Chapter One: The Beginning
I was only nineteen. The totalitarian war-state North Korea expects you to be in the army and serve ten years. I came from the Suburbs of Kaesong, my mother died when I was one, so it was me and dad living for ourselves. After graduating school, I joined the army in 2023, and joined a regiment immediately. Skip to 2025, This was my second year in the army. . In the army, you pretty much have back breaking work to do, like repairing fences and drills and parades, monitoring crime, anything you were told to do, and I was in the 205th people’s army, a regiment of 10,500 men. One day, after we repaired some railroad line, we heard that some guy defected to the South, who was of high rank, like three ranks under Kim Jong-Un. The supreme leader himself looked visibly angry in a army parade in Pyongyang’s center, where the typical parades happen. And in his hour long speech, he hinted he wanted to not have implications to get the army official back. After the parade, my regiment and I marched to Kim Jong-Il square to honor the late leader. I usually did not mind doing this, as I was taught to always honor and respect the dear leaders. It was always my goal to go to the place where his dead body was encased, to honor the god himself. So after, when we were released to do what we wanted, I overheard a soldier and a higher ranked soldier talking about how tensions were high between the president of the South and Kim. So as I turned my gear in and went to go get a few drinks in. I noticed the same person being escorted by five high ranked officers, as they were obviously mad at him. I ignored it and got drunk that night. The next day, I was ordered by the general to be on high guard for the next few days, as tensions were rising between the South and us. Finally, We watched Kim deliver a speech on television. “We order the return of our high ranked officer. You will get $100,000 won for the return, if you return him unharmed. You have four days to return him, or face the consequences.” He said in a broadcast to the South. So two days passed, and I was taken with the regiment to the border, and I was to be ready for an engagement with the Southern army in two days. The leaders of my regiment began to pass out our guns and grenades, equipment for the potential upcoming battle into the South. On the night before the deadline, we spotted troops hanging out on the other side of the fence in their treeline.
They had machine guns set up and pointed at our side, and soldiers were watching us. They were all ready for a engagement, which told us the South was not going to return the ranked defector.
The next morning, I woke at zero six hundred and thirty hours, and it was barely light out. We listened on the radio for any orders from the supreme leader. About zero seven hundred and twenty five am, we heard a sound over our radios, a deep and soothing voice.
“This is your supreme leader, Kim Jong-Un. The neighbors down south have not done their part in returning the defector back to our borders. You guys are tasked with punishing them. GO and get it done. Kim out!”
Within seconds, the loud cackling of artillery begun to go off a few miles away from us, and we watched the rockets flying over, and only seconds later, the rockets landed on the other side and explosions begun happening on the other side.
“This is going to be great,” I said, and I stood up, and started smiling.
This man, Park Gye-Hun said “brother, this isn't good. this is war. No coming back from this.” and then a loud hiss came from behind us.
“Look!” someone yelled from behind us.
We saw a rocket flying over our head, and someone pointed out that it was a nuclear missile, and it was heading right for Seoul. We watched it carry itself very fast to the destination, which took under 5 minutes. The explosion was loud, and we could barely see the mushroom cloud.
The artillery bombardment was still going on for at least another 40 minutes, which ended at 0800 hours, and we looked at the other soldiers on the other side. They were ready, and had guns ready to go for battle.
“We invade at 0900 hours,” said our captain, after receiving orders from the general radio.
We readied ourselves, and prepared to engage in a battle. Others were nervous, while others were shaking with excitement as they were ready to go into a battle. Then a younger soldier came to me, and asked me if i had any advice for killing.
“You know how to shoot. Don’t be afraid to shoot if you see an enemy.”
So the hour passed, we could hear sirens all over the border, and still see smoke, and we could hear sirens from the other side. We watched the other side set up defenses around their treeline, and we prepped ourselves.
So an hour after the bombardment ended, our group of 1500 men was called on.
“You may go!” and we rushed towards the fences. We had to cross over the fence area and go right into the treeline to face the southern troops in the forest.
The enemy fired first, a shot that knocked down a soldier by me. He died instantly and I kept going.
Bullets begun to fly, but we had orders to not shoot until crossing the fence line, so we had to wait and be sitting ducks. It wasn't a machine gun shooting, it was just soldiers sitting and shooting the semi-autos at us. I waited on the fence to be broken and then finally we heard the special word.
“CHARGE!” I heard.
And our men came rushing towards the Southern treeline. The enemy machine guns began to unleash the hailstorm of bullets on us, and men begun dropping like flies. I got into a little ditch, where i had enough room to hide and catch my breath.
Jheyong, a buddy of mine landed by me. “Jong, there is two machine gunners ahead of us, one on my right, one on your left. I can get the one on the right. You want to help me and kill the other one?” He asked. So I agreed, and readied my ariska.
We both got them in our sights of our guns, as others were still running.
“Fire!” I said. I pulled the trigger, and the guy didn't fall, but the other dude did.
Instead, he looked at us and begun spraying. The bullets whizzed by me, hitting the ground in front of me, and by me.
“That obviously didn't work” I said, trying to not laugh.
Suddenly, a loud bang happened by us, and dust and earth flew everywhere. The other person was killed, so I grabbed his name tag and put it in my pocket. I then grabbed my gun. I opened fire and managed to kill the machine gunner. Others were managing to push into the treeline, and they were gaining control of the left of the treeline area. I rushed with a few others towards the line, and we saw a few soldiers. I shot at 2 of them and killed both and we pushed to the line of trees. I grabbed a grenade from my pack, and threw it at a setup area of the enemy where they had men defending the left side. The explosion knocked out the defender nest and we started to reach other men as we started to clear out the treeline. A second explosion killed 5 other men of ours, But the area was ours. We killed 120 men. And we lost 200 of our own.
A few hours later, soldiers from other groups reached us, informing us that the entire treeline up to Panmunjom was captured successfully without going over 4,500 deaths. Panmunjom was still a battle currently in progress.
We celebrated by hanging the high ranking officer who was in charge of the post we had captured above fire. We waited for more instructions after that, which they were to stay in our area, and do not engage the enemy, until further instruction.
The next day, we were informed to begin advancement towards Seoul. Two army groups would be invading the South. We were army group A, which would drive to Seoul to take any remains and look for the officer who refused to come back.
So Army group B would drive straight south, to the Busan area. My group would combine with 25 other regiments to form an army of 100,000 men. In the south though, they dispatched over 250,000 men to intercept us, overall. So as we marched through land, easily gaining land, we reached Seoul after 5 days of fighting, with weak and non consistent resistance.
So then we met the Southern men about 5 kilometers from the city, which was still smoking from the strike and they were ready to fight. They had tanks and soldiers waiting on the road and around it. We figured out that they would probably have artillery a few kilometers back, and that they would probably strike at any moment.
“Shit, they finally sent men to fight us. Said one of the men with me in our truck.
Suddenly, a loud hail of artillery begun going off, and explosions began pounding the road. An explosion then took out the truck by us.
“Get off! We need to spread out!” yelled the truck leader. Explosions were pounding our advance, and we needed to advance forward with little casualties.
The tanks were let to go ahead, but the infantry decided to take a different approach. The southern troops were forming a defensive perimeter around the tanks, in a “C” formation, as if it was a English C. They guarded the artillery and the road to Seoul. So we decided to split into several groups and attack the enemy like that. So my group consisted of 40 men, and we were going to take one group guarding 5 huge anti-tank guns, which were in a few houses that were guarded by at least 70 men. We were unsure if we would actually take them, so we took our chances.
As the battle begun unfolding, We marched 40 meters and finally attacked the defenders we had aimed for.. I climbed into a tree, and started shooting at the houses which were guarding the tank guns. But the men guarding spotted me and started shooting at me. My groups also fell back as we begun to fail at our objective. Everyone else were doing overall bad as well. As I was falling back and down from the tree, a bullet tore through my abdomen. I was in excruciating pain, and fell down 2 meters to the ground.
“Help! Please! Someone!” I said, as I started drifting off.
Needless to say, the battle had failed, and someone was brave enough to help me. We reached our forces that were falling back. As I was being carried off, I noticed that we did little to no damage to the defenders. We had suffered almost 17,000 losses, and our confidence fell.
I unfortunately had to go to a hospital for my wound and I would have to wait 5 weeks to return to combat. When I returned, it was August, and we had just lost another battle. At this point, the war was looking like a failure.
The war was at a stalemate, and was not going to work. “It has been announced the UN and the United States will reinforce the south with weapons, and vehicles. They will be armed with guns, tanks, and planes. They will literally probably win.” said a captain, after me joining the small battalion stationed by our post. We were building trenches and everything, to keep the enemy away or to throw them off. The eastern offensive meant for Busan was also faltered in the 5 weeks I was gone. This war could turn to be interesting.