South Korea has revealed that it has a plan to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, after North Korea has gained renewed attention for its recent nuclear tests.
Responding to questions of whether South Korea had a plan to kill Kim Jong-un if the country felt threatened by North Korea's nuclear weapons, South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo said, "Yes, we do have such a plan," according to CNN. He added that South Korea could also use guided missiles to attack key facilities in the North.
"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," said the Defense Minister.
North Korea has made headlines recently after reportedly ramping up its nuclear tests, causing concern for South Korean officials, according to the New York Daily News. On Sept. 9, the country was reported to have conducted its fifth nuclear test, and its most powerful to date. The September blast was reportedly 10 kilotons, almost twice as powerful as the country's last test in January, which was four to six kilotons.
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The United States reportedly responded to the test by flying a pair of supersonic bombers over the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas. North Korea reportedly criticized the U.S., saying that the show of force increased tensions on the peninsula.
South Korea's defense ministry has said that it is prepared for a worst case scenario, adding that it is assuming North Korea is capable of conducting another nuclear test.
Daniel Pinkston, from Troy University, said that it wasn't surprising that the South had a plan in place for eliminating the North Korean leader.
"A president would want to have the option," said Pinkston. "... Not presenting that to the president, not training for it and having that capability would be a mistake."
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In late August, the U.N. Security Council condemned the North's launch of ballistic missiles, calling the launches a "grave violation" of a ban on ballistic missile activity.
The council stressed "their commitment to a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation," and said that it would work to reduce tensions on the peninsula.