Asia-Pacific

The running bodyguards tasked to protect Kim Jong-un

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Kim Jong-un's running bodyguards have made a second appearance on the world stage, but what do we know about the well-dressed entourage?

The world was first introduced to Kim Jong-un's running bodyguards when they ran alongside the North Korean leader's limousine at the inter-Korea summit in April.

Before his historic meeting with US president Donald Trump, videos circulated of the suited bodyguards jogging alongside Kim Jong-un's limousine in 30-degree heat and nearly 70 per cent humidity as he arrived in Singapore.

But what is known about the bodyguards enlisted to protect Kim?

The bodyguards are part of the Central Party Office #6, or the Main Office of Adjutants, according to the BBC.

The office manages the bodyguards and protection for the Kim family's activity and the recruits are selected from army conscripts who are fulfilling mandatory national service.

But not just any member of the Korean People's Army is put forward for the role. 

Bodyguards must be of similar height to Kim, have no visual impairments, be physically fit and show advanced skill in marksmanship and martial arts.

Furthermore, the potential bodyguards have rigorous background checks and undergo elite training similar to the KPA's Special Operations Forces, according to the BBC.

The bodyguards have been seen forming a 360-degree human shield around Kim and his ride to combat any threat. 

They are reportedly only part of a handful of government members who are allowed to carry weapons in Kim's presence.

On Tuesday, Kim and US President Donald Trump made history meeting face to face during the summit in Singapore. 

They are the first sitting US and North Korean leaders to meet in person as they negotiate towards ending a decades-old nuclear standoff.

Kim Jong-un (L) shakes hands with US President Donald Trump (R) at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit.
Getty

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