South Korean defense minister Han Min-koo revealed this week that the country has a plan in place to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un should the threat of nuclear weapons become too glaring.
“Yes, we do have such a plan,” Min-koo said in response to a question in parliament on whether South Korea had a special forces unit in place to deal with Jong-un. “South Korea has a general idea and plan to use precision missile capabilities to target the enemy’s facilities in major areas as well as eliminating the enemy’s leadership.”
For a country to have such a plan in place is not uncommon, though Min-koo’s bluntness in answering the question was said to have surprised some.
“A president would want to have the option,” Troy University’s Daniel Pinkston told CNN. “… Not presenting that to the president, not training for it and having that capability would be a mistake.”
The likelihood of a South Korean pushback intensified after North Korea’s claimed to have successfully tested a nuclear warhead on September 9. Just this week, it tested a rocket engine with the capability of firing an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Chief Director of Strategic Planning at the Joint Chiefs of Staff Leem Ho Young said earlier this month that South Korea’s Korea Massive Punishment & Retaliation (KMPR) system is in place if the country feels threatened by its neighbors in the north.
The system includes surgical missile attacks and special warfare units as well as a means for attacking North Korean leadership.