VOA – Former Commander Brooks “Unexpected Speed ​​of Modernization of Conventional Power in North Korea…Severe Threat to Defense of the Korean Peninsula”

On the 10th, a weapon appeared to be a new supersized firearm at the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Labor Party in Pyongyang, North Korea.
On the 10th, a weapon appeared to be a new supersized firearm at the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Labor Party in Pyongyang, North Korea.


North Korean experts in the United States have shown that North Korea has recently shown that it is focusing considerable investment on conventional electricity, which has been evaluated as relatively old. Former ROK-U.S. coalition commander Vincent Brooks said North Korea’s conventional forces could pose a serious threat to the defense of the Korean Peninsula. Reporter Kim Dong-hyun covered it. 

US experts say North Korea’s recently unveiled intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), other than the threats of conventional capabilities, should not be overlooked.

Former Commander Brooks “Significant investment in conventional North Korean power”

Former ROK-US Combined Commander Vincent Brooks told VOA on the 13th that he was honestly surprised by North Korea’s conventional tactics unveiled at this feverish ceremony.

In particular, Chairman Kim Jong-un emphasized the nuclear-economic parallel line, but he pointed out that considering the fact that there is no progress in the current economic situation, it is possible to infer that a lot of manpower and funds are being invested in the conventional military industry in addition to strategic weapons.

[Record: Former Commander Brooks] “Considerable energy and effort have gone into military industry and the production of much newer self-propelled combat systems… so that means that these systems are ones that will increase the ability to hold Seoul at risk, and to potentially strike much deeper into South Korea with conventional force’s missiles.”

“Increase in threats across South Korea… Korean military modernization is required”  

North Korea’s conventional tactics, revealed at the ceremony, are very concerned, as it suggests that it will strengthen its capacity to threaten Seoul, and that a potential blow to deeper inland is possible.

Former Commander Brooks said that during his tenure, he emphasized the modernization of the ROK military on missile defense systems and UAVs because he expected North Korea to focus on these capabilities at the time.

[Recording: Former Commander Brooks] “There are concerns. It is why I as a commander began to emphasize the modernizing air and missile defense including counter rocket, counter artillery, counter mortar and counter unmanned aerial systems. Because those were clearly going to be the areas where North Korea would concentrate. And indeed they’ve shown that that is what they have been doing for the last 3 years. So I do have some concerns about that. It requires modernization for South Korea especially. And Defensive systems to be created to ensure that North Korea could not hold South Korea at a greater risk.”

Byungsik this year clearly shows that North Korea has been focusing on conventional attack capabilities for the past three years, and therefore, it is desperately required to modernize the ROK military and establish a new defense system that can cope with new threats.

Bruce Bennett: “Mobile radar, biochemical forces should be alert” 

Bruce Bennett, a senior researcher at the Rand Institute, said North Korea should be alert to new conventional weapons, especially biochemical units equipped with mobile radar and new gas masks.

Senior researcher Bennett said the exact specifications of the mobile radar are not known, but experts have long been concerned about the possibility that North Korea will have an artillery detection radar capable of tracking the firing point of South Korean artillery forces.

Korean Army K-9 self-propelled artillery.
Korean Army K-9 self-propelled artillery.

In addition, the ROK military’s deployment posture of K-9 self-propelled artillery has been relatively neglected to North Korea’s origin strike, and analyzed that if the radar shown this time is one of the types of artillery detection radar, it could be a serious threat.

In relation to North Korea’s disclosure of biochemical units wearing gas masks, he introduced the remarks that the USFK commander at the time of Lean Raport in the early 2000s said, “North Korea regards biochemical weapons forces as conventional weapons, not asymmetric forces.”

[Recording: Senior Researcher Bennett] “The US commander in Korea General Laporte did a TV interview and he said that’North Korea does not think that chemical weapons are weapons of mass destruction. They think they are conventional weapons’… … All of North Korea’s neighbors are members of the Chemical Weapons Convention. They aren’t planning on firing chemical weapons. So why does North Korea need chemical protective equipment? And the answer is because they plan to use it.”

It is pointed out that North Korea’s installation of gas masks implied the possibility of use in emergency as an attacking force.

“In spite of promoting the modernization of the Korean military, both troops and capabilities are inferior” 

Senior researcher Bennett also said that the report by the Strategic Research Institute under the U.S. Army Graduate School in July, which analyzed that the conventional power of North Korea will deteriorate over the next 10 years, proved to be false.

[Recording: Senior Researcher Bennett] “The US Army War College Report cited that as an assumption. All of the underlying elements of that assumption appear to be wrong and therefore, one would have to ask, can we really make that assumption? I would say no… ”

Bruce Klinger “misinterprets the nuclear-economic translation route… I have never stopped increasing the armament.”  

Bruce Klinger, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, argued that the analysis of Chairman Kim Jong-un’s nuclear-economic translational line was wrong, who interpreted that he would focus on the future economy by breaking away from the Songun policy.

[Record: Senior Researcher Klinger] “Some interpreted as a sign of economic reform and reduction of the military first policy of his father, etc. But Byung Jin was created in 1962, at a central committee meeting under his grandfather… Well, he continued all the military programs, and obviously now, even more programs than we were aware of.”

Senior researcher Klingner said that North Korea has never stopped investing in the military sector even in the Kim Jong-un era, and said the results were shown through this passionate ceremony.

Meanwhile, the North Korean military introduced four types of new short-range ballistic missiles and firearms that were tested last year, including the Iskander-class KN-23 capable of evasive maneuvering during this row of arms.

We also unveiled a new tank, a biochemical unit wearing a gas mask, an improved rifle equipped with sights and silencers, and a mobile radar system.

This is VOA News, Donghyun Kim.


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