US-South Korea drill will simulate killing of Kim Jong-un

US-South Korea drill will simulate killing of Kim Jong-un
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) smiles as he guides a test fire of a new multiple launch rocket system in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang March 4, 2016. REUTERS/KCNA/File Photo

A South Korean Defense Ministry official has publicly confirmed that the Invincible Spirit joint US-South Korea naval exercise will simulate killing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. 

  • The Invincible Spirit joint US-South Korea naval exercise taking place in the Sea of Japan and Yellow Sea will end Saturday.
  • South Korean defense spokesperson: Drills will involve ship-to-ground and submarine-to-ground cruise missile exercises with average flight ranges of up to 1,000km.
  • USS Ronald Reagan is the flagship vessel of Carrier Strike Group 5 and is based in Kanagawa, Japan.
  • Large-scale naval exercise is the first of its kind since July 2010.
  • South Korean Defense Ministry official: "The 'Invincible Spirit' exercise has put a bigger focus on striking North Korea's key nuclear and missile facilities. The change comes after the North's fifth nuclear test last month.”
  • Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation strategy directly targets key sites in the North, including its war command post, atomic sites and leadership, such as Kim Jong-un.
  • Official: Plan would also involve special operations forces.
  • America has 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea and approximately 50,000 based in Japan.
  • RAND Corporation recent report on North Korean capabilities: Enough fissile material to build between 13 and 21 nuclear weapons, by 2020 could possess enough for 50 to 100.
  • “DPRK can already deliver nuclear weapons by aircraft or ship and perhaps by theater ballistic missiles.”
  • “Long-range, road-mobile, and submarine-launched missiles could be operational between 2020 and 2025.”
  • “During next four to six years, Pyongyang will possess a nuclear force sufficient to invalidate US regional military posture.”

(VERO BEACH, FL) Joint US-South Korea naval drills will involve the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier and will see both militaries rehearse strategies to kill North Korean leaders in the event of attacks by Pyongyang, a Defense Ministry official has said.

The Invincible Spirit naval exercises, which started on Monday, will run for six days and will see drills take place in the Sea of Japan and Yellow Sea.

A South Korean defense spokesperson said in a statement the drills will involve ship-to-ground and submarine-to-ground cruise missile exercises with average flight ranges of up to 1,000km.

The exercises are taking place amid reports North Korea is preparing to test a sixth nuclear bomb or another long-range missile.

The USS Ronald Reagan, which is based in Kanagawa, Japan, is the flagship vessel of Carrier Strike Group 5 and will join dozens of warships and submarines for the large-scale naval exercises, the first of their kind since July 2010.

Plans to take out North Korean leaders in the event of a strike by Pyongyang will also be practiced, a South Korean Defense Ministry official told the Yonhap news agency

"The 'Invincible Spirit' exercise has put a bigger focus on striking North Korea's key nuclear and missile facilities. The change comes after the North's fifth nuclear test last month," the official said.

The Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation strategy would directly target key sites in the North, including its war command post, atomic sites and leadership, such as Kim Jong-un.

The plan would also involve special operations forces, the official said.

Pyongyang claimed to have conducted its fifth atomic test last month, triggering a 5.3 magnitude tremor near the detonation site.

US President Barack Obama responded by saying the test would have “serious consequences” and repeated America’s “unbreakable” commitment to the security of South Korea and Japan.

Shortly after, the US and South Korea conducted joint naval exercises in the Sea of Japan and flew two supersonic bombers over the South.

One of the B-1B aircraft flew the closest a bomber had ever flown to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the North and South.

The US has 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea and approximately 50,000 based in Japan.

The RAND Corporation released a report over the weekend detailing North Korea as the biggest of five major threats facing the US. 

The report stated that, “the most recent open-source estimates suggest North Korea may already have enough fissile material to build between 13 and 21 nuclear weapons; by 2020, it could possess enough for 50 to 100.”

They added:

“The DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] can already deliver nuclear weapons by aircraft or ship and perhaps by theater ballistic missiles; it is now testing nuclear-capable missiles that could threaten targets across the Pacific Ocean, including the continental United States. Current estimates suggest a number of these nuclear-tipped missiles—long-range, road-mobile, and submarine-launched—could be operational between 2020 and 2025.  During the next four to six years, Pyongyang will possess a nuclear force of sufficient size, diversity, reliability, and survivability to invalidate our regional military posture and war plans by holding at risk key bases and amplifying the risk to allies.”

 This article was contributed by RT 

Please contact TRUNEWS correspondent Edward Szall with any news tips related to this story.
Email: Edward.Szall@trunews.com | Twitter: @EdwardSzall | Facebook: Ed Szall 
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