18th Nuclear Chemical Defense Battalion

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Last Updated: March 1, 2003
Other Name: 제18핵화학방위대대
Location: Sŏg'am-ri (석암리), P'yŏngwŏn-kun (평원군), South P'yŏng'an Province (평안남도), North Korea
Subordinate To: Department of Operations (작전부), Nuclear Chemical Defense Bureau (핵화학방위국), General Staff Department (인민군총참모부), Ministry of People's Armed Forces (인민무력부)
Size: Unknown
Facility Status: Unknown

The 18th Nuclear Chemical Defense Battalion is reportedly an active duty unit, as is the 17th in Onjŏng-ri, Sŏngch'ŏn-kun, South P'yŏng'an Province. The 18th Nuclear Chemical Defense Battalion consists of six companies. According to the Segye Ilbo, there are two active duty battalions and six reserve battalions. Yi Chung Kuk, a defector who claims to have served with the 18th Battalion, has diagrammed the locations of Factory No. 279 and the No. 398 Research Institute, shown below, in the "Sŏg'am-ri Recruit Training Center Facilities."

Legend:
1. Sŏg'am-ri Reservoir
2. Direction of P'yŏng'wŏn
3. Mobile repair facility area
4. Factory No. 279
5. 1st Company, 18th Nuclear Chemical Defense Battalion
6. 4th Company, 18th Nuclear Chemical Defense Battalion
7. 5th Company, 18th Nuclear Chemical Defense Battalion
8. Fuel storage, garage
9. Tunnel
10. Ordinance warehouse
11. Chemical storage
12. 3rd Company, 18th Nuclear Chemical Defense Battalion
13. 6th Company, 18th Nuclear Chemical Defense Battalion, and education hall
14. 2nd Company, 18th Nuclear Chemical Defense Battalion
15. Vehicle repair facility
16. Mess hall
17. Command section
18. Communications facility
19. Dispensary
20. Food warehouse
21. Exercise grounds
22. Guardhouse
23. No. 398 Institute
24. Windbreak trees
25. Sŏg'am-ri, P'yŏng'wŏn county, South P'yŏng'an Province
26. Windbreak trees [Note: 27 is not numbered, but is referred to by the arrow in the lower right-hand corner (順安), the direction of Sun'an.]
28. Chemical complex
29. Sŏg'am-ri, Recruit Training Center Facilities

Yi Ch'ung Kuk has also provided details into the organization of the 18th Nuclear and Chemical Defense Battalion, which may be similar to the 17th and other units held in reserve. According to Yi, the battalion was composed of a nuclear/chemical reconnaissance company (1st Company), while the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th companies were described as decontamination units. The 6th company was responsible for flame-throwers and presumably obscurant smokes (also referred to as "Smoke Screen Company"). The latter had once been located in Sadong District, P'yongyang, and was transferred to the 18th Battalion in June 1993, also according to Yi.

Sources:
[1] Yi Ch'ung Kuk, "Assignment to Antinuclear/Antiatomic Analysis Team," in the book "Kim Chong-il's Nuclear Weapons and Army," Kin Seinichi no Kaku to Guntai in Japanese, 21 September 1994, pp. 101-110;
[2] Chang Chun Ik, Pukhan Haek-Missile Chŏnjaeng, (Seoul: Sŏmundang, 1999), pp. 360-364;
[3] Sŏn Chong Ku, "Puk Haekhwahakpang'wiguk: Haeksaenghwahangmugi Ch'ongjihwi," Segye Ilbo,
[4] 21 May 1997, p. 17, in KINDS, www.kinds.or.kr.

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