Chapter 125: Book 5 Chapter 4-4 China in flames: A fierce battle!
November 15, 2020, 15:20, 28 km north from the Shin Ui-joo area, North Korea
A large pillar of dirt rose in the air along with a loud explosion in the snow-covered mountainside filled with bare trees. Then the explosions began to move toward the pit where Battalion Commander Yang Boyu was hiding. He urgently shouted to the signalman next to him.
“If this keeps up, we will all die in the pit. Contact each company and order them to leave their pits and pull out from the area.”
Signalman Long Hungdi grabbed the radio and alerted each company through the Battalion’s communication line.
– This is Battalion headquarters! Each company is to vacate its pit and retreat. Everyone, retreat from the area!
While the signalman contacted each company, the bombs were getting closer.
“We are getting out of here as well. Everyone, follow me!”
Battalion Commander Yang Boyu opened the cover of his pit and swiftly jumped out. He began to high tail it down the mountainside. His aide-de-camp and observer both ran behind him, while the signalman also started to raise his upper body to the exit after he finished radioing the others.
The pit’s hole must have been too tiny for the radio equipment, and they got stuck at the opening. As signalman Long Hungdi swore under his breath and struggled to exit the pit, multiple cluster bombs fell near the area and caused an explosion. The power of the explosion and the shock wave that was delivered through the surface along with the shrapnel had buried Long Hungdi before he could scream. Long Hungdi’s guts spilled out and he was buried under the earth.
“Don’t look back! Just run!”
Battalion Commander Yang Boyu, who almost threw himself down the mountain while running, shouted as he looked back to his men.
The aide-de-camp and the observer, who were both weaving in and out avoiding the falling bombs, ran behind the Commander. When they were out of the drop zone, the three hid under a small rock, breathing heavily; then they looked at each other.
“What about the signalman?”
Battalion Commander Yang Boyu, who just caught his breath, asked his aide-de-camp.
“He . . . he didn’t make it, sir.”
“Damn it! Then we can’t contact our companies, can we? The bombs are falling precisely at areas we have dug pits right now. This means our position has been compromised!”
The aide-de-camp poked out his head from under the rock and looked at the pit where the 33rd Battalion’s soldiers were hiding. Just like the Commander had concluded, the area was full of smoke from the bomb, and bodies that are unrecognizable were strewn everywhere.
“It seems to be that way, sir! How could the Koreans have discovered our location? We hid in our pits all day and only moved cautiously at night.”
“Damn it! I guess we can’t go forward with the offensive we have planned for tonight.”
The plan was for the Chinese military to attack at 10:00 p.m. that night along the border.
“Let’s move down the mountain pass and try to find a way to contact our superior force there.”
The Battalion Commander caught his breath, looked for an escape route, and began to shout as he began to run again.
“Let’s go! Run!”
When the Battalion Commander gave that order, the three soldiers used every last ounce of their strength to run down the mountainside. When they reached the middle of the mountainside, the sound of a jet engine was heard approaching them and got louder. A moment later, a stream of white laser beams was sprayed from the sky.
The light beams shooting down from the sky moved past the three men.
The observer fell with a scream as he spat out blood while the aide-de-camp had his body torn to shreds. Battalion Commander Yang Boyu also was struck in the thigh and stomach and rolled down the mountainside.
That day, the fighter jets and bombers that were deployed from Sun-An Airforce Base and the Joint Offensive Fighter Wing conducted aerial raids along the border based on movements detected by the Landmark-I sonars. The newly used bunker-piercing cluster bombs had turned the pits used by the Chinese soldiers into their graves. Others who managed to escape their pits were gifted with laser beams coming from the sky and became food for the mountain carrion eaters.
* * *
November 16, 2020, 11:00, Yongsan-ku B2 bunker (ROK Military Joint Command Center), Seoul
Insider the Command Center, staff members from the Joint Chiefs of Staff and numerous military commanders were holding a briefing about the results of Operation Mole Extermination the day before.
“We will now conclude the briefing for the results of Operation Mole Extermination.”
The Operations Director completed his briefing, gave a salute, and returned to his seat.
“Great work! These Landmark-I land sonars worked very well in the field,” the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff said.
“Yes, sir. We were a bit worried because it was still at the experimental phase, but, fortunately, it was more effective than we expected,” the Operations Director answered.
“When this war is over, we must reward the researcher in the underground research facility, don’t you think?”
“I agree, sir.”
When the briefing was over, one of the aides-de-camp went up to Chairman Kang Ui-sik and quietly spoke to him.
“Sir! Our guests from the North have just arrived at the bunker.”
The Chairman looked at his watch to check the time and answered.
“My, how time flies. So where are they right now?”
“They have made it past the entrance and are headed toward the drawing room, sir.”
“Yes, I see.”
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Kang Ui-sik got up from his seat and spoke to the Generals seated at the table.
“Our guests from the North have just arrived, so please politely welcome them. Let’s all head to the drawing room.”
The 30 Generals all headed to the drawing room with Chairman Kang Ui-sik in the lead. Then a few moments later, all of them, excluding those on duty, arrived at the room to greet their guests from the North.
A few minutes later, the automatic doors opened and 20 or so soldiers entered. Among the group was a General in a North Korean uniform. He smiled brightly and spoke first.
“How do you do? I am the Democratic Republic of Korea’s Vice-chief of Staff General Choi Ho-il.”
He had a frail form and seemed to be around 70, but his voice was loud like that of a soldier who had gone through hell and back.
“Greetings. I am Korea’s Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff General Kang Ui-sik.”
Chairman Kang Ui-sik spoke in a kind tone and moved toward General Choi Ho-il for a handshake.
“My, it is a great honor to finally meet you in person. I have heard a great deal about you, Comrade Kang.”
“Hahaha, is that so?”
“Of course. Aren’t you the one annihilating those treacherous Chinese?”
“My, you flatter me too much.”
While the two men were greeting each other with a handshake like old friends, an officer standing behind General Kang Ho-il spoke loudly.
“How do you do, sir? I am Lieutenant General Kim Ki-yoon, Commander of the 620th Corps.”
Lieutenant General Kim Ki-yoon saluted after introducing himself.
“Hello. I hope we can count on you, General Kim Ki-yoon.”
“No, sir. We hope we can be of use to you.”
“Haha, I understand. I would like to introduce our commanders as well.”
General Choi Hoi-il and Lieutenant General Kim Ki-yoon shook hands with all the military commanders of the Joint Chiefs of staff and greeted them. After introductions were over, the men drank tea and discussed their opinions about the joint operations between North and South Korean militaries.
* * *
November 16, 2020, 13:00, Yongsan-ku B2 bunker (ROK Military Joint Command Center), Seoul
General Choi Ho-il and Lieutenant General Kim Ki-yoon ate lunch at the mess hall inside the bunker. They then visited the Command Center, which can be considered the heart of the Joint Chief of Staff headquarters. The numerous screens and high-tech equipment within 1,800 square feet made the two North Korean Generals’ mouths open in awe.
“General Choi Ho-il, sir! Doesn’t this look like a scene out of an American movie, sir?”
Lieutenant General Kim Ki-youn, Commander of the 620th Artillery Corps, was wide-eyed as he spoke.
“Yes, I did not believe it at first when Party Secretary Kim Young-chul told me, but apparently, it was all true.”
The two Generals from the North Korean military, wide-eyed and in awe, looked around the room like a child. Chairman Kang Ui-sik spoke while smiling.
“This place can be considered as the heart of the Korean military. We are connected to every military force through a network and can monitor their status in real time.”
“What are those symbols showing up on the screen there?”
The screen the Lieutenant General was pointing at was the main screen inside the Command Center.
“I can explain that one.”
Major General Oh Man-il, the Center Chief stepped forward and spoke.
“The main screen is showing a digital map of the battle at three Northeastern provinces. Those symbols represent the Chinese military numbers and types along with the position of our military as well. If you select each symbol you will be able to see more details.”
“You had the Chinese within your grasp this whole time. This is amazing.”
General Choi Ho-il, who was looking at the screen, continued his praise while in awe.
“Does that mean our North Korean military is also being analyzed and marked here as well?”
The Center Chief Oh Man-il became flustered at the unexpected question and hesitated to answer. Chairman Kang Ui-sik laughed and answered instead.
“Yes, a month ago, the positions of the North Korean military filled the map as well.”
When Chairman Kang Ui-sik told the truth, General Choi Ho-il had an uneasy look on his face before smiling again. The Center Chief Brigadier General Oh Man-il continued his presentation to avoid the awkwardness in the room.
“This Command Center is also able to video call with forces up to a company level out in the field. The 620th Artillery Corps’ men will be able to do the same once we provide them the equipment.”
Lieutenant General Kim Ki-yoon, Commander of the 620th Artillery Corps, asked again surprised.
“Yes. Would you like to video call with a subordinate force as a test?”
“Yes, let’s do it.”
Lieutenant General Kim Ki-yoon agreed out of curiosity.
“We will begin the connection now.”
When the Center Chief signaled to the Communications Operator, he manipulated the console a few times and then answered.
“We have connected with the 1st Artillery Unit from the 544th Battalion under the 620th Artillery Corps guarding sector 8-3 on the screen 5, sir.”
The number 5 screen showed North Korea’s 1st Artillery Unit Commander Captain Kang Man-soo on the screen standing awkwardly. When the screen showed Corps Commander Kim Ki-yoon, he immediately saluted.
“How do you do, sir? This is 1st Artillery Unit Commander Captain Kang Man-soo on the line.”
“Yes! I see you’re hard at work.”
“Yes, sir. We will do our best.”
“Don’t bother the South Korean military too much and do your best for our Chairman Kim Jong-un.”
“Understood, sir. We will do our best, Commander.”
In truth, both Lieutenant General Kim Ki-yoon and Captain Kang Man-soo had video called for the first time and must have felt awkward. They only exchanged a few words and ended the call.
* * *
November 16, 2020, 13:30 (China standard time 12:30), X-2 bunker, Beijing Province area, China
Inside the X-2 bunker Conference Room, General Chiu Li Jiang Ji was having a discreet meeting with seven high-ranking members of the Politburo Standing Committee instead of the military Commanders.
“Isn’t this the only way in our situation?”
Prime Minister Li Keqiang asked again amidst the sullen atmosphere in the room.
“Considering our current tactics, this is the only way.”
“Don’t you think the losses are too great?”
The Chairman of the Politburo Standing Committee, Zhang De Jiang, who was known for his cautiousness, spoke.
“Respected members of the Committee! We must face reality. Attacking along the border and raiding the Korean military’s transporting forces will only delay their advances. With China’s military strength right now, we can’t retake the three Northeastern provinces, let alone stop them from entering Beijing.”
General Chiu Li Jiang Ji stood up from his seat and spoke in a louder tone.
“This is the time for us to take a stance. If our plan succeeds, then as Chairman Zhang De Jiang has said, it won’t be a total loss for us. If we obtain the numerous scientific technology Korea has after we take over the peninsula, then we will be able to double or even triple our profits.”
President Xi Jin Ping, who was silently listening, softly called General Chiu Li Jiang Ji.
“General Chiu Li Jiang Ji.”
“Yes, Mr. President.”
“Can you take responsibility for those words?”
“I will with my own life, sir.”
“Very well. I will make the decision with the committee after discussing the matter.”
“Thank you. Mr. President, sir! You must decide as soon as possible if you would.”
“I understand. This is a matter that puts the entire nation of China at stake. There’s no need to delay.”