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Be ready for war with US, N Korea tells citizens

Thursday 6 January 2005

SEOUL: North Korea has ordered its people to be ready for a protracted war against the United States, issuing guidelines on evacuating to underground bunkers with weapons, food and portraits of leader Kim Jong Il.

The 33-page "Detailed Wartime Guidelines," published in South Korea’s Kyunghyang newspaper on Wednesday and verified by Seoul, was issued April 7, 2004, at a time when the Communist regime was claiming that it was Washington’s next target following the Iraq war.

The manual - the first such North Korean document made public in the outside world - was signed by Kim Jong Il in his capacity as chairman of the Central Military Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party.

That ended speculation over whether Kim has assumed the top military post following the 1994 death of his father, President Kim Il Sung.

Analysts said the guidelines reflected Pyongyang’s fear over a possible US military strike amid stalled talks on its nuclear weapons programmes, as well as its campaign to whip up a sense of crisis among its 22 million populace, reportedly growing discontent amid economic hardship.

"The United States has cooked up suspicion over our nuclear programmes and is escalating an offensive of international pressure to strangle and destroy our republic," the booklet said. "If this tactic doesn’t work, it plots to use this (nuclear) problem as an excuse for armed invasion."

Kyunghyang did not clarify where it acquired the document classified as "top secret".

Seoul’s National Intelligence Service said in a one-sentence statement: "We believe the document reflects North Korea’s wartime preparations."

The manual urged the military to build restaurestrooms and air purifiers in bunkers. When North Koreans evacuate underground, they should take portraits, busts and statues of Kim and his parents so that they can "protect" them, it said.

See online : Times of India

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