Feb. 20 (UPI) -- North Korea may have been constructing a new operating base for anti-aircraft guns near the city of Kaesong, but South Korea's military said Monday training grounds adjacent to the base may not be a recent development.
According to commercial satellite imagery dating from Oct. 5, 2016, the site near Kaesong includes a base headquarters, an education hall, barracks, restaurants and residences for military officers, Radio Free Asia reported Saturday.
The site includes a Hardened Artillery Site, or HARTS, that allows North Korea military hardware to be protected in mountainous terrain, and includes submarine and missile patrol boat bases in tunnels.
Curtis Melvin of the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University told RFA the North Koreans "have these things all over the country."
"This is just one of the newest ones," Melvin said.
The base and large-scale military training ground are under the supervision of Korean People's Army Unit 1344, a combat force Kim Jong Un visited last November.
"In highly turbulent conditions, a readiness to fight must prevail during waking and sleeping hours, and all must wholeheartedly take part in training," Kim told the unit in 2016.
A South Korean military official who spoke to local news service Money Today on the condition of anonymity said the training facility has "tactical" significance for North Korea.
The official also said the adjacent training grounds were built well before the new military base was constructed.
There are at least 12 HARTS locations in North Korea, according to RFA.