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DEVGRU to join U.S.-S. Korea joint military exercises

Posted March. 14, 2017 07:15,   

Updated March. 14, 2017 07:20

The U.S. special battle forces including the SEAL Team Six, now known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (or DEVGRU), which assassinated Osama bin Laden, the orchestrator of the 9·11 terrorist attacks, are participating in South Korea's biggest annual joint military exercises with the United States, Foal Eagle and Key Resolve, the largest scale ever. It has been reported that the exercises are designed to strike the military command in Pyongyang and take control of the North’s facilities for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) such as storage of nuclear material in times of emergency.

According to a military source on Monday, the special battle units and joint special operation forces in the army, navy, and air forces (including marines) under the United States Special Operations Command are taking part in the major annual joint drills, which will run from March to late next month. The source reported that a wide range of special force units in the U.S., including the Rangers, Delta Force, Green Berets, and DEVGRU, will join the exercises. The pool of participants also jumped from about 1,000 last year to more than 1,500 this year. “The soldiers will go through intense wartime simulations to infiltrate Pyongyang to remove the military leadership of North Korea including Kim Jong Un, bomb the command post, and strike nuclear and missile bases,” said other sources. The drills will also be followed by joint drills with South Korea’s special forces and an eval‎uation process.

Among the many special units, Navy Seal Team 6, better known as DEVGRU, is considered as one of the core special military assets in the U.S. along with the Delta Force army unit. The death of Osama bin Laden, code-named Neptune Spear, is also DEVGRU’s work. The two special force units typically receive direct orders from the U.S. president or State Secretary for rescue missions, assassination of enemy leaders, and operations to contain proliferation of WMD. “The large-sized joint exercises will be at once pressure and a warning against Kim Jong Un and the regime’s leadership, who are escalating their nuclear and missiles threats against South Korea,” said a military official.

Previously, the Japanese media outlets reported that the Navy Seal soldiers are exercising onboard USS Carl Vinson, a U.S. Navy supercarrier participating in the Key Resolve exercise, near the waters off South Korea.

It has been reported that the South Korean military authorities are planning to establish a special mission brigade on December 1 in a bid to remove North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in case of emergencies. The special brigade will be comprised of roughly 1,000 men in uniform built around special force soldiers. A special aviation unit will also be put together this year, consisting of two gunship companies of the UH-60 and CH-47, both of which equipped with special penetration equipment to support the brigade.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com