March 02, 2018 11:05
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has stepped up his personal protection with two brigade-size guard units that will work alongside his existing guard command.
New guard units from the Workers Party and the supreme command appeared during a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of its army in Pyongyang on Feb. 8.
The existing guard command is a corps-sized unit tasked with the protection of Kim and other top officials and suppression of any coup attempt. It is controlled directly by the Workers Party's Organization and Guidance Department, not by the Ministry of the People's Armed Forces.
"It seems that the new guard units are brigade or division-level, judging from the fact that they were led by army colonels during the parade," a defector, who was a high-ranking official in the North, speculated.
"This suggests that Kim Jong-un fears a decapitation strike or a 'bloody nose' attack by South Korean and U.S. forces," a think tank researcher here said. "The reinforcement of guard units is intended to shut out any possible attack."
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com