuracy in the control of quality of shells and shorten the time for heat treatment of propulsion tube and sci-tech measures for increasing the productivity were taken.
He also noted with appreciation that automation and precision have been realized on a high level to increase productivity while ensuring precision of products in warhead production process, stable helm production process and the process of making and assembling launching tubes and such various scientific and technological steps were taken as introduction of modern measuring devices.
He set forth the issues arising in the management of the factory and the important orientation of the national defence economic work including the work to create the capacity for serial production of new kinds of ammunition.
He stressed once again the important responsibility and duty of the factory in further rounding off our army’s war preparations, indicating the immediate tasks facing the model factory, which symbolizes the development and modernity of our national defence industry, and the ways for carrying out its long-term tasks.
He ardently called upon the officials, workers, technicians and military inspectors of the factory to go all out for the successful implementation of the grand national defence development strategy set forth by the Party Central Committee by creditably carrying forward the traditional and proud history of our defence industry which has safeguarded the Party and the revolution, the country and the people through munitions production with boundless loyalty and patriotism.
Kim Jong Un also guided on the spot the project for building a new light electrical appliance factory which will play an important role in modernizing the Korean People’s Army (KPA).
Kim Jong Un also acquainted himself with the production of new serial small arms.
It is the most important and urgent matter in making war preparations to modernize small arms, to be carried by the frontline units of the KPA and other units with a duty to wage an armed struggle behind the enemy lines in contingency, in keeping with the changed aspect of war, he said, expressing the determination of the Party Central Committee on the production and development orientation of powerful small arms of our style.
Noting that lightening and concentration are the main core indices in the development and production of small arms, he set forth important tasks for producing small arms of new types and new calibers to satisfy the constitutional peculiarities of our service personnel and combat performance.
He indicated a long-term production goal of the factory and the orientation of updating the production processes for attaining it.
Kim Jong Un also went to a factory manufacturing the engines for strategic cruise missile and armed unmanned aerial vehicle, and set forth important tasks.
Saying that the factory takes lion’s share nobody can play in the technical refinement and serial production of recently-developed new strategic weapons, he specified the ways for steadily enhancing the performance and reliability of the engine, a key element in the composition of weapon system, and rapidly expanding its production capacity.
He stressed the need to simultaneously and thoroughly ensure the speed and quality and quantity in the production of engines by giving definite precedence to the measures for supply of various kinds of materials necessary for manufacturing engines, adding that the factory should put the production processes on a modern, scientific and precise basis of a higher level and continue to improve its working and production conditions and civilized living environment.
He requested the officials, workers and technicians of the factory to mass-produce various kinds of cutting-edge strategic weapon engines with their own efforts and technology by giving fullest play to their creative wisdom and enthusiasm and thus make a great contribution to bringing about a revolution in developing new strategic weapons of our style.
Kim Jong Un learned about the production of erector launchers for major strategic weapons.
He acquainted himself in detail with the fulfillment of the plan the factory has carried out until now to attain the goal for immediate production of strategic missile erector launchers, set forth by the Party Central Committee, and its long-term production.
Upon receiving the great trust and direct instructions of Kim Jong Un, the officials, workers and technicians of the major munitions factories firmly pledged to make redoubled efforts, again aware of their important mission and duty of defending the outpost in bolstering up the national defence capabilities and thus faithfully uphold the revolutionary cause of the Workers’ Party of Korea with rapid successes in the war preparations of the KPA and the development and production of Juche-based ultra-modern strategic weapons.”