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North Korean leader oversees flying squads exercise — paper

October 30, 2014, 9:54 UTC+3 PYONGYANG
The supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army hailed the exercise and promoted some pilots right at the site “for high professionalism they have demonstrated,”
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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

© EPA/RODONG SINMUN

PYONGYANG, October 30. /TASS/. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has commanded a training exercise of flying squads of air defense and air force units, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Thursday.

Pilots were practicing takeoffs and landings of military aircraft, interception of air targets and aerobatic maneuvers.

The supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army hailed the exercise and promoted some pilots right at the site “for high professionalism they have demonstrated,” the paper said.

Kim Jong-un boarded a fighter jet, taking the pilot’s place and asking questions about combat possibilities of the aircraft, KCNA reported.

It said the North Korean leader also “discussed with Air Force and Air Defense command staff measures needed to be taken in conditions of modern warfare, and gave instructions to intensify the training of air defense and air force units, assigning new tasks”.

The news agency did not say where the training exercise had taken place.

This appearance comes after recent speculations about Kim’s health after his absence from public view for some time. On October 14, he made his first public appearance since September 3, to give “field guidance” at a newly built residential district, as KCNA reported on that day. Pictures showed him walking with a stick.

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un is recovering after a surgery on removal of a cyst from his ankle, the Yonhap news agency reported on Tuesday citing South Korea’s agency.

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