North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Kim Jong Un Observes and Guides KPA 2017 Tank Competition

Kim Jong Un greets members of the 105th Tank Division following the KPA Tank Competition-2017 in a photo which appeared top-center on the front page of the April 1 2017 edition of the WPK daily newspaper Rodong Sinmun

KJU’s last observed appearance was his visit to the renovated Korean Revolution Museum

DPRK state media reported April 1 (Saturday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) observed and guided the Korean People’s Army [KPA] 2017 Tank Competition.  The competition gathered the Seoul Ryu Kyong Su Guards’ 105th Tank Division (105th Armored Division) along with tank crews from KPA Large Combined Units (taeyonhap pudae; combined forces’ units) #966 (Pyongyang Defense Command), #313 #567, #233, #604, #593, #287, #337, #324, #526, #549, #264, #757 and #671.  Also in attendance were KPA General Political Department Director and State Affairs Commission Vice Chairman VMar Hwang Pyong So (Hwang Pyo’ng-o), Chief of the KPA General Staff VMar Ri Myong Su (Ri Myo’ng-su), KPA General Staff Operations Bureau Direct and 1st Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff Colonel-General Ri Yong Gil (Ri Yo’ng-kil) and Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces (for defense industries and procurement) Colonel-General Yun Tong Hyon (Yun Tong-hyo’n).

Kim Jong Un watches the KPA 2017 Tank Competition. Also in attendance are: Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Col. Gen. Yun Tong Hyong [a]; KPA General Staff Operations Bureau Director Col. Gen. Ri Yong Gil [b]; KPA General Political Department Director VMar Hwang Pyong So [c]; and, Chief of the KPA General Staff VMar Ri Myong Su (Photo: KCNA).

Photo: KCNA

After arriving at an observation post, Kim Jong Un was briefed about the competition’s plans and ordered it to begin.  According to state media reporting the contest was organized “in such a way that tanks start in the order set by lot and their crews fire at moving and fixed targets while overcoming eight obstacles lying in the 3.6 km [2.2 miles] course and the standing is decided by points gained in driving and target hitting.”

Views of the KPA 2017 Tank Competition and Kim Jong Un watching it with members of the KPA high command (Photos: Rodong Sinmun/KCNA).

Photo: KCNA

Whilst watching the tank competition, Jong Un remarked the “performance of tanks was excellent.  It was marvelous to see the tanks crossing even a steep hill at the maximum speed.  These tanks represent a symbol of the KPA and they are like iron fists.”  The 105th Tank Division won the competition.  Kim Jong Un said that the “competition clearly showed that the KPA tank crews are fully prepared to be stalwart fighters capable of independently and skillfully carrying out any combat tasks in the operational areas for liberating the southern part of the country.”

Kim Jong Un smiles during the KPA Tank Competition-2017. Also in attendance (tagged) is Col. Gen. Yun Tong Hyon, Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces and Member of the WPK Central Committee (Photo: KCNA).

Views of the KPA 2017 Tank Competition along with Kim Jong Un watching the contest and interacting with its participants (Photos: KCNA/Rodong Sinmun).


Jong Un issued instructions to the tank crews “to round off their combat preparations” and he met and talked with the tank crews who participated in the competition.  Prior to a commemorative photo-op, Jong Un appreciated “the winner of the competition as the example for the whole army in the first round of the combat and political drills in the new year” and expressed his “belief that all the tank crews would rush, sweeping away everything in their way and destroy the enemy positions with their tanks once a war breaks out.”


This article was written on 01 Apr 2017, and is filled under 2007-2010 kpa management, armored division, Central Committee, Central Military Committee, Col. Gen. Yun Tong Hyon (MPAF), colonel general, corps command, corps commanders, Events Management Section, Executive Policy Bureau, Gen. Ri Myong Su, Gen. Ri Yong Gil, Gen. Yun Tong Hyon, gsd, gsob, Guard Command, Hwang Pyong So, Hwang Pyong So (GPD; KPA VMAR), III Army Corps, Kim Chong-un inspections, Kim Jong Un Visits, Kim Jong-un, KJI Personal Secretariat, Korean People's Army Supreme Command, Korean People's Internal Security Forces, Korean People's Army (KPA), Korean Workers' Party (KWP), KPA General Logistics Department, KPA General Political Bureau, KPA General Political Department, KPA General Staff, KPA I Army Corps, KPA II Army Corps, KPA infantry corps, kpa IV army corps, KPA Large Combined Unit #324, KPA Large Combined Units, KPA Organization Department, KPA Party Life, KPA supernumerary organizations, KPA Supreme Command, KPA V Army Corps, KPA VII Army Corps, kpif, Lt. Gen. Pang Kwan Bok (GS/Training Bureau), Machine Building Industry Department, Military Affairs, military security command [msc], ministry of people's security, Ministry of State Security, Ministry of the People's Armed Forces (MPAF), MPAF GPB, Organization and Guidance Department, Party Life Guidance, Political Bureau, Pyongyang Defense Command, Second Economic Committee, Second Economy Commission, State Affairs Commission, State Security Department, Tank Command, VIII Army Corps, wo'nsan corps, Yun Tong Hyon.

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