Report: Navy SEALs Training to Remove North Korean Dictator
According to a report disputed by the Pentagon, the notorious SEAL Team 6 squad of elite American fighters is currently helping South Korean allies to plan a “decapitation attack” against North Korea’s Kim Jong-un regime.
South Korean news site JoongAng Daily reports that the SEAL team, comprised of special forces troops from all branches of the armed forces, is conducting a training “exercise simulating the removal of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.”
Business Insider spoke to a Pentagon spokesperson who said the U.S. “does not train for decapitation missions” and said there were no U.S. forces developing such a plan in South Korea. This was part of the original South Korean report, however, which nonetheless said the content of the trainings was accurately conveyed.
“Washington and Seoul stress that the annual military drills are purely defensive, although Pyongyang sees them as a rehearsal for an invasion,” wrote JoongAng Daily. “South Korea’s military said around 290,000 domestic soldiers and 10,000 U.S. soldiers will participate in this year’s drills, which by scale would be approximately the same as last year, the largest to date.”
The Pentagon may not admit that it is preparing a surgical strike to assassinate or imprison the North Korean dictator, but it is not denying its plans to put attack drones on standby in South Korea. The military made the announcement one week after the Jong-un regime test fired four ballistic missiles, once again in violation of international sanctions.
That aspect of the timing is obvious, but the military may be moving quickly on this for another reason: The impeachment of South Korean president Park Geun-hye, who was tossed out of office after a corruption scandal. Washington is concerned that her successor may take a less confrontational approach to Pyongyang. In South Korea, both the attack drones and the THAAD missile defense system are points of controversy. President Trump may want to put things in motion that the next South Korean president cannot easily roll back.
The drones will also come as an unwelcome surprise to Chinese leaders, who already see THAAD as a threat. President Trump is scheduled to meet with the Chinese president in Florida soon, where the topic of North Korea will undoubtedly be on the table. As a candidate, Trump said he would pressure Beijing to keep Kim Jong-un in check. With North Korea growing closer every day to a nuclear arsenal capable of striking not just their southern neighbors but also the U.S. mainland, time may be growing short when it comes to applying that pressure.