South Korean troops use Kims as targets
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Last Updated: Tuesday, May 31, 2011, 13:04
  
Seoul: Some South Korean army training centres are using pictures of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il and his son as targets on rifle ranges, the defence ministry said Tuesday.

Several training centres for army reservists, including those in Gyeonggi province surrounding the capital Seoul, use the pictures as targets, a ministry spokesman said.

Each centre has the freedom to decide its own training procedures and the ministry issued no instructions about targets, he told AFP. "Details of military practices are for each training centre to decide."

Several local media published pictures of targets depicting Kim Jong-Il, his late father and founding president Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il's youngest son and heir apparent Kim Jong-Un.

A military official quoted by Chosun Ilbo newspaper said the practice is aimed at "boosting battle spirit" following the North's bombardment of a border island last November that killed four South Koreans.

"Some voice concern that the practice can provoke the North, but one should not forget the North staged two attacks that killed our civilians and soldiers," said the official quoted by Chosun.

South Korea accuses the North of torpedoing a warship in March 2010 with the loss of 46 lives. The North denies the charge.

Disrespecting portraits of the ruling family would be a grave crime in the North, where a massive personality cult surrounds the Kims.

Official media in 2007 carried approving accounts of parents who sacrificed children to save such portraits during floods.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, May 31, 2011, 13:04


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