South Korea has sped up plans to set up a “decapitation unit”, a brigade specifically tasked with targeting North Korea’s “wartime command”, including leader Kim Jong Un, the country’s Defence Ministry said.
The unit will be activated in the “event of war”, CNN on Thursday quoted a ministry official as saying.
Technically, South Korea and North Korea are still at war. They signed an armistice in 1953 but not a treaty.
The brigade was initially supposed to be ready in 2019, but the Defence Ministry said it will be established “by this year”.
The move comes after a series of provocations by Pyongyang, including broadcasting images of Kim leading a combat drill targeting the South Korea’s presidential residence, the Blue House.
The ministry believes North Korea will stage more nuclear and missile tests in 2017, despite sanctions and pressure from the international community.
Kim in his New Year’s speech said Pyongyang was close to testing an intercontinental ballistic missile.