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Until the Soviets' "liberation" of what became North Korea, the only indigenous pilots were those who had served in the IJAAF and these were outcast as "enemies of the people" and "were not asked" to join the fledgling air arm.
These were the former IJAAF's large Heijo airfield at Pyongyang, the abandoned IJNAF depot at Wonsan on Korea's east coast, and the nearby Yonpo airfield.
During World War II, the "air section" of the arsenal overhauled IJAAF aircraft, assembled aircraft arriving in "kit form," and manufactured replacement parts, including some engines.
Beginning in May 1948, the nascent ROKA formed its first air unit using former IJAAF aircraft--mostly a handful of Ki-9 "Spruce" training biplanes.
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- IJ Paderewski