A report from a South Korean publication claims that the United States Navy’s SEAL Team 6 is helping to plan a “decapitation attack” aimed at taking out North Korea’s political leadership.
According to news site JoongAng Daily, the SEAL Team — which carried out the raid that successfully killed Osama bin Laden in 2011 — is joining with South Korean forces to conduct “an exercise simulating the removal of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.”
A Pentagon spokesperson tells Business Insider that the United States “does not train for decapitation missions,” and denied that any U.S. forces were doing so in South Korea.
However, the publication also notes that planning for such a strike would “fit with a March 1 Wall Street Journal report that the White House is considering military action against the Kim regime.”
North Korea has been ramping up tests for ballistic missiles this year, and the country has stated its intention to test an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the United States by the end of the year.
“Washington and Seoul stress that the annual military drills are purely defensive, although Pyongyang sees them as a rehearsal for an invasion,” writes JoongAng Daily. “South Korea’s military said around 290,000 domestic soldiers and 10,000 U.S. soldiers will participate in this year’s drills, which by scale would be approximately the same as last year, the largest to date.”