December 06, 2023

Analysis: October air and air defense drills

KPA Air, Anti-Air Force training focused on defensive scenarios

North Korea’s military and defense forces – including the Korean People’s Army as well as civil defense forces and militia – conducted air force and air defense training drills in October. These included the takeoff and landing drills of air force fighter units and a nationwide air defense exercise.

Kim Jong Un and other senior officials twice attended the takeoff and landing drills and thus they were reported in Pyongyang’s state-controlled media. It’s unclear if these were two distinct, separate drills or parts a larger exercise, perhaps directly connected to the air defense exercise. The air defense drills, which also included participation from civilians, were less publicized by the North, having not been attended by Kim Jong Un, but are an important part of the country’s regular military training.