A top South Korean defense official admitted this week that Seoul has a plan in place to assassinate North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un.
The Asia Times reported that Defense Minister Han Min-koo made the remarks Wednesday during a parliamentary meeting in the country’s capital. He was asked about rumors circulating about such a plan.
“If it becomes clear the enemy is moving to attack the South with nuclear missiles, in order to suppress its aims, the concept is to destroy key figures and areas that include the North Korean leadership,” Han said. He said Seoul is “considering launching a Special Forces unit to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.”
Meantime, North Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Ri Yong Ho railed against the United States in his United Nations General Assembly address, warning the U.S. of "tremendous consequences" for its aggression and justifying Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program and nuclear tests to defend North Korea from American hostility. He said North Korea "had no other choice but to go nuclear inevitably after it has done everything possible to defend the national security from the constant nuclear threats from the United States which had continued over the century from the 1950s. Our decision to strengthen nuclear armament is a righteous self-defensive measure."
U.S. military experts raised concerns that Pyongyang is moving closer toward obtaining the ability to put nuclear warheads on a variety of its ballistic missiles, a growing arsenal that one day may include a reliable weapon that could reach the U.S. mainland.
North Korea conducted its fifth and most powerful nuclear test to date on Sept. 9, claiming it as a successful nuclear warhead detonation that proved its ability to mass produce "standardized" nuclear weapons that could be used on missiles.
Pyongyang, in response to South Korea’s reported plan, issued a statement a day later, calling the country "puppet warmongers" and saying that its "military provocations have pushed the situation on the Korean Peninsula to the uncontrollable and irreversible phase of the outbreak of nuclear war."
Fox News' Jonathan Wachtel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.