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Discipline of N. Korean army seriously degraded

All News 14:45 January 12, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 12 (Yonhap) -- The discipline of the North Korean army is reportedly extremely loose, with even fliers allegedly criticizing Kim Jong-un's hereditary succession of power having been distributed inside the military unit in charge of defending the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, a Seoul-based anti-Pyongyang civic organization said Thursday.

An internal document of the North Korean army's Third Corps, entitled "Evaluation of Executive Members of the Workers' Party in the Army in April 2013," reads, "Abnormal problems like the theft of a computer in the military office and distribution of fliers took place in the month, but the leadership concerned has yet to work out countermeasures." Yonhap obtained the document from the Seoul-based North Korea Reform Committee, which runs North Korea Reform Radio whose target audiences are the North's military leaders, intellectuals, university students and youths.

"In April alone, the iron gate of the (unit's) fence, materials furnished in rooms and cement were burglarized, affecting army operations negatively," the document said.

The Third Corps is a unit stationed in the North's western port city of Nampho to defend Pyongyang, and it is the first time a North Korean document which contains the expression of "fliers" was found.

The leaflets are believed to contain criticism against Kim's hereditary takeover in 2012 or his military policies.

Military elites' accrued complaints against Kim's departure from his father Kim Jong-il's military-first policy to the party-first one apparently led to the distribution of the dangerous fliers, North Korea experts here said.

In reality, the young North Korean leader dismissed Ri Young-ho from the post of the chief of the North's military general staff in July 2012. The demotion of other military leaders, including former defense chief Hyon Young-chul, also followed. Ri and Hyon were executed later.

The theft of a computer also hints at the leakage of military secrets.

In fact, Japan's NHK obtained a some 12,000-page confidential document of the North Korean army in 2014, and released a special program in June last year, in which it reported Ri Young-ho was purged for moving a military unit without prior permission.

The document is known to have been drawn up based on a hard disc that had been tampered with at a North Korean military unit.

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