Kim Jong-un has said he is prepared to go to war if provoked by the US
Tensions continue to mount between the President Donald Trump and North Korea as the US military conduct drill in the Korean peninsula.
Ung-gil Lee, who defected to South Korea, has revealed Kim Jong-un has highly armed snatch squads designed to grab foreign diplomats and tourists from across the South Korean border.
Mr Lee told The Mail on Sunday: “The best case [for his old unit] would be to round them up and take them north, but if not they will take the foreigners hostage in South Korea.
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“But they will all be killed, come what may – this goes hand in hand with assassination.”
North Korea has a history of abducting foreigners including a horrific incident in the 1970s where the hermit state held South Korea’s leading movie star Choi Eun-hee and director Shin Sang-ok as prisoners to make propaganda films for the brutal regime for seven years.
Before his defection in 2006, Mr Lee served as former corporal in the 11th Storm Corps snatch squad for six years after what he described as one year of brainwashing “re-education”.
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Kim Jong-un is going to fight back and use all retaliatory measures
The 37-year-old, who now works in Seoul, has warned Kim Jong-un will respond with aggression should the US launch an attack.
His comments come as North Korea attempted to launch a missile following a military parade in the capital on Saturday, which reportedly ended in failure.
Mr Lee said: “He is going to fight back and use all retaliatory measures. Unless Trump thinks he can get rid of him, he must not carry out an attack."
He has also warned that North Korean snatch groups are armed with deadly weapons including nerve agents.
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Mr Lee said: “We would sneak into the South, change our clothing, go into areas where there are lots of foreigners and capture some of them. We memorised locations, phone numbers and the car number plates of major embassies.
“I carried neostigmine bromide and potassium cyanide. Those exposed to these drugs die of heart attacks. These were carried for attacks or else for us to commit suicide.”
The reclusive nation is thought to have 200,000 men and women serving in its special forces, which is made up of 140,000 infantry troops and 60,000 the 11th Storm Corps.
North Korean defectors have revealed the extreme training Kim Jong-un’s special forces undergo which allegedly includes boxing fights before dinner every night, punching trees and swimming in freezing seas.
The elite units are reportedly trained to infiltrate its southern neighbour by air, sea and through a network of tunnels built by forced labourers.