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was a North Korean Special Operation Forces unit, part of the Reconnaissance Bureau of the Korean People's Army
The Korean People's Army , also known as the Inmin Gun, are the military forces of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Kim Jong-il is the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army and Chairman of the National Defence Commission...
(KPA), under the operational control of the Liaison Department of the Worker's Party of Korea.
31 men from the Unit were handpicked to raid the Blue House and assassinate South Korean President Park Chung-hee
Park Chung-hee was a Republic of Korea Army general and the leader of South Korea from 1961 to 1979. He seized power in a military coup and ruled until his assassination in 1979. He has been credited with the industrialization of the Republic of Korea through export-led growth...
Following the failure of the Blue House Raid
The Blue House Raid was an unsuccessful attempt by North Korean commandos to assassinate the South Korean President Park Chung-hee at the Blue House on January 21, 1968.-Preparations:...
in which 28 members of the Unit were killed, 2 escaped back to North Korea and one, Kim Shin-Jo
Kim Shin-Jo is the sole survivor of a 31 person team of North Korean commandos sent to assassinate the then president of South Korea, Park Chung Hee, in the 'Blue House Raid' in January 1968. After the failed attempt he was interrogated for a year by the South Korean authorities before being released...
, was captured, the Unit was believed to have been disbanded.
Unit 124 is believed to have been the predecessor of the KPA's Special Battalions, part of the Reconnaissance Agency, formed to conduct intelligence gathering, espionage, terrorism and abduction operations in South Korea.
One of the members of the Unit who escaped back to North Korea was later identified in a photo by Kim Shin-Jo as being a four-star General in the KPA. He is believed to be Park Jae-gyong, an aide to Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il, also written as Kim Jong Il, birth name Yuri Irsenovich Kim born 16 February 1941 or 16 February 1942 , is the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea...
and vice minister of the North Korean People's Armed Forces.