Operators from U.S. special operations may join in a mission to kill the North Korean leadership including Kim Jong-un in the event of a war, military sources said Sunday.
South Korea plans to set up a brigade within this year tasked with removing the North’s wartime leadership. For this goal, the military will increase exercises this year with the U.S. special , such as , the Green Berets, Navy Seals and Rangers.
“In the event of contingency, elite from the U.S. military will be assigned to the envisioned brigade that the Ministry of Defense plans to set up this year,” a source said.
The brigade will include the personnel from the South Korean Army, Navy and the Air .
A top-ranked South Korean special warfare officer will lead the unit that will run under the joint special operations command between Seoul and Washington if a war breaks out.
The U.S. special operation will take orders from the brigade commander, the sources said.
The total number of personnel at the brigade is expected to be around 1,000 to 2,000.
“The brigade will be tailored to cope with the combat environment on the Korean Peninsula, although it’ll be modeled after the organizational structure of the U.S. special operations ,” a source said. “It is believed that it will be launched in the second half of the year.”
The defense ministry said it advanced its initial plan to create the special infiltration brigade by two years to 2017 as part of efforts to better counter North Korea’s evolving nuclear and ballistic missile threats.
The unit will be responsible for penetrating Pyongyang, getting rid of North Korea’s wartime leadership that has the authority to order the use of nuclear missiles and other weapons of mass destruction, and destroying the country’s command posts.
In its publication, titled, “Strategic Digest 2016,” the U.S. Korea (USFK) said the U.S. Special Operations Command Korea “secured new authorities and agreements, enhanced U.S. SOF posture and mission command on the peninsula, and redefined its Republic of Korea (ROK) partner engagements.”
The USFK also said, “The presence of rotational Special Operations underpins the Alliance’s ability to maintain the combined crisis response capability and ensures sustained engagements with ROK ground, maritime and aviation partners.”