North Korean school children play with imitation AK47s

By JULIAN ROBINSON

 

  • Children from Pyongyang Number Four Primary School were taking part in the Korean Children’s Union Day
  • The youngster carried imitation AK47s and hand grenades as they made their way around an obstacle course
  • Teachers at the Pyongyang school said pupils were learning vital military skills to prepare them for the future
  • Sports day aimed to prepare the youngsters ‘to beat down any enemies’ and to protect the Supreme Leader

These pictures from North Korea show school children playing with imitation AK47s and throwing mock grenades as they learn military skills to ‘beat down any enemies’.

Pupils at Pyongyang Number Four Primary School crawled under frames and clambered over fences in an obstacle course as they carried their imitation weapons over their shoulders.

The youngsters were taking part in dictator Kim Jong-un‘s Korean Children’s Union Day this morning.

Teachers said they were developing the skills to defend the secretive nation and to protect the Supreme Leader.

A girl carrying a mock rifle completes an obstacle course at games marking 'Children's Union Day', in Pyongyang this morning

A girl carrying a mock rifle completes an obstacle course at games marking ‘Children’s Union Day’, in Pyongyang this morning

Skills for the future: The youngsters were taking part in dictator Kim Jong-un's Korean Children's Union Day this morning

Skills for the future: The youngsters were taking part in dictator Kim Jong-un’s Korean Children’s Union Day this morning

Pupils at Pyongyang Number Four Primary School crawled under frames and clambered over fences in an obstacle course as they carried their imitation weapons over their shoulders

Pupils at Pyongyang Number Four Primary School crawled under frames and clambered over fences in an obstacle course as they carried their imitation weapons over their shoulders

After completing the obstacle course, Myong Hyon-Jong, whose favourite subject is mathematics, said she wanted to join the army when she grows up, to ‘safeguard the respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un with military power’.

‘We have to prepare ourselves to defend our country,’ she added.

Hyon-Jong is 10 years old.

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Her teacher Ri Su-Ryon explained the race was intended ‘to give the children the spirit to defend our country when they are grown up, and to prepare them physically and mentally to beat down any enemies while upholding the Songun (military-first) revolutionary leadership of the respected marshal’ – a reference to leader Kim Jong-Un.

Nuclear-armed North Korea is technically still in a state of conflict after the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty.

It considers itself at risk of invasion by the US – its justification for the atomic and missile programmes that have seen it subjected to multiple rounds of United Nations Security Council sanctions. The latest expansion came only last week.

Taking the strain: School children take part in a tug-of-war during sports games marking 'Children's Union Foundation day', in Pyongyang

Taking the strain: School children take part in a tug-of-war during sports games marking ‘Children’s Union Foundation day’, in Pyongyang

Her teacher Ri Su-Ryon explained the race was intended 'to give the children the spirit to defend our country when they are grown up'

Her teacher Ri Su-Ryon explained the race was intended ‘to give the children the spirit to defend our country when they are grown up’

A teacher wearing an octopus mask dances as children watch on cheering and clapping in the background

A teacher wearing an octopus mask dances as children watch on cheering and clapping in the background

All North Korean children are automatically members of the Korean Children's Union, whose uniform includes the red neckerchiefs of the Young Pioneers of other communist states

All North Korean children are automatically members of the Korean Children’s Union, whose uniform includes the red neckerchiefs of the Young Pioneers of other communist states

Since the beginning of 2016 Kim has overseen two nuclear tests and scores of missile launches as Pyongyang seeks to develop a missile that can deliver a warhead to the continental United States – something which President Donald Trump has vowed ‘won’t happen’.

Tensions soared earlier this year as his administration said that military options were being considered.

Teacher Ri, 24, took part in the obstacle race herself and told AFP: ‘I threw the hand grenade with the mind that I would beat down all the enemies who even try to infiltrate our country.’

Ordinary North Koreans normally only express officially-approved views when speaking to foreign media.

All North Korean children are automatically members of the Korean Children’s Union, whose uniform includes the red neckerchiefs of the Young Pioneers of other communist states.

Shocking moment North Korean children play with mock guns

  It is one of the mechanisms through which loyalty to the authorities is inculcated from an early age, and the anniversary of its foundation in 1946 is a public holiday, marked by sports days at schools across the country

It is one of the mechanisms through which loyalty to the authorities is inculcated from an early age, and the anniversary of its foundation in 1946 is a public holiday, marked by sports days at schools across the country

At the Number Four primary school, spectators encouraged the competitors with cries of 'Fighting!' - a standard chant in Korea, equivalent to the English 'Go on!'

At the Number Four primary school, spectators encouraged the competitors with cries of ‘Fighting!’ – a standard chant in Korea, equivalent to the English ‘Go on!’

Once the contests were over the children danced in formation to songs including 'We have nothing to envy in the world', 'Revolutionary Army Games' and 'Our Thankworthy Sun', which lauds the current leader

Once the contests were over the children danced in formation to songs including ‘We have nothing to envy in the world’, ‘Revolutionary Army Games’ and ‘Our Thankworthy Sun’, which lauds the current leader

Protecting the Supreme Leader: School children cheer as others take part in sports games marking 'Children's Union Foundation day'

Protecting the Supreme Leader: School children cheer as others take part in sports games marking ‘Children’s Union Foundation day’

Loyalty: The sports day took place at the Number Four primary school in Pyongyang, the secretive nation's capital

Loyalty: The sports day took place at the Number Four primary school in Pyongyang, the secretive nation’s capital

It is one of the mechanisms through which loyalty to the authorities is inculcated from an early age, and the anniversary of its foundation in 1946 is a public holiday, marked by sports days at schools across the country.

‘On this occasion, all the people in the country are recalling with deep emotion the immortal feats performed by peerlessly great men,’ the official Korean Central News Agency reported, referring to the North’s founder Kim Il-Sung and his successor Kim Jong-Il, the grandfather and father of the current leader.

Under Kim Jong-Un, it said, schoolchildren ‘are being brought up to be pillars supporting Juche Korea’ – a reference to its guiding ‘self-reliance’ philosophy.

At the Number Four primary school, spectators encouraged the competitors with cries of ‘Fighting!’ – a standard chant in Korea, equivalent to the English ‘Go on!’

Once the contests were over the children danced in formation to songs including ‘We have nothing to envy in the world’, ‘Revolutionary Army Games’ and ‘Our Thankworthy Sun’, which lauds the current leader.

‘You should not forget the warm love and care of the great marshal Kim Jong-Un,’ the school’s headmistress told the pupils and their watching parents. ‘Study hard to become great men in the future.’

Source: Daily Mail