North Korea is apparently working on new ways to deploy its special forces into South Korea, and it involves jumping off a mountain.
North Korean special forces practiced infiltrating South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command in Seoul in September, defense officials revealed to Yonhap News Agency Tuesday. For the first time ever, the North Korean troops trained to paraglide into South Korea.
Paragliders are light weight and can be carried in a backpack for surprise attacks. A South Korean defense official expressed concerns that domestic radar systems might not detect a nighttime attack involving paragliders. “A paraglider flies at a low altitude without making a sound. It could be useful for making a surprise attack, like a drone,” the official explained.
North Korea has models of Combined Forces Command, as well as Cheong Wa Dae, South Korea’s presidential office. The North’s special forces practiced raiding the latter in December 2016, according to the Chosun Ilbo. North Korean commandos have slipped into North Korea before. Unit 124 crossed the DMZ and attempted to raid the Blue House in 1968, killing 26 people and wounding another 66. Of the 31 members of Unit 124 that entered South Korea, 29 were killed.
It is unclear if North Korea would take such a risky step in the current environment, but the North has invested heavily in its special forces units, including decapitation squads. South Korea is expected to have an operational decapitation unit in place by the end of the year, according to South Korean defense officials, but the South has indicated that such an aggressive measure would only be in the event that conflict appeared inevitable.
“I believe that North Korean special forces are adopting amazing methods of infiltration with limited resources,” a defense official told Yonhap. North Korea is believed to have numerous tunnels available for an invasion, and the rogue regime has also carried out paratrooper training drills.
The recent drills reportedly inspired a joint U.S.-South Korean military drill, the first short-range air defense exercise. The drills were designed to prepare U.S. and South Korean troops to counter low-altitude aerial threats.
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