North Korean defector warns Kim Jong-un plans to kidnap Americans if US attacks

North Korea has been secretly training special forces to kidnap Westerners in South Korea and hold them hostage in the event of a US attack, a defector has claimed.

Ung-gil Lee, who defected to South Korea in 2006, said Kim Jong-un had highly armed snatch squads designed to grab foreign diplomats and tourists from across the South Korean border. Mr Lee, who defected to South Korea after serving for six years in one of these clandestine units, said: “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. But they will all be killed, come what may – this goes hand-in-hand with assassination.”

The 37-year-old, who now works as a financial adviser in Seoul, said Kim Jong Un’s rule was worse than all the prominent dictators in the Middle East and Africa combined, and warned that Mr Trump should only carry out an attack if he thinks he can remove Kim from power.

“[Kim Jong Un] 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,” Mr Lee said.

Mr Lee was recruited to join North Korea’s infamous special forces and spent five years training as a communications officer. He said he was part of a 100-strong land and air group selected for raids on the South to destroy infrastructure, disrupt roads and ports, and kidnap foreigners. His group was also taught to memorize details about mobile phone systems, and were armed with nerve agents, with which they were in some cases required to carry out “suicide missions”.

[The Independent]

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