North Korea has built a large-scale military facility near its capital city for training purposes, the U.S.-based Radio Free Asia reported Thursday.
Citing Curtis Melvin, a researcher at the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University, RFA said the military facility situated south of Pyongyang is made up of a training ground with an obstacle course, vehicle driving training ground and firing range.
Melvin made the claim after analyzing Google Earth satellite imagery of the communist country.
At the center of the training grounds are a new administrative building and massive theater as well as houses that can accommodate soldiers and senior members of the facility, RFA said, hinting that the North may be planning a number of training exercises on the site.
The training grounds are very close to the existing practice range for artillery units.
Earlier this year, South Korean intelligence confirmed that the North has built a scaled-down replica of the South Korean presidential office at its Taewon-ri range and has moved various artillery pieces to the area.
It said at the time that some 50 artillery pieces, including 122 millimeter multiple launch rocket systems and towed howitzers, have been positioned a kilometer away from the Cheong Wa Dae replica.
Melvin told RFA the North has been building new military training facilities and structures at various locations, adding that this is an indication that Pyongyang is also making efforts to strengthen its conventional military capabilities in addition to building up its nuclear and missile systems. (Yonhap)