North Korea awarded medals along with the title of hero to intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and mobile launch vehicles (TELs), not to people or factories.
"The Standing Committee of the Supreme People's Assembly awarded the Hwasongpo-17 Launcher No. 321 the title of Hero of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the First Class Order of the National Flag," North Korea's Korean Central News Agency said.
The launch vehicle means a mobile launch vehicle.
It is a device that has evolved from shooting missiles from a fixed position and has recently increased mobility and survivability by giving movement and direction changing functions.
In the form of a long truck loaded with missiles, it moves to the desired launch site (Transporter), erects the launch tube (Erector), and then launches (Launcher).
North Korea used a TEL with the number '321' on it when it launched the Hwasong-17 on the 18th, and gave this TEL a hero title.
However, in the commemorative photo reported on this day, '322' TEL came out, but the 321 that had already launched the missile had an empty missile loading compartment, so it seems that the 322 loaded with the missile was mobilized.
It is difficult to find a precedent when North Korea gave the title of hero to something other than a person.
As a result, it is analyzed that the purpose is to praise it for succeeding in improving the mobility of North Korea's ICBM TEL, which has been questioned so far.
When North Korea launched the Hwasong-17 on March 24, it was fired from a place about 1km away from Sinri, south of Sunan Airfield.
It was the southern point of the private runway at Sunan Airfield.
And on the 18th, it was captured that it moved north from the civilian runway and launched from the taxiway section before the military runway appeared.
It is about 4 km from the launch site on March 24, and if you calculate the distance from Sinri, you have moved more than 5 km.
It can be seen as a distance of only 4-5 km, but if several missiles for camouflage are placed in this section, it may be difficult for South Korea and the United States to determine the location of the real missile until right before launch in case of emergency.
Accordingly, it is interpreted that Kim Jong-un greatly appreciates the improvement of TEL mobility as it is directly related to the improvement of missile survivability.
In addition, there seems to be a purpose to show off that the fuselage is a complete type that can freely move and shoot the Hwasong-17 type called a 'monster missile' with the world's longest length.
The Hwaseong-17 type TEL has 11 axles and 22 wheels.
The TEL of the existing ICBM Hwaseong-15, which was estimated to be about 21m in length, had 9 axles and 18 wheels, but it has more wheels than this.
North Korea also announced the promotion of soldiers related to the Hwasong-17. Experts say that it is also unusual for Kim Jong-un to directly promote the promotion of lieutenant-level officers as the chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Party. It is a great evaluation.
Regarding the promotion of Jang Chang-ha, director of the National Defense Science Institute and Kim Jeong-sik, vice-director of the Workers' Party of Korea's military industry department, to general (four stars), it was interpreted that they were given the responsibility to lead the development of North Korea's armed forces in the future.
It is also meaningful that the generational change in the military has begun following Park Jeong-cheon, secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea and vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, who is the number one in the North Korean military, and Ri Pyong-cheol, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea, who is a leading figure in nuclear and missile development.
It is predicted that Jang Chang-ha, Kim Jeong-shik, and Yu Jin (former head of the Department of Munitions Industry) will be the next generation to replace Park Jeong-cheon and Ri Byung-cheol.
(Photo = Korean Central News Agency, Chosun Central TV screen, Yonhap News)