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Kim Jong Un supervises response to paratroopers’ death

After several paratroopers died in a drill attended by Kim Jong Un in March, the North Korean leader personally supervised the regime’s response to the accident, Daily NK has learned.

“Kim Jong Un ordered on May 22 for medals to be given to the soldiers in airborne units who were killed or injured in jump training and for their families to be cared for,” a source in North Hamgyong Province told Daily NK on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity. 

Kim’s attendance at a paratrooper drill on Mar. 15 with his daughter Ju Ae was reported in the Korean Central New Agency and the Rodong Sinmun. North Korean media said at the time that the unit “demonstrated its flawless combat capabilities” in the drill and that Kim had taken a commemorative photo with paratroopers who had participated in the successful exercise.

Despite North Korean media’s claim about the drill’s success, it turns out that a number of paratroopers were killed when their parachutes got tangled up or failed to deploy in the strong wind.

Following the accident, Kim has issued several instructions for the dead and injured to be honored for their sacrifice.

According to orders given on May 22, the soldiers killed in the accident (including the deputy platoon commander, the squad commander, the deputy squad commander and the squad members) are to be given the Kim Jong Il Millennial Honor Award, and those who not had a chance to join the Workers’ Party “should be given full party membership so they can enjoy that precious honor forever.”

As for the families of the deceased, party committees in their hometowns were instructed to hold opulent events and present them with certificates attesting to the deceased paratroopers’ patriotic service. In addition, the families were to be presented as models of good behavior in ideological propaganda.

According to the source, Kim received detailed briefings about whether his instructions were being carried out.

After being informed that the General Political Bureau, the Ministry of Defense, and the army corps in question had taken care of the deceased soldiers’ funerals and that local party committees had held lavish events for the bereaved family members, Kim reportedly felt “relieved” that the families had received some degree of consolation.

“When I heard the doomed paratroopers had shouted ‘Long Live Comrade Kim Jong Un’ as they were plunging from the sky, tears came to my eyes. My heart ached so badly I couldn’t fall asleep,” Kim reportedly said, while ordering that ideological training material be drawn up so that the paratroopers’ spirit could be conveyed to the rest of the military.

Kim also reportedly gave the following orders. “Lecture material should be prepared praising these paratroopers who demonstrated that soldiers should approach peacetime drills as if it were actually wartime. A political study session should be held for the paratroopers who took part in the drills and should also be distributed widely as propaganda material.”

Another order from Kim was to post a placard about the deceased paratroopers’ sacrifice in the unit’s history room. “The image of those paratroopers resting eternally in the arms of the Supreme Leader [Kim Il Sung] should be passed down so their successors can be taught to lead lives of such nobility,” the North Korean leader stressed.

“The paratrooper unit plans to hold a memorial service for the deceased each year on the day of their death. The unit intends to keep reminding members that the physical lives of the deceased may have ended, but that their political lives continue to burn bright in the hearts of their comrades,” the source said.

Daily NK works with a network of sources living in North Korea, China, and elsewhere. Their identities remain anonymous for security reasons. For more information about Daily NK’s network of reporting partners and information-gathering activities, please visit our FAQ page here.

Please send any comments or questions about this article to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.

Read in Korean

June 12, 2024 at 05:30PM

by DailyNK(North Korean Media)

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