Asia

Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military

Updated 1302 GMT (2102 HKT) June 22, 2015
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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with North Korea's first female fighter jet pilots in this undated photo released by the country's state media on Monday, June 22. He called the women "heroes of Korea" and "flowers of the sky." KCNA/KNS/AFP/Getty Images
Kim stands on the snow-covered top of Mount Paektu in North Korea in a photo taken by North Korean newspaper Rodong Sinmun on April 18 and released the next day by South Korean news agency Yonhap. Kim scaled the country's highest mountain, North Korean state-run media reported, arriving at the summit to tell soldiers that the hike provides mental energy more powerful than nuclear weapons. KCNA via KNS/afp/getty images
Kim Jong Un, center, poses with soldiers on the snow-covered top of Mount Paektu in an April 18 photo released by South Korean news agency Yonhap. Rodong Sinmun/YONHAP/AFP/Getty Images
Kim visits the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang, North Korea, on April 15 to celebrate the 103rd birth anniversary of his grandfather, North Korean founder Kim Il Sung. KCNA/KNS/AFP/Getty Images
Kim inspects a drill for seizing an island at an undisclosed location in North Korea in an undated picture released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on February 21. KCNA/KNS/AFP/Getty Imges
Kim speaks during a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this photo released February 19 by the state-run Korean Central News Agency. KCNA/XINHUA/LANDOV
A picture released by the North Korean Central News Agency shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appearing without his cane at an event with military commanders in Pyongyang on Tuesday, November 4. Kim, who recently disappeared from public view for about six weeks, had a cyst removed from his right ankle, a lawmaker told CNN. KCNA/EPA/LANDOV
Kim is seen walking with a cane in this image released Thursday, October 30, by the state-run Korean Central News Agency. KCNA
Kim sits in the pilot's seat of a fighter jet during the inspection. KCNA/KNS/AFP/Getty Images
This undated photo, released Tuesday, October 14, by the KCNA, shows Kim inspecting a housing complex in Pyongyang, North Korea. International speculation about Kim went into overdrive after he failed to attend events on Friday, October 10, the 65th anniversary of the Workers' Party. He hadn't been seen in public since he reportedly attended a concert with his wife on September 3. KCNA /KNS REPUBLIC OF KOREA/AFP/Getty Images
A picture released by the KCNA shows Kim and his wife watching a performance by the Moranbong Band on Wednesday, September 3, in Pyongyang. EPA/KCNA /LANDOV
Kim tours a front-line military unit in this image released Wednesday, July 16, by the KCNA. KCNA/EPA/LANDOV
Kim poses for a photo as he oversees a tactical rocket-firing drill in June. KCNA/XINHUA/LANDOV
Kim watches a tactical rocket-firing drill in June. KCNA/XINHUA/LANDOV
A North Korean soldier patrols the bank of the Yalu River, which separates the North Korean town of Sinuiju from the Chinese border town of Dandong, on Saturday, April 26. STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
In this photo released Thursday, April 24, by the Korean Central News Agency, Kim smiles with female soldiers after inspecting a rocket-launching drill at an undisclosed location. KNS/AFP/Getty Images
A picture released Tuesday, March 18, by the KCNA shows Kim attending a shooting practice at a military academy in Pyongyang. KCNA/epa/LANDOV
A North Korean soldier uses binoculars on Thursday, February 6, to look at South Korea from the border village of Panmunjom, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War. Shin Jun-hee/yonhap/ap
A North Korean soldier kicks a pole along the banks of the Yalu River on Tuesday, February 4. JACKY CHEN/reuters/LANDOV
A photo released by the KCNA on Thursday, January 23, shows the North Korean leader inspecting an army unit during a winter drill. KCNA/epa/LANDOV
Kim inspects the command of an army unit in this undated photo released Sunday, January 12, by the KCNA. KNS/AFP/Getty Images
Kim visits an army unit in this undated photo. KNS/AFP/Getty Images
Kim inspects a military factory in this undated picture released by the KCNA in May 2013. KNS/AFP/Getty Images
Kim visits the Ministry of People's Security in 2013 as part of the country's May Day celebrations. KCNA VIA KNS/AFP/Getty Images
A North Korean soldier, near Sinuiju, gestures to stop photographers from taking photos in April 2013. HOW HWEE YOUNG/EPA/LANDOV
North Korean soldiers patrol near the Yalu River in April 2013. Stringer/AFP/Getty Images
Kim is briefed by his generals in this undated photo. On the wall is a map titled "Plan for the strategic forces to target mainland U.S." The Rodong Sinmun
Kim works during a briefing in this undated photo. The Rodong Sinmun
In this KCNA photo, Kim inspects naval drills at an undisclosed location on North Korea's east coast in March 2013. KNS/AFP/Getty Images
Kim, with North Korean soldiers, makes his way to an observation post in March 2013. KNS/AFP/Getty Images
Kim uses a pair of binoculars to look south from the Jangjae Islet Defense Detachment, near South Korea's Taeyonphyong Island, in March 2013. KNS/AFP/Getty Images
Kim is greeted by a soldier's family as he inspects the Jangjae Islet Defense Detachment in March 2013. KNS/AFP/Getty Images
Kim is surrounded by soldiers during a visit to the Mu Islet Hero Defense Detachment, also near Taeyonphyong Island, in March 2013. KNS/AFP/Getty Images
Kim arrives at Jangjae Islet by boat to meet with soldiers of the Jangjae Islet Defense Detachment in March 2013. KNS/AFP/Getty Images
Soldiers in the North Korean army train at an undisclosed location in March 2013. KNS/AFP/Getty Images
In a photo released by the official North Korean news agency in December 2012, Kim celebrates a rocket's launch with staff from the satellite control center in Pyongyang. KNS/AFP/Getty Images
Kim, center, poses in this undated picture released by North Korea's official news agency in November 2012. KCNA VIA KNS/AFP/Getty Images
Kim visits the Rungna People's Pleasure Ground, under construction in Pyongyang, in a photo released in July 2012 by the KCNA. KCNA VIA KNS/AFP/GettyImages
A crowd watches as statues of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il are unveiled during a ceremony in Pyongyang in April 2012. PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images
A North Korean soldier stands guard in front of an UNHA III rocket at the Tangachai-ri Space Center in April 2012. PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images
In April 2012, Pyongyang launched a long-range rocket that broke apart and fell into the sea. Here, the UNHA III rocket is pictured on its launch pad in Tang Chung Ri, North Korea. Scott Clotworthy/CNN
A closer look at the UNHA III rocket on its launch pad in Tang Chung Ri, North Korea. Scott Clotworthy/CNN
A military vehicle participates in a parade in Pyongyang in April 2012. PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images
North Korean soldiers relax at the end of an official ceremony attended by leader Kim Jong Un at a stadium in Pyongyang in April 2012. PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images
Kim Jong Un applauds as he watches a military parade in Pyongyang in April 2012. Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
A North Korean soldier stands on a balcony in Pyongyang in April 2012. PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images
North Korean soldiers march during a military parade in Pyongyang in April 2012. PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images
Soldiers board a bus outside a theater in Pyongyang in April 2012. Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
North Korean performers sit below a screen showing images of leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang in April 2012. Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
North Korean soldiers salute during a military parade in Pyongyang in April 2012. Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
North Korean soldiers listen to a speech during an official ceremony attended by leader Kim Jong Un at a stadium in Pyongyang in April 2012. PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images
Members of a North Korean military band gather following an official ceremony at the Kim Il Sung stadium in Pyongyang in April 2012. Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
North Korean military personnel watch a performance in Pyongyang in April 2012. PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images
A North Korean controller is seen along the railway line between the Pyongyang and North Pyongan provinces in April 2012. PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images
A North Korean military honor guard stands at attention at Pyongyang's airport in May 2001. STEPHEN SHAVER/AFP/Getty Images