Fighter jets participate in aerial drill "Soaring Eagle," a large-scale exercise held twice a year solely by the South Korean air force. A South Korean air force officer proposed beheading operations against North Korean leadership is at the center of a defense plan in the case of a North Korea attack. Photo courtesy of Yonhap
SEOUL, May 24 (UPI) -- A South Korean air force officer has proposed "decapitation operations" targeting the North Korean leadership in a press release distributed ahead of a military seminar.
Yu Jae-mun, the strategic planning director of South Korea's air force, included a statement on the role a surgical strike against key targets could play during a combat mission, Yonhap news agency reported.
Beheading operations is at the center of what Yu has proposed as a "Korean concept of joint combat" that includes five points: shaping operations, securing a decisive advantage, attack from various vantage points, and operations sustainability.
The Korean mission of joint combat is intended to facilitate new U.S. strategy on the Korean peninsula, according to the report.
"In the case of an emergency, [South Korea's] anti-missile systems, the Korean Air and Missile Defense, or KAMD, and Kill Chain will be activated in response to North Korea nuclear weapons and missiles, and if needed decapitation operations could target the enemy's leadership," Yu said in the statement.
Another South Korean military official had also publicly mentioned the strategy of decapitation last August during a conference.
If beheading operations were carried out, the mission would involve stealth fighters, according to Yu. Drones would also be needed alongside the anti-missile defense system L-SAM that can intercept long-range missiles.
But a South Korean air force official told Yonhap the words "decapitation operations" have been deleted from the final version of the presentation.
The "draft document" reflected the opinions of the author, and not necessarily that of the military or military planners, the unidentified official said.
On Tuesday, North Korea condemned a decision involving the United States, South Korea and Japan to begin joint drills in June in preparation for potential missile threats from Pyongyang.
KCNA called the exercises, to be held in Hawaii, as a "dangerous military provocation."