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Korean People's Army Navy - Operations

Soon after the North Korean invasion of June 25, 1950, the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) submarine chaser Bak Du San (PC 701 discovered a North Korean 1,000-ton steamer with hundreds of troops embarked off the east coast in the vicinity of the South Korean port of Pusan. The ROKN combatant sank the Communist ship, perhaps preventing seizure of the one port that would become vital to the UN forces fighting ashore.

In the early hours of July 2, as the allied fleets converged on Korea, U.S. cruiser Juneau, British cruiser Jamaica, and British frigateBlack Swan discovered 4 torpedo boats and 2 motor gunboats of the North Korean navy that had just finished escorting ten craft loaded with ammunition south along the coast in the Sea of Japan. The outgunned North Korean torpedo boats turned and gamely pressed home a torpedo attack, but before they could launch their weapons, the Anglo-American flotilla ended the threat; only one torpedo boat survived U.S.-British naval gunfire to flee the scene. After this one-sided battle and for the remainder of the war, North Korean naval leaders decided against contesting control of the sea with the UN navies. The surviving units of the North Korean navy eventually took refuge in Chinese and Soviet ports.

During July, August, and early September, UN combatants, especially ROKN ships, were needed to disrupt the enemy's seaborne attempts to resupply the fast-advancing North Korean ground forces. Early in July, ROKN minesweeper YMS 513 sank three Communist supply craft at Chulpo on the southwestern coast and on the other side of the peninsula Juneau located and destroyed the ammunition vessels that figured in the 2 July sea battle. On the 22nd of July, YMS 513 sank another three enemy supply vessels near Chulpo. Five days later, submarine chasers PC 702 and PC 703, newly-provided by the United States, steamed up the west coast and sank twelve enemy sampans loaded with ammunition west of Inchon. During the first week of August, YMS 302 and other ROKN units destroyed another thirteen Communist logistic craft on the west coast.

Combat action was especially heavy on the south coast during the last week of August, when the North Korean command was desperate to reinforce and resupply their troops trying to penetrate the Pusan Perimeter. Motor minesweepers YMS 503, YMS 504,YMS 512, and YMS 514, and PC 702 sank numerous enemy craft, many of whose embarked troops drowned, and captured many others. At the end of the month, the South Korean navy frustrated an enemy attempt to seize the port of Pohang on the Pusan Perimeter with troop-laden small boats. Finally, as the UN navies converged on Inchon for the amphibious assault that would turn the tide in the fall of 1950, PC 703 sank an enemy mine laying craft and three other vessels in waters off the Yellow Sea port.

Having secured control of the sea off Korea, the UN command could proceed with exploitation of that strategic advantage. With little fear from North Korean counteraction at sea, UN naval forces under Admiral C. Turner Joy deployed U.S. marine and army troops and South Korean soldiers ashore at Inchon on 15 September 1950.

The Northern Limit Line of the Korean Peninsula's west coast was drawn up by US-led forces after the Korean War. It has been the site of short but bloody naval clashes between the two Koreas in 1999, 2002 and 2009. North Korea has never accepted the border as valid. The South has adopted that and claims that is a maritime border. But, strictly speaking, according to international law it's not. In fact, there is no maritime boundary in the area so that's why there's this position from the North. They don't recognize and contest this line.

In the early 1990s the navy seldom operated outside the North Korean military exclusion zone, a zone extending some fifty kilometers off North Korea's coast from which it sought to exclude operations by any other navy. Although seaborne infiltration attempts into South Korea are believed to have largely stopped by the 1990s, testimony of North Korean spies apprehended by South Korea in early 1992 indicated successful infiltration continues. Clashes with the South Korean navy and harassment of South Korean fishing boats once occurred with regularity, but such incidents were rare in as of mid-1993.

On November 20, 1998, a North Korean vessel was detected and captured off the waters of the Kangwha Island in an attempt to infiltrate spies, who subsequently escaped to the North. On December 17, 1998, one semi-submersible under control of the Nampo Liaison Office was sunk by the ROK Navy while trying to infiltrate the coast near Yosu. The infiltration was detected by night surveillance equipment of our guard units prior to the infiltration, and a navy-air force joint operation sank the semi-submersible about 56 miles south of Yokji-do while it was making its way back to the North in the early morning of December 18.

Between June 7 and June 15, 1999, twenty North Korean fishing boats and seven to eight patrol boats crossed the NLL in the name of "fishing and protecting one's fishing rights." They were met by the ROK Navy which tried to block their intrusion. The two sides confronted each other for eight days. At around 9:28 p.m. on June 15, North Korean patrol boats fired first at ROK Navy vessels. The two sides exchanged gunfire. As a result of this battle, a number of North Korean vessels and persons aboard the vessels were seriously damaged or hurt; this included the sinking of one motor torpedo boat. They retreated back to North Korea.

The sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan near the maritime divide on 26 March 2010 killed 46 sailors and was blamed on a North Korean torpedo. South Korean officials initially did not rule out the possibility of a North Korean attack in the sinking of one of the South's naval vessels. About half the more than 100 people on board the ship were rescued. An explosion damaged the ship in a historically tense disputed border area. At 9:45pm local time, the South's ship was passing southwest of South Korea's Baekryoung island when it began sinking due to damage on its bottom side. Other vessels were mobilized and dozens of people were rescued from the distressed ship. Baekryoung island is located in waters west of the Korean peninsula, very close to what is called the Northern Limit Line. The maritime border was designated by the United Nations at the signing of a 1953 armistice to halt fighting in the Korean War. A North Korean submarine team left a North Korean naval base two or three days before the attack, and returned home two or three days after the ship was sunk.

North Korea warned in May 2015 that it will strike without notice at South Korean naval vessels that intrude into its territorial waters near the disputed border in the Yellow Sea. The warning, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, alleged that 17 South Korean speed boats had intruded into the North's territorial waters in the first week of this month under the pretext of intercepting Chinese fishing boats.

North and South Korea exchanged accusations after navy ships from each side opened fire on the other May 23, 2014, raising tensions along their contested maritime border. North Korea angrily denied its navy fired on South Korean ships near their de facto sea border, and instead claimed it was the victim of preemptive shelling. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said a North Korean ship fired at a patrol boat near the disputed border, known as the Northern Limit Line. The JCS said the boat was not hit and returned fire that also did not hit anything.

A South Korean navy boat fired warning shots 30 June 2015 after a North Korean patrol vessel crossed onto the southern side of the tense Yellow Sea border, according to Seoul. South Korea's military said the North Korean boat quickly retreated to its side of the so-called Northern Limit Line off the countries' western coast following the warning shots.

Korean People's Army Navy - Early History

After the end of The World War II it was created in Seishin Southern maritime defense area. P. X .Kan, now president of the Korean International Association "Unity", notes that the Soviet sailors of the garrison " pinned serious problems in helping to establish and strengthen the navy of the DPRK ."

The North Korean Navy was created on June 5, 1946 as the Maritime Security Force , headquartered in the port of Wonsan and began operations in July. In December 1946, the naval forces were renamed the Marine Patrols , and for more efficient control of the naval forces, the headquarters was transferred to the capital, Pyongyang. In June 1947, the Marine Patrol Academy was established in Wonsan. ) to train officers for the fleet. Initially, the naval forces were subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior, and from 20 August 1949 they were subordinate to the Department of National Security. After the torpedo boat division was formed on August 29, the patrol force became known as the Naval Forces, a date celebrated as Navy Day until it was changed in 1993 to June 5.

The USSR provided assistance to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the creation of its national fleet: ships and boats were transferred, the institution of Soviet naval advisers was introduced. According to Admiral V.M. Grishanov, who in 1947-1950. was deputy chief, and then chief of the political department of the 5th Navy, in 1949-1954. The Soviet Union transferred part of its warships and vessels to North Korea (a total of 68 units), including 37 torpedo boats, 9 minesweepers, and 8 submarine hunters. Most of them , apparently, were transferred after the 1953 armistice. According to other more reliable data, until 1950 the DPRK fleet was transferred: 1 minesweeper (most likely BTShch pr.53 - T-3 "Provodnik" in March 1953) , 4 patrol ships (there is information that one of them was SKR pr.39 - "Zarnitsa" ), 6 transports, 10 torpedo boats (at least five of the G-5 type) , 3 small (project OD-200) and 1 great hunter. In the naval schools of the USSR and in educational institutions in North Korea, Soviet teachers trained personnel for the new fleet. On March 1, 1950, 612 naval officers and 640 sailors were trained for the Navy. In particular, in the Pacific Naval Institute named after S.O. Makarov, North Korean crews of G-5 torpedo boats were trained in Vladivostok . Among the Koreans was the future Hero of the DPRK Kim Gong Ok, who received the title of Hero for the attack on the invaders' cruisers on July 2, 1950.

All issues of building the Korean fleet were discussed with Kim Il Sung and his assistants. From the Soviet side, the commander of the Soviet task force, Admiral G.V. Zhukov and V.M. Grishanov, took part in their discussion. According to the latter's recollections, "decisions were made quickly and then actively implemented in practice." In 1948, the commander of the Pacific Fleet, Vice Admiral A.S. Frolov, came to Seisin to discuss the creation of the DPRK navy. He took part in resolving issues related to the withdrawal of Soviet troops and the transfer of a number of Soviet warships under the command of Korean naval officers. Soviet instructors remained in North Korea, assisting the North Koreans in mastering Soviet technology.

On December 25, 1948, the withdrawal of Soviet troops from North Korea was fully completed. But several dozen Soviet warships and ships of the Pacific Fleet remained in North Korean ports. On March 18, 1949, at a meeting of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks), the Soviet-Korean Protocol No. 1949 "On the temporary abandonment of Soviet naval units in the Korean port of Seishin" was adopted. Article 1 of the Protocol stated: The government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics agrees to satisfy the request of the government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and temporarily, in view of the presence of CTTTA troops in South Korea, to leave units of its naval forces in the port of Seishin, and the government of the USSR assumes all the costs associated with the maintenance of these military - sea units ". For its part, the government of the DPRK undertook "to provide the government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in the port of Seishin with the port equipment and premises necessary to meet the needs of the basing of these naval units ."

On the basis of this Protocol and the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR of February 24, 1949, No. 835-319ss, it was ordered to ensure sea communications on the territory of North Korea until further notice to leave ... 73 units of naval ships. A total of 3753 military personnel and 264 civilian employees should be left behind . These remaining 73 Soviet ships were based as follows: 65 in the port of Seishin, including torpedo boats, anti-submarine ships and other ships, 2 in the port of Genzan and 6 in the port of Racine.

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Page last modified: 30-06-2021 11:42:39 ZULU