North Korea Calls for Citizen 'Human Shields' for Kim Jong Un

Leader is 'eternal center' of nation's unity, says statement
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2012 1:33 AM CST
North Korea Calls for Citizen 'Human Shields' for Kim Jong Un
Kim Jong Un shakes hands with a soldier during an inspection at Seoul Ryu Kyong Su 105 Guards Tank Division of the Korean People's Army in North Korea to congratulate service members.   (AP Photo/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service)

North Korean leaders are urging citizens to be "human shields" to protect Kim Jong Un. "The whole Party, the entire army and all the people should possess a firm conviction that they will become human bulwarks and human shields in defending Kim Jong Un unto death," said a government statement issued in a key editorial in the nation's three state newspapers yesterday. It wasn't clear specifically who's out to hurt the new leader, and why he needs human shields just now.

The government editorial acknowledged critical food shortages in North Korea, calling it a "burning issue." But it again reiterated that Kim Jong Un is the "supreme leader of our Party and our people, the banner of victory and the eternal center of its unity." The editorial indicates no major change in policy in North Korea in the wake of Kim Jong Il's death, observers tell Reuters. The statements attacked South Korea for its continual attitude of "confrontation," but conspicuously absent was mention of North Korea's nuclear program. "The North seems poised to focus its polices on stabilizing domestic matters for the time being rather than to aggressively come forward with diplomatic affairs," a North Korea expert at Korea University tells Reuters. (More Kim Jong Un stories.)

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