North Korean Tanks: Not Battle Tested, Kim Jong-un Approved

Jack Hoyes /
Jack Hoyes /

On March 14th, North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un’s state-run media, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), announced that the Dear Leader personally drove their newest tanks as they began to prepare for ground war. Experts believe he has his eyes set on conflict with South Korea.

During the event allegedly held the day before, Kim proclaimed they were the “most powerful tanks in the world.” He also “expressed great satisfaction over the fact that the new-type main battle tank successfully demonstrated its very excellent striking power and maneuverability,” according to KCNA.

The network painted the scene, “He [Kim] said it is the fact to be proud of that the KPA is equipped with the most powerful tanks in the world. After reviewing the tank crews, [Kim] mounted a new-type main battle tank, seized the control lever, and drove the tank himself, adding to the high militant spirit of the tankmen of our army and deeply instilling firm outlooks on the enemy and war into them. All the officers and men of the tank units raised stormy cheers of hurrah, looking up to the invincible and iron-willed brilliant commander.”

Accompanying photos allegedly showed Kim driving a tank, spending time with the soldiers, and observing military exercises. While the photos seem accurate, the South Korean paper Korea JoongAng Daily suggests that these tanks were previously seen in 2020 as they celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Korean Workers Party.

No matter how new or old the technology may be, the message remains the same- Kim wants the people of North Korea to believe he and the nation are prepared to win anywhere. He has said on numerous occasions that reunification of the Korean peninsula was out of the question, and he did not want war but also wouldn’t back down from it. Justifying his positioning with poor explanations, he insisted that the military needed to be prepared for his order to occupy, defeat, and take back South Korea.

These tanks might have Kim’s approval, but neither he nor his perpetually staved military has been battle-tested in over 50 years. As we have seen, arms and warfare have significantly advanced since then, and Kim is still a good 20 years late.