North Korea has angrily denied a report that its ruler used Adolf Hitler's memoir as a leadership guide, threatening to kill the authors of the report.
The article by New Focus International, an online news portal run by North Korean defectors, said Kim Jong-Un had given copies of "Mein Kampf" to his top officials, urging them to study it as a leadership skills manual.
He handed out translations of the German dictator's manifesto to select officials at the time of his birthday in January, it said, citing an unnamed North Korean official working in China.
"Mentioning that Hitler managed to rebuild Germany in a short time following its defeat in World War I, Kim Jong-Un issued an order for the Third Reich to be studied in depth and asked that practical applications be drawn from it," the source was quoted as saying.
The story was picked up by all major South Korean newspapers on Wednesday.
But the North's police agency later Wednesday called the report a "thrice-cursed crime" aimed at belittling its leader and threatened to kill the "human scum" behind the article.
"We are... determined to take substantial measures to physically remove despicable human scum who are committing treasons," it said in a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.
"Sordid human scum will never be able to look up to the sky nor be able to find an inch of land to be buried after their death," it said.
It also vowed to launch "merciless punishment of justice" against Seoul and Washington, accusing the two nations of encouraging the defectors to defame its ruler.
"Mein Kampf" ("My Struggle"), written in 1924 while Hitler was languishing in a Bavarian prison before becoming a German leader, is both a vicious anti-Semitic tract and rambling memoir.
The Kim family dynasty has ruled North Korea with an iron fist and pervasive personality cult for more than six decades.
Kim Jong-Un took over the isolated communist state after the death of his father Kim Jong-Il, in December 2011.