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Thursday, January 5, 2017, 22:08

ROK to form brigade to remove DPRK's leadership in war

By Associated Press

ROK to form brigade to remove DPRK's leadership in war
In this Jan 11, 2015 file photo, ROK army K-55 self-propelled artillery vehicles move during a military exercise near the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas in Paju, ROK. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon. File)

SEOUL — The Republic of Korea (ROK) will form a special military brigade this year tasked with removing the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s leadership in the event of war as Seoul looks for options to counter its rival's nuclear weapons and missiles, an official said Thursday.

Seoul is looking for options to counter its rival's nuclear weapons and missiles

The brigade will aim to remove the North's wartime command and paralyze its function if war breaks out, according to an official from Seoul's Defense Ministry, who refused to be named, citing office rules. The brigade was originally planned to be ready by 2019. The official refused to say whether the brigade will train to execute pre-emptive strikes.

The plan was included in Defense Minister Han Min-koo's policy briefing to Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, who became government caretaker upon President Park Geun-hye's impeachment over a corruption scandal.

The DPRK conducted two nuclear tests and a slew of rocket test firings last year in attempts to expand its nuclear weapons and missile program.

Following the North's latest nuclear test in September, ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff announced plans to strengthen its ability to conduct pre-emptive strikes.

It also said a "Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation" system would use special forces and cruise missiles now under development to destroy areas where DPRK leader Kim Jong-un and the rest of the country's decision-makers are located.

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