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North Korea 'will send snatch squad into South to kidnap Western tourists if US attacks'

Mirror logo Mirror 16/04/2017 Steve Robson
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) inspecting the "Dropping and Target-striking Contest of KPA Special Operation Forces - 2017" at an undisclosed location in North Korea. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has overseen a special forces commando operation, state media said on April 13, as tensions soar with Washington over Pyongyang's nuclear programme. © STR / KCNA VIA KNS / AFP North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) inspecting the "Dropping and Target-striking Contest of KPA Special Operation Forces - 2017" at an undisclosed location in North Korea. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has overseen a special forces commando operation, state media said on April 13, as tensions soar with Washington over Pyongyang's nuclear programme.

North Korea has been training elite soldiers to sneak into the South and take Western tourists hostage, it has been claimed.

Kim Jong-un's regime has been practicing scenarios in which snatch squads can get over the border with refugees in the event of an attack by the US.

They would then target Westerners in a bid to give the North Koreans leverage if war broke out.

These are the claims of a former North Korean soldier who defected 11 years ago.

Ung-gil Lee told the Mail on Sunday he believes the US should not attack the North unless it is certain Kim Jong-Un will be killed.

He said: "[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."

Commandoes march across the Kim Il Sung Square during a military parade on Saturday, April 15, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea to celebrate the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung, the country's late founder and grandfather of current ruler Kim Jong U © AP Commandoes march across the Kim Il Sung Square during a military parade on Saturday, April 15, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea to celebrate the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung, the country's late founder and grandfather of current ruler Kim Jong U Mr Lee said he served in one of North Korea's spy units for six years.

One training routine was to practice sneaking into the South armed with deadly nerve agents and locate foreigners to kidnap.

Earlier this year, North Korea sent a hit squad to assassinate Kim Jong-Un's half-brother Kim Jong-nam at Kuala Lumpur airport using the nerve agent VX.

Credits: REUTERS © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: REUTERS It comes as North Korea attempted to launch a missile today but it failed.

Both South Korean and US military officials confirmed the failed test took place.

The UK Foreign Office said it was "concerned" by the reports.

It is not known what kind of missile was launched today, although Pyongyang has repeatedly stated its aim of developing a rocket that could drop a nuclear payload on the US mainland.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are concerned by reports of a missile test by North Korea and are monitoring the situation closely."

North Korea displayed what appeared to be new long-range and submarine-based missiles on the 105th birth anniversary of its founding father, Kim Il Sung, on Saturday, as a nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier group steamed towards the region.

Missiles appeared to be the main theme of a giant military parade, with Kim's grandson, leader Kim Jong Un, taking time to greet the commander of the Strategic Forces, the branch that oversees the missile arsenal.

Credits: Getty © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Getty A US Navy attack on a Syrian airfield this month with Tomahawk missiles raised questions about US President Donald Trump's plans for reclusive North Korea, which has conducted several missile and nuclear tests in defiance of UN sanctions, regularly threatening to destroy the United States.

Kim Jong Un, looking relaxed in a dark suit and laughing with aides, oversaw the festivities on the "Day of the Sun" at Pyongyang's main Kim Il Sung Square.

Goose-stepping soldiers and marching bands filled the square, next to the Taedonggang River that flows through Pyongyang, in the hazy spring sunshine, followed by tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and other weapons.

Credits: REUTERS © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: REUTERS Single-engine propeller-powered planes flew in a 105 formation overhead.

Unlike at some previous parades attended by Kim, there did not appear to be a senior Chinese official in attendance.

China is North Korea's lone major ally but has spoken out against its missile and nuclear tests and has supported UN sanctions.

China on Friday again called for talks to defuse the crisis.

Credits: REUTERS © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: REUTERS

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