Creation of special units tasked to neutralize North Korea’s leadership and key facilities in case of contingencies is part of Seoul’s revised its long-term defense reform plan.
"We have made the revision in a bid to secure the most urgent defense capabilities against North Korean threats over the next five years (through 2021)," a high-ranking ministry official told reporters in a background briefing, Yohhap news and other South Korean media reported today.
Establishment of special operations forces under the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Air Force this year, the integration of the First and Second Army Commands into a bigger ground operations command by 2018, and the creation of a surveillance aircraft fleet in the Air Force by 2020, were part of the long term defense reform plan.
"The special operations brigade under the JCS and the special operations aircraft fleet under the Air Force will be established in line with the Korea Massive Punishment & Retaliation plan," Yohnap said quoting the official.
The plan directly targets the North's military leadership with the aim of neutralizing key figures and infrastructure should there be clear signs of the imminent use of nuclear weapons.
It is part of the nation's three pillars of response to North Korean threats along with the "kill chain" strike system and the Korean Air and Missile Defense system, both designed to detect and destroy incoming missiles in the shortest possible time.
The JCS and the Air Force said they had already beefed up their existing teams designed to deliver guidelines for fighting against North Korea's nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, Yohnap news said.