Kim Jong-un’s Surprise Move

South Korea (ROK), the US, and 11 other United Nations Command Member States recently concluded Freedom Shield 2024, an 11-day military exercise simulating multi-domain operations in the Korean theater. However, North Korea (DPRK) viewed this exercise as a blatant provocation, prompting Kim Jong-un to personally oversee three simultaneous training drills conducted by DPRK military forces.

The supreme leader even engaged with members of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) following the conclusion of one of the war games.

On March 14, the DPRK-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) released a detailed report on Kim’s visit to supervise a training match between two large combined tank units attached to the KPA the day before. Accompanying Kim were the vice-chairman of the Worker’s Party of Korea and the secretary of the Central Committee.

During the exercise, Kim observed alongside high-ranking military officials, including the DPRK’s national defense minister, the KPA’s chief of General Staff, and other key command officers. After receiving a briefing on the exercise’s plan, Kim lauded the tanks’ swift maneuverability, hailing the drill as a remarkable demonstration of the DPRK’s military prowess.

While the 105th Guards Seoul Ryu Kyong-Su Armored Division emerged victorious, the KCNA did not disclose its adversary.

Following the exercise, Kim personally inspected the tank crews and even took control of a newly unveiled main battle tank, driving the armored vehicle himself to the delight of the KPA officers and enlisted personnel. The tankmen, buoyed by Kim’s leadership, pledged to continue honing their skills to become formidable warriors ready to defend North Korea against any threats, showcasing their unwavering loyalty to Kim and the DPRK.