Vol. 1, No. 8 - August 2010

North Korean infiltration vessel (“mother ship”) attempting to escape from Japan Coast Guard vessels. The stern clamshell doors enclosing the “wet well” are just visible as vertical lines on either side of the hull.  (Japan Coast Guard)

Articles in this issue include,

"KPA Engineer River Crossing Forces," by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr.

In any future war on the Korean Peninsula one of the underlying principles of the North Korean Army's offensive strategy is speed—known variously as the “one-blow-non-stop-attack” or “Occupying South Korea, All the Way to Pusan, in Three Days.” A critical element in this offensive strategy is the army’s ability to both rapidly cross numerous river systems and protect its lines of communications which, from necessity, must cross numerous additional river systems. To address this crucial aspect of its strategy the KPA deploys one of the world’s largest engineer river crossing (ERC) forces consisting of approximately 12,000-18,000 troops equipped with approximately 2,200 S-type pontoon bridging sections, 760 K-61 and other specialized equipment. This article contains three organizational charts and four photographs. This article builds upon the articles concerning the North Korean Army's engineer river crossing capabilities during the Korean War which was presented in Vol. 1, Nos. 1-3, 5 and 7.

"A Look Inside a DPRK 'Mother Ship'," by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr.

On 22 December 2001 Japan Coast Guard (JCG) vessels identified, pursued and ultimately sunk a North Korean Infiltration vessel (a.k.a., "Mother Ship" or "Spy Ship"). Following extended diplomatic talks with China the JCG conducted a salvage operation in September 2002, raised the vessel (the interception and salvage operations are covered in Vol. 1, No. 1). The recovery operation and subsequent public displays have provided the best open source details on this interesting class of vessels. This article is a photo essay of eleven color photographs detailing the unique internal "wet well" of the salvaged infiltration vessel.

"Correction: BTR-60 in KPA Service," by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr.

A small correction concerning last issue’s BTR-60 article submitted by Mr. Alex van Riezen,

Additional Material

Editor’s Notes and detailed Endnotes are also provided.

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