U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday North Korea is a “global threat” and “requires a global response from all nations.” Tillerson made the remarks a day after Pyongyang fired yet another missile over Japan. (Sept. 15)

One of the more memorable times when someone openly talked about assassinating North Korea’s leader, it was a joke.

In the 2014 comedy, “The Interview,” Seth Rogen and James Franco play journalists who are recruited by the CIA to assassinate Kim Jong-un instead of interviewing him.

North Korea was not happy about it — Pyongyang even threatened military action against the U.S.

Now, it looks like South Korea is stepping into the fray.

A few days after North Korea tested its sixth nuclear missile, South Korea announced its plans to create a special military “decapitation unit” with the goal of assassinating Kim Jong Un.

Deterrence strategy

Killing a foreign leader is obviously a covert operation — so why would South Korea reveal its plans so publicly?

It’s a form of deterrence that doesn’t involve nuclear weapons, says Isaac Stone Fish, a journalist and Asia Society fellow.

“It’s a way for South Korea to say to North Korea, ‘Hey, we really mean business here.’”


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South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in was elected in May on a platform of diplomacy and engaging with the North. This shift in…