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Published : 2014-05-14 21:08
Updated : 2014-05-14 21:08

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has visited an Air Force unit in the western province of South Pyongan, calling on pilots to master modern flight training equipment and improve the existing gear, state media reported Thursday.

The field inspection at the Korean People’s Army’s Air and Anti-Air Force Unit 447 marks at least his third participation in Air Force events in less than a month. The young leader attended a combat flight contest at an air force base last week and guided a flight training exercise of an air force unit in late April.

The public outings appear to be in response to the recent large-scale air drill jointly staged by South Korea and the U.S., dubbed Max Thunder.

Tension remains high on the peninsula as Pyongyang has repeatedly threatened to conduct a fourth nuclear test.

During the trip, Kim toured the unit’s flight training room and observed airmen under training, the report said.

“While flying planes yourselves a lot, you should make exercises involving modern flight training equipment a part of your daily life and habits,” Kim was quoted as saying by the official Korean Central News Agency.

“There is a need to build better flight training equipment to embody the actual atmosphere on the ground.”

Those accompanying Kim included Hwang Pyong-so, director of the General Political Bureau of the Korean People’s Army; Ryom Chol-song, a deputy propaganda director of the bureau; and Col. Gen. Jo Kyong-chol, director of the Military Security Command.

By Shin Hyon-hee (heeshin@heraldcorp.com)

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