Hoiryeong Trains for War

Daily NK
Lee Sung Jin

The citizens of Hoiryeong are worried about ongoing evacuation training they must undergo as part of a joint winter military drill with the army that began on January 17, said a source.

The winter military drill used to be held in December each year but this year it was delayed.

“People feel uneasy because of the sudden beginning of the drill and the strict regulations on the jangmadang in the cold winter,” one source reported on the 21st.

At 3 am on January 17th, in Hoiryeong, North Hamkyung Province, the North Korean army announced an emergency summons, modified the Worker and Peasant Red Guards, Local Reserve Forces and Youth Red Guard, declared a state of national preparation for war and started inspection of emergency supplies. The Local Reserve Forces rushed to occupy strategic positions and the Worker and Peasant Red Guard started a scouting drill.

During the winter military drill, ordinary citizens must leave their residential districts, taking one day’s worth of food with them, and live in an encampment for Local Reserve Forces around 8-12 km away from their homes.

The average temperature in Hoiryeong drops to around minus 10 degree Celsius in January. As defectors in Seoul testified, it is terribly hard to put up with the lack of heat at the encampments.

This drill is limited only to Hoiryeong. The source said: “It is actually a type of civil defense training. It was ordered by the People’s Safety Agency, but the army participated as well.”

This year’s drill was more intense than previous year’s. Vehicles without camouflage netting were prohibited from the streets and all citizens were forced to wear camouflage while outdoors.

The source said the drill was so similar to actual warfare that Local Reserve Forces and Worker and Peasant Red Guards wore their real rank badges.

When the drill started, factories and People’s Units in Hoiryeong began holding lectures entitled, “Let’s complete preparation for war against the American imperialists’ constant war maneuvers!”


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