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North Korea's Kim Jong Un visits special assassination squad

The North Korean leader described Seoul’s politicians as "human filth" while providing field guidance to his troops.

By
Elizabeth Shim
Kim Jong Un watches North Korean soldiers of Korean People's Army Unit 525 train during a recent visit. Photo by KCTV
Kim Jong Un watches North Korean soldiers of Korean People's Army Unit 525 train during a recent visit. Photo by KCTV

SEOUL, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Kim Jong Un inspected a North Korean unit specializing in the assassination of South Korean politicians while commanding troops to cultivate soldiers who, like "phoenixes," rise from the ashes.

The North Korean leader's visit to a special operation battalion is the first military-related inspection Kim has made since September, Yonhap reported.

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According to Pyongyang's state-controlled news agency KCNA, Kim told the Korean People's Army Unit 525 its main battle mission is to "eliminate the human filth occupying the [South Korean] presidential Blue House, military and the puppet government, all who have committed crimes that cannot be forgiven for all of eternity."

Earlier in the week, North Korea condemned South Korean President Park Geun-hye, stating the corruption scandal involving an influential friend was a "clear demonstration" of the "unusual anomalies" of the "reality of the Park Geun-hye regime."

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On Friday, Kim called Unit 525 the "most reliable battalion." The troops were also described as in charge of an "important mission," namely to "put a sharp dagger in the enemy's heart and to break its back."

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Yang Moo-jin, a South Korean professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, said similar provocations are usually associated with Pyongyang's reconnaissance bureau. The state appears to be demonstrating some kind of guerrilla warfare capabilities of the unit, in the event of a crisis.

In the course of his field guidance, Kim watched demonstrations of shooting drills, helicopter rope suspension training and tactical raids.

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Ri Yong Gil, the first vice chief of the army's general staff, was part of Kim's entourage. Ri was believed to have been purged in early 2016, according to Seoul's spy agency, but appears to have returned to government, Yonhap reported.

South Korea's unification ministry said Seoul is monitoring the North in response to Kim's visit, which is being interpreted as a provocation, according to Newsis.

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