Korea creates assassination squad to mitigate nuclear threat

20-Feb-2018 Intellasia | CNN | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Faced with a hostile, nuclear-armed neighbour, South Korea’s military has announced the creation of a “decapitation unit.”

In the event of a war, the mission of the special task brigade is to take out the leadership of North Korea.

But this is not South Korea’s first attempt at creating a team of possible assassins.

In 1968, after a bloody North Korean incursion, South Korea created a top-secret hit squad called unit 684.


The initial plan was to recruit death row inmates. But in the end, intelligence officers chose 31 civilians from the streets of South Korean cities.

In 1970, Yang Dong-Soo was a 21-year old air force sergeant sent to Silmido Island to train unit 684.

“The assassination squad was sent to his uninhabited island called Silmido, for years of training,” Dong-Soo said.

“They were either a shoeshine boy, a newspaper boy, a cinema worker, or a bouncer. They would approach the ones who looked like they might have played some sports, and had a strong physique,” Dong-Soo added.

The conditions on the island were often brutal. In fact, five other recruits were executed for desertion or crimes such as threatening their trainers.

For more than three years, unit members weren’t allowed to communicate at all with the outside world. Finally, something snapped.

When Dong-Soo heard gunfire that morning, he initially thought it was a North Korean attack.

But then he said one of his trainees shot him through the neck. Dong-Soo said he dragged himself out on to these rocks and hid, and somehow escaped being murdered. After killing 18 of their trainers, unit 684 wasn’t finished. They made it to the mainland and hijacked a bus to the capital.

Where 20 members died in clashes with Korean security forces.

Four survived to be later executed. For decades, the brutal story of Silmido island was covered up, until the Korean blockbuster movie Silmido hit screens out in 2003. Though it led to a public government investigation, this former unit 684 trainer claims much of the film is fiction.

The mutineers were victims who were sacrificed and so were the trainers.

To this day, the survivor often preaches about how God saved him on that terrible day when the assassins turned on their commanders.




Category: Korea

Print This Post

Comments are closed.