NK leader-military inspection

SEOUL, March 23 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspected a special forces unit and was briefed on its mission and training status, state media reported Saturday.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) monitored in Seoul said Kim, who holds the rank of Marshal in the Korean People's Army, toured the headquarters element of Unit 1973.

The visit occurred Friday, with the North's official news wire service stressing there was "profound meaning" in Kim checking of the unit, although it did not elaborate on details.

It said the commanding officer briefed Kim, with the leader emphasizing that all service personnel be fully prepared to defend the country and remain faithful to the goal of national unification.

"Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il attached importance to this unit and it is the unit he regards as the most important and the Party trusts," the KCNA quoting the leader said. Kim Il-sung is the founder of North Korea and the incumbent leader's grandfather, while Kim Jong-il is his son, who died in late 2011 and left power to Kim Jong-un.

The North Korean leader has been making regular trips to military units and overseeing drills as well as giving instructions on preparedness of troops as the communist country has ratcheted up tensions on the Korean Peninsula after it detonated its third nuclear device on Feb. 12.

Pyongyang has unilaterally nullified the Armistice Agreement that halted the Korean War (1950-53) and said it will no longer respect the non-aggression pacts reached between the two Koreas in the past.

The media report also said Kim gave binoculars, automatic rifles and machine gun to troops.

North Korean analysts in Seoul said that Kim probably visited the special forces unit under the 11th corp stationed in South Pyongan Province.

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