UN sanctions have scaled back North Korea's winter military exercises: WSJ

北 유엔 제재로 동계훈련 규모 축소

North Korea is reportedly cutting back on its annual winter military drills, in an apparent sign UN sanctions are biting into the North's already fragile economy.
U.S officials also believe that international pressure aimed at straining the regime's resources is taking a heavy toll.
Park Soyun reports.
New insights suggest UN sanctions may be working effectively to decrease North Korea's winter military exercises that usually run from December through March.
Citing U.S. officials, the Wall Street Journal reports that North Korea's armed forces have scaled back their annual winter military exercises this year,.. a development they believe mirrors growing pressure from the international community.
It also reported that UN sanctions that restrict sending oil and refined petroleum products to North Korea have significantly weakened North Korea's economy, forcing the regime to conserve fuel, in turn scaling back on its military training.
An analyst for U.S.-based North Korea-monitoring website 38 North says the UN sanctions will have an effect on "ground force readiness" as "military units have to train to maintain their proficiency."
However, military analysts warn that sanctions haven't yet led to a substantial decline in military readiness, with no apparent signs the penalties are hindering the regime's drive to strengthen its nuclear and missile programs.
On top of that,... a military parade is reported to be held in Pyongyang early next month to project strength ahead of the Winter Olympics in South Korea.
However, a further sign of the discord within the North's military is the rise in the number of defections and internal executions.
A top U.S. commander said defections are happening in areas that are not generally seen, for example crossing the heavily-fortified Demilitarized Zone.
Park Soyun, Arirang News.

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