South Korea to create special North Korea nuclear team

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspecting the intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspecting the intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14.PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (BERNAMA) - South Korea's Defence Ministry announced on Tuesday (Dec 26) that it will launch a special team on North Korea in an organisational shift aimed at responding more effectively to increased nuclear and missile threats from the communist neighbour, Yonhap news agency reported.

Under the plan approved at a Cabinet meeting, the Ministry of National Defence will create a post to oversee its North Korea policy under the Office of National Defence Policy led by a deputy minister.

It is to serve as the ministry's "control tower" on handling North Korea affairs.

The ministry will also establish a division specialising in coping with the North's nuclear programme in close coordination with the Nuclear and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Response Centre of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which is in charge of military operations.

The Counter WMD Division will be reorganised into the Missile and Space Policy Division, while the North Korea Policy Division and the Arms Control Division will be maintained, according to the ministry.

"The (new) director-general of North Korea policy will be in charge of the four divisions," it said. "The reorganisation this time is meaningful in that the Ministry of National Defence has set up a system necessary to effectively deter and respond to North Korea's nuclear and missile threats."

It is also expected to support the government's push for denuclearising Korea, building inter-Korean military trust and bringing peace to the peninsula, added the ministry.