A defector from the hermit nation of North Korea has claimed that the country has a secret army of soldiers so heavily brainwashed that they would give up their lives for leader and dictator Kim Jong-un.

Joo-il Kim was a former member of the North Korean military before defecting in 2005 and moving to London in 2007.

Speaking about this supposed secret group, Joo-il told Express: "They were picked by the military leaders and nurtured to be weapons and terrorists".

He claimed that these soliders are highly brainwashed: "They live and they die for Kim Jong-un. That's what they believe in. They are like robots, they don't think for themselves. They could act as suicide bombers."

During the interview, Joo-il said they could be used by North Korea against South Korea or Japan and that the regime hoped to create miniaturised nuclear weapons the soldiers could carry as backpacks - or they could be used to carry biological or chemical weapons.

In early November, the former ambassador for North Korea to the United Kingdom, Thae Yong-ho, who defected from the regime in the summer of 2016, told a hearing at the United States Capitol that the US should focus on disseminating information into the closed state, rather than focusing on military options.

The populace of North Korea had little real information about their leader, Kim Jong-un, Thae claimed, adding: "Much more needs to be done to increase the flows of information into North Korea."

According to Thae, the despotic leader was a "hidden boy" as a child whose own grandfather did not know of his existence. With the slow infiltration of outside culture into the population and a flourishing of free black markets, it was "increasingly possible to think about civilian uprising in North Korea", Thae said.