South Korea reveals it has a plan to assassinate Kim Jong Un

Updated 11:49 AM EDT, Fri September 23, 2016
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Rodong Sinmun
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SINGAPORE - JUNE 12: In this handout photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump during their historic U.S.-DPRK summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island on June 12, 2018 in Singapore. U.S. President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held the historic meeting between leaders of both countries on Tuesday morning in Singapore, carrying hopes to end decades of hostility and the threat of North Korea's nuclear program. (Photo by Kevin Lim/THE STRAITS TIMES/Handout/Getty Images)
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Story highlights

Analyst says South Korea president would want to have this option on table

South Korea has upped its rhetoric against Pyongyang since 5th nuke test

(CNN) —  

South Korea has elite troops on standby ready to assassinate Kim Jong Un if the country feels threatened by North Korean nuclear weapons, the country’s defense minister revealed this week.

Asked in parliament Wednesday if there was a special forces unit already assembled that could eliminate North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, Han Min-koo said: “Yes, we do have such a plan. ”

“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,” he added.

Kim Jong Un inspects Farm No. 1116 in an undisclosed location in a photo released September 13, 2016.
KCNA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Kim Jong Un inspects Farm No. 1116 in an undisclosed location in a photo released September 13, 2016.

It has long been suspected that such a plan was in place but the minister’s candid answer surprised some.

“A president would want to have the option,” says Daniel Pinkston of Troy University. “… Not presenting that to the president, not training for it and having that capability would be a mistake.”

South Korea has intensified its rhetoric against the leadership of North Korea since Pyongyang claimed a successful test of a nuclear warhead on September 9.

This week it tested a new type of high powered rocket engine of the type that could be used for an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The defense ministry has said it is planning for the worst case scenario and assumed North Korea was ready to conduct a sixth nuclear test.

’Worst case scenario’

RELATED: North Korea threat looms over UN meeting

Earlier this month, Leem Ho Young, Chief Director of Strategic Planning at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described a new system called the Korea Massive Punishment & Retaliation (KMPR) just hours after North Korea claimed it had tested a nuclear warhead.

It would involve surgical missile attacks, exclusive special warfare units and an ability to strike North Korea’s leadership if South Korea feels threatened by nuclear attack.