On Tuesday morning, right before the much-awaited summit between the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump, the world witnessed the unprecedented sight of twelve bodyguards running alongside with the North Korean Supreme leader’s limousine – right after he left from an early summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. According to a BBC analyst, the guards who were seen running alongside Kim’s limo, are recruited from Korean People’s Army (KPA) and belong to a group called Central Party Office #6, also known as the Main Office of Adjutants. They act as a human shield for Kim Jong-un and are handpicked for their fitness, alertness and martial art skills.
After they are handpicked from the KPA, a rigorous background investigation is carried out, which reaches back to two generations of the recruitee. Most of the personnel finally selected for the Main Office of Adjutants are either have a relation with Kim’s own family or other elite families of North Korea.
If one passes the background investigation check, he is selected to become a personal bodyguard of the North Korean leader. They are then subjected to an exhaustive training programme where they are taught various martial arts, use of guns, put through various challenges to shoot up their physical and mental endurance. This training is almost similar to that the Special Operations Forces of the KPA receives.
These bodyguards form a human shield around Kim Jong-Un and keep an eye on people around him – all the time, regardless of whether he is moving or not. The Central Party Office #6 members usually carry an automatic gun and a backup weapon with them and are the only people who are allowed to carry a firearm near the leader. But their main line of defense is to use their observation and figure out any possible threat and neutralize it without using a gun.
The Main Office of Adjutants is estimated to have around 200 security personnel, most of whom work for just 10 years, after which their service is terminated. Over half of them are believed to be bodyguards, and rest are drivers and technical stuff. However, Kim Jong-un has lesser number of bodyguards than his father Kim Jong II.