The Korean Peoples’ Army (KPA) is increasing its air and artillery capacity in South Hwanghae Province within the vicinity of the disputed West Sea maritime border and Yonphyong-do.
To begin with, in south-west Kangryong County near Sikyo-ri (강령군, 식여리), the DPRK has established four new KPA units each with dispersed revetments which could be used to protect deployed offensive capabilities such as artillery or short range rockets (MRLs)…maybe KN-08s? I will leave it to the professionals to figure out.
According to available commercial satellite imagery, these units were built sometime between 2010-7-4 and 2012-6-20:
In the image above, just one of the four areas that has been constructed, we can see the creation of the new KPA unit as well as six revetments. These revetments lie 14-16 miles from Yonphyong-do.
To the east of this area, near Habupho, Kangryong County (하부포, 강령군), the Korean Peoples’ Army is building three lines of hardened artillery (HART) positions to protect the DPRK’s Multiple Rocket Launch (MRL) vehicles deployed to this area:
According to available satellite imagery, construction on these HARTs began in early 2011, and as of 2012-6-20, they appear to be nearly complete.
The line closest to Yongphyong-do, is 8.5 miles and contains three HARTs (Above). The second line is approximately 9 miles from Yonphyong-do and also contains three HARTs. The third line is nearly 10 miles from Yonphyong-do and contains 6 HARTs.
The DPRK is also increasing capacities at it the closest fortified air force base in Kiam-ri, Thaethan County (기암리, 태탄군).
Pictured above are two satellite images of the Thaethan air force base in North Korea. The top image is dated 2011-6-13. The lower image is dated 2012-9-21. The lower image has two highlight boxes. In the box to the right, we can see the construction of 36 revetments which would be used to shield deployed artillery positions.In the box to the right, we can see an expansion of housing for use by the soldiers stationed at this base.
I have written previously about new KPA construction in the area here and here (photo). Joseph Bermudez also wrote about a new hovercraft base in South Hwanghae.