Hope You Never Run Into the Supreme Guard Command, Kim Jong Un’s Personal Bodyguard Force

Just how protected is Kim Jong Un? Very. Read on for a look inside the Supreme Guard Command that’s tasked with protecting Kim Jong Un and his family.

1. The Supreme Guard Command

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) and his wife Ri Sol-Ju

The guard has many names. | STR/AFP/Getty Images

 Kim Jong Un’s Supreme Guard Command goes by many names. It’s also known as Unit 963, the Escourt Bureau, Guard Command, Guard Bureau, and the General Guard Bureau (you’d think for simplicity’s sake they’d want to nail one down and stick with it). This group of guards, led by the Supreme Guard commander General Yun Jong-rin, is in charge of protecting Kim Jong Un and his family.

Next: One of the group’s names stems from a superstition. 

2. Lucky number 9

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits a fruit farm.

Nine is a lucky number. | STR/AFP/Getty Images

 Apparently, North Korea’s ruling family is superstitious. The name “Unit 963” was chosen because the number 9 is considered to be a lucky number. 963 is an especially lucky number, then, because “the Command’s designation number is in reference to the numerological construct ‘9 and 6+3=9’ (double nine),” according to Wikipedia.

Next: How they recruit new guards 

3. Guards are chosen from high school students

students attend a football training session at Tokyo Korean high school

The boy’s family must have devout party loyalty. | Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images

 The guard looks for new recruits among high school students, according to the personal testimonies of Lee Young-kuk. Students are lined up and inspected by guards. They’re looking for boys with no scars and well-proportioned bodies. If considered, the guard then looks into the boy’s family history, making sure he comes from a family with devout party loyalty.

Next: The extensive training they undergo  

4. Training

martial arts competition

The guards learn martial arts. | Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

Once chosen, new guards are taken to training camp where they will undergo vigorous training for two years. Taekwondo classes, marksmanship, special operations tactics, and marching in full gear are all included in the training.

Next: Additional guard duties …  

5. They’re more than just guards

chauffeur opening

They’re also responsible for chauffeur services. | iStock.com/LucaZola

In addition to protecting Kim Jong Un and his family, the guards have a wide array of skills. They also protect Pyongyang and its surrounding area, with the help of Pyongyang Defense Corps and III Army Corps. Additionally, their other responsibilities include: “chauffeur service, document delivery, IT support, infrastructure maintenance and construction,” according to North Korea Leadership Watch.

Next: Just how many of them are there? 

6. There are more of them than you think

Kim Jong Un with guards

There are tens of thousands of guards. | STR/AFP/Getty Images

This isn’t a group of a hundred guards or so. According to North Korea Leadership Watch, there are “approximately 95,000-100,000 personnel dispersed across the DPRK into approximately six departments, three combat brigades, several bodyguard divisions, and one construction battalion.”

Next: The heavy duty guard equipment

7. Guard equipment

A Turkish tank is stationed near the Syrian border at Hassa

The guard comes well equipped. | Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images

As you might have guessed, guard equipment is pretty heavy duty. Equipment includes: anti-aircraft artillery, multiple-launch rocket systems, armored combat vehicles, tanks, helicopters, jeeps, Mercedes limousine buses, and Russian-made Zil trucks and an unknown inventory of chemical weapons, according to NKLW.

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