A North Korean military delegation visited a Moscow firing range and assault competition, aiming to compete in the contest next year, a press release from the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) published yesterday said.
The Surorov International Army games are held each year and feature a range of armored and infantry competitions.
A report obtained by Interfax news agency reveals the North Korean delegation was led by Lieutenant General Choe Jang Sik, deputy head of the Korean People’s Army General Staff Operations Bureau.
“(Choe) met with Major-General Yevgeny Poplavsky, chief judge of the Tank Biathlon and Suvorov Assault competitions, who familiarized the North Korean military with the Suvorov Assault regulations, the firing range infrastructure, the obstacles and the conditions for overcoming them,” the report reads.
The Russian MoD press release claimed Choe expressed a formal interest in taking part in 2016. The completion currently features 17 teams, including participants from China, India and Venezuela.
“The North Korean delegation appears to have been there to learn about and observe the competition with a thought toward participation next year. Participating would give North Korea further opportunities to boast of their military capabilities, especially in internal propaganda,” NK News director of intelligence John Grisafi said.
“More importantly it’s a chance for them to compete alongside other countries who use similar equipment and compare their own tactics and training to those of other participants, as well as potentially learn through observation.”
In early August North Korea announced they would not be participating in similar games to take place in South Korean military games in October.