A new special forces brigade dubbed Spartan 3000 has been designed by the South Korean Defense Ministry to “make Kim Jong-un fear for his life,” a retired South Korean general said this week.
“The best deterrence we can have,” retired three star general Shin Won-sik told the New York Times, “next to having our own nukes, is to make Kim Jong-un fear for his life.”
Special forces teams have been targeting Kim’s psyche for a while and with some degree of effectiveness. Sputnik reported June 16 that Kim has been so worried about an assassination attempt he has significantly scaled back his number of public appearances, stopped driving his preferred car – a Mercedes Benz – to throw off would be killers, and ordered senior North Korean military and intelligence officers to investigate potential “decapitation operations.”
“Kim is engrossed with collecting information about the ‘decapitation operation’ through his intelligence agencies,” South Korean legislator Lee Cheol-woo told reporters upon exiting a briefing with the National Intelligence Service.
To offset Pyongyang’s growing nuclear capability – the most recent nuclear weapons test in Punggye-ri was the most potent yet – South Korean President Moon Jae-in is eyeing a robust special forces operation, the New York Times reports.
Spartan 3000 might have the capacity and training to lop off the top of North Korea’s leadership structure, but on at least one occasion, July 4, US forces had a clear shot at Kim and didn’t take the shot. Washington seeks to “bring Kim Jong-un to his senses, not to his knees,” said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
South Korean ruling Democratic Party leader Choo Mi-ae said Monday she opposed bringing US tactical nukes to the region. “It is undesirable for us to be seen as having no will to resolve [the standoff] politically and diplomatically any more, amid this dispute over nuclear armament,” Choo said.
On Monday, the UN Security Council voted unanimously to impose yet another round of sanctions on the North Korean economy targeting Pyongyang’s energy and textile sectors.