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DPRK supreme leader inspects army's special operation forces amid tension with U.S.

Editor: Zhang Jianfeng 丨Xinhua

04-14-2017 15:19 BJT

PYONGYANG, April 14 (Xinhua) -- Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader of the Democratic People's Repulic of Korea (DPRK), has lately highlighted the role of special forces of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in combating enemy forces of the United States and South Korea.

Local official media said Thursday that Kim, who is Supreme Commander of the KPA, has recently inspected several units of KPA special forces in the army, navy and air force, saying he was satisfied with their full preparedness for war.

When guiding the "Dropping and Target-striking Contest of KPA Special Operation Forces - 2017", Kim listened to a report on the program of the contest and issued an order for start at the observation post, said Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Seeing light transport planes made zero-feet flights in the sky dropping combatants, Kim was pleased that "the commanding officers of those task forces and pilots of the transport planes properly fixed the dropping place, the flight altitude and the dropping moment in a coordinated operation and they seemed to have made a deep study of the reconnaissance data about the enemy targets."

The contest was held at a time when tension is increasing between the DPRK and the United States over Washington's threat to stage military strikes against Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile tests.

The DPRK military has vowed to make its own preemptive strike at a time it considers appropriate.

With about 100,000 or 10 percent of the KPA personnel, the special forces are an elite force known for several infiltration operations in South Korea and abroad, notably the attack upon the Chong Wa Dae presidential palace in Seoul in 1968 and a submarine infiltration on the western coast of South Korea in 1996.

In January 1968, 31 KPA special force fighters attacked the Chong Wa Dae presidential palace, two of whom escaped back home alive while 29 were killed.

In September 1996, a submarine of the KPA was grounded off the western coast of South Korea and 26 special force fighters infiltrated the inner land for nearly two months. Most of them were killed in fighting with South Korean and U.S. forces.

As tension with the United States upsurges, the DPRK has again reminded its antagonists of its feared special forces which could strike with precision enemy targets in a non-conventional, guerrilla-style warfare.

"Those combatants carrying out their duties independently and proactively were reminiscent of fierce tigers crossing the mountain ranges in the southern half," Kim was quoted as saying during the recent drill.

"After watching an automatic rifle live bullet firing of combatants of the special operation battalion under the direct control of KPA Unit 525, he said that the bullets seemed to have their eyes and they were crack shots that never miss targets," said the KCNA report.

Kim said the contest, successfully conducted "in the significant time marking the 105th birth anniversary of former president Kim Il Sung, is like a gift of loyalty presented by the powerful revolutionary Paektusan army to the president who had worked heart and soul to round off the KPA's combat preparations, urging its service personnel to intensify trainings with national reunification in their minds at all times."

Kim Il Sung, founder of the DPRK, was a guerrilla fighter against Japanese army during World War II at the Paektusan mountain region on the border between China and Korea.

His birthday falls on Saturday, April 15, which is celebrated here as "Festival of the Sun."

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