Saturday, February 12, 2011

Kim, Your Paratroopers Can't Parachute

It won't come as a shock to anyone, but may serve as a worthwhile reminder of how weak the North Korean military has become since Kim Il Sung left the stage; according to a source who spent the 12 years prior to 2009 serving in the Chosun People's Army, “We were paratroopers, but not once in 12 years could we do any parachute training.”

“I served with the 6th Air Force Squadron,” the former (non-)flyer continues in a Free North Korea Radio piece re-reported (and changed, a bit) here, “but we couldn't do live fire training more than about 9 times in 12 years, let alone fly planes. With the exception of tedious ideological education, the only things which stick in the mind are gathering edible herbs and wild plants and preparing firewood.”

Not quite all, actually, but not far off. “All the training I got in 12 years of Army life was marching every Saturday, winter drills for two months and summer training for one month. My memories of special forces training are of mountain warfare, a little bit of marching, some target practice, studying topography and swimming.”

Oh, and catching frogs in a valley to sell to local people and picking wild herbs to sell to traders; small insights into capitalism which we can but hope will have a chance to stand him in good stead.

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