South Korean troops use Kims as targets
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
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
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