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N. Korean leader blasts breakdown in military discipline: report

SEOUL, Dec. 5 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-il regularly blasts the breakdown in military discipline among troops, a report based on internal data collected over the last decade said Monday.

The report compiled jointly by the Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU), the Institute for National Security Strategy and a local university, claimed problems started occurring from 2000 onwards.

"Reports released for circulation within the military cited lapses in their resolve to follow Kim Jong-il's guidelines and questioning the policies made by the supreme commander and the ruling Workers' Party," a KINU researcher said. Kim is the head of North Korea's military.

He added that reports showed that some ranking officers failed to promptly follow through on orders and sought profit by selling war materials.

In addition, the latest findings showed Kim frequently chastising breaches of discipline and the military demeanor among officers.

It cited an incident in 2002, when the North Korean leader yelled at officers who did not wear their uniforms properly during one of his on-site inspections.

The report said excessive drinking is blamed for many mishaps in the military, with complaints about beatings and cruelty being voiced.

Researchers also said that they conducted a poll on 200 North Koreans who fled to South Korea. The refugees had generally low views of discipline within the communist country's armed forces.

 

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