SOUTH Korea is targeting its rival’s leadership with the establishment of an elite fighting unit. Its main goal: terrifying Kim.
IT IS a decapitation unit comprised of highly-trained elite soldiers.
It is also the unit South Korea could deploy in just 24 hours, ready and armed to carry out a strike on North Korea.
Officially known as Spartan 3000, Seoul hopes the unit will intimidate its northern neighbour and deter it from attacking first.
The unit has not been assigned with the job of literally decapitating North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
According to Brendan Thomas-Noone, a research fellow at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, a decapitation unit’s main goal would be to neutralise their target’s ability to command and control their nuclear weapons and military forces.
“It can involve targeting the political and military leadership, but it can also target the communication and other infrastructure that is used to command those forces,” he said.
New York Times Korea correspondent Choe Sang-Hun reported Seoul is using the unit to send a menacing message to Pyongyang.
He wrote it was rare for a government to announce a strategy to assassinate a head of state, but Seoul wants “to keep the North on edge and nervous about the consequences of further developing its nuclear arsenal”.
The unit is due to be fully established by the end of the year, according to The Times.
South Korean defence minister Song Young-moo said the unit could conduct cross-border raids, while re-tooled helicopters and aircraft could also enter North Korean territory at night.
In reality the unit is capable of much more than that.
South Korean marines participate in an exercise in Baengnyeong Island earlier this month. Picture: South Korean Defence Ministry/Getty Images Source: Getty Images
The special force unit, which was first unveiled last year, can be deployed to any part of the Korean Peninsula within a day, according to UK newspaper The Telegraph.
The unit conducted joint military exercises with the US last year and has been trained to tackle natural disasters.
South Korean media agency Yonhap reported its bigger objective is to destroy “key military facilities” in North Korea.
“In the past, the battalion-level unit took 24 hours to be deployed across the Korean Peninsula, while the regimental-level unit took 48 hours,” a military official told Yonhap.