Getting rid of Kim Jong-un from North Korea 'is like trying to get rid of Allah in Iraq', says South Korean general as he warns dictator's 'cult' is backed by 1,000 Kamikaze pilots

  • In-Bum Chun described staggering levels of indoctrination in North Koreans
  • It means getting rid of Kim Jong-un is like trying to get rid of religion, he says
  • Retired general says regime has taken massive steps to ready its people for war
  • Children aged 14 know how to fire an AK47 and 12-year-olds are recruited to train as hackers 

A retired South Korean general has described the difficulty of overthrowing Kim Jong-un in North Korea because of the extent to which the country's population has been brainwashed.

In-Bum Chun, the former deputy commander of South Korea's army, says it wouldn't be like the removal of Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq but 'like trying to get rid of Allah,' The Times reports.

He claimed that although much of the massive arsenal North Korea built after 1953 is obsolete, 1,000 fighter jets could be redeployed as Kamikaze aircraft loaded with bombs.

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A retired South Korean general has described the difficulty of overthrowing Kim Jong-un (pictured centre) in North Korea

A retired South Korean general has described the difficulty of overthrowing Kim Jong-un (pictured centre) in North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waves to his loyal men as he visits the national science centre in a photo released by Pyongyang on January 12

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waves to his loyal men as he visits the national science centre in a photo released by Pyongyang on January 12

The entire country is a 'barracks,' Lieutenant-General Chun said, and even children undergo military training to ensure North Korea is 'never bombed into the Stone Age' like it was during the Korean War. 

He said universal conscription means men have to serve in the army for 11 years and women have to complete six or seven years

Speaking to an audience at the Policy Exchange in London, General Chun said: 'It's not like trying to get rid of [Saddam Hussein]. It's like trying to get rid of Allah.'

North and South Korea are holding talks for the first talks in two years – but tensions are between the Communist regime and United States have been exacerbated by Kim's regular nuclear missile tests, prompted threats of action from President Donald Trump.

Kim Jong-un (centre, in black) and his scientists pose for a group photo during his inspection to the State Academy of Sciences on Friday 

Kim Jong-un (centre, in black) and his scientists pose for a group photo during his inspection to the State Academy of Sciences on Friday 

Kim Jong-un toured the newly remodeled revolutionary museum at the State Academy of Sciences, according to state newspaper Rodong Sinmun

Kim Jong-un toured the newly remodeled revolutionary museum at the State Academy of Sciences, according to state newspaper Rodong Sinmun

In-Bum Chun, the former deputy commander of South Korea's army, says removing Kim from power in North Korea would be 'like trying to get rid of Allah' in Iraq

In-Bum Chun, the former deputy commander of South Korea's army, says removing Kim from power in North Korea would be 'like trying to get rid of Allah' in Iraq

General Chun said Kim Jong-un and his family are 'like a cult' that has brainwashed the population in a bid to prepare them for war.

He said:

  • A 14-year-old child gets more than 100 hours of military training a year and knows how to fire an AK47, throw a grenade and march for 24 hours
  • Control is exerted through collective punishment so if one person in a group of five to ten families misbehaves, all of them 'go to the gulag or are executed'
  • Pyongyang has up to 5,000 tonnes of chemical and biological agents and 1,000 artillery pieces trained on Seoul alone
  • The country is also boosting its cyberwar capabilities by enlisting children showing an aptitude for technology into a programme to be trained as programmers or hackers from the age of 12
  • Much of the country's military facilities are located underground to complicate attempts to neutralise its attempts to build a nuclear arsenal

General Chun, who retired in 2016 after 40 years in the military, said indoctrination ran so deep that even soldiers who defected had a 'ridiculous' belief in their system.

General Chun (right, in 2015) said the whole or North Korea is a 'barracks' and even children undergo military training

General Chun (right, in 2015) said the whole or North Korea is a 'barracks' and even children undergo military training

He spoke of an incident in the 1980s when sailors lined up to be shot in the back of the head after their submarine infiltrated southern waters and broke down.

But one man who was captured alive broke after just a day – because 'once they realise they've been lied to, they change very quickly.'

However, General Chun said the number of defectors has dropped dramatically since Kim came to power in 2011 because he built a wall that made it harder to flee to China.

But he says it could also mean living conditions inside North Korea have improved. 

 

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