Just hours before Vice President Mike Pence began his visit to Seoul on Sunday, Pyongyang fired off a ballistic missile but it appears to have exploded seconds after it got off the ground.
Just hours before Vice President Mike Pence began his visit to Seoul on Sunday, Pyongyang fired off a ballistic missile but it appears to have exploded seconds after it got off the ground. AP Photo - Wong Maye-E

North Korea looks to take western tourists hostage

DICTATOR Kim Jong-un has ordered his elite troops to snatch Western tourists from South Korea and use them as hostages if the US attacks, it has been reported.

The North Korean special forces are being trained to infiltrate their hated rival to use as a sickening bargaining chip in the event of war, claims a former North Korean soldier who defected.

Ung-gil Lee, a former corporal in the 11th Storm Corps who fled the tyrannical regime 11 years ago, told the Mail on Sunday what the regime planned in the event of war.

He said: "We would sneak into the South, change our clothing, go into areas where there are lots of foreigners and capture some of them.

"We memorised locations, phone numbers and the car number plates of major embassies."

The defector added that the US must not attack unless it thinks it can kill Kim Jong-un.

He added: "Unless Trump thinks he can get rid of him, he must not carry out an attack."

Infiltration into South Korea by North Korean elite troops has taken place before.

The units are active in testing the defences of their bitter enemy and have been detected operating in or around South Korea many times since the end of the Korean War.

In 1996 a North Korean sub landed three troops to spy on South Korea's navy near Jeongdongjin, but the vessel ran aground when it tried to collect the team.

The crew destroyed intelligence in the sub and tried to make it back to North Korea, but all but one were killed or captured by South Korean forces.

Kim Jong-Un enraged the US this morning by staging yet another missile test - but the launch was an embarrassing flop.

South Korea's military reported the attempt near the Sinpo region, the same area from which the North tested a ballistic missile last month.

US officials said the missile in today's test exploded on launch but they don't know exactly what type of weapon it was.

The incident is likely to escalate the rising tensions between the US and North Korea over Pyongyang's rogue nuclear weapons ambitions.

It came a day after the parade marking 105 years since the state's found Kim Il-sung was born.
North Korea has tested several missiles recently.

They launched a long-range rocket and conducted two nuclear tests last year, including its most powerful to date, as well as carrying out a slew of shorter range missile firings.

A smirking Kim Jong-Un watched a fervent military parade just hours after telling America: "We're ready for war."

Chief among the devastating arsenal on show during the parade was a KN-08 rocket, thought to be capable of flying more than 7,000miles - within range of Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC.

US military experts reacted with shock to the display, as one admitted "we're floored right now".

Shell-shocked North Korean experts admit the secretive nation now appears far more advanced than previously thought.

Dave Schmerler, a research associate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in California, told The Wall

Street Journal: "We're totally floored right now. I was not expecting to see this many new missile designs."

Also on display was the similarly devastating KN-14 rocket.

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