on January 17, 1968, a 31 member special unit of the 124th North Korean army, dressed in South Korean military uniforms, quietly passed through the “demilitarized zone” at the border between North and South Korea to carry out the secret mission of assassinating South Korean President Park Chung Hee entrusted by the reconnaissance Bureau of the Korean people’s army.

in recent months, the situation on the Korean Peninsula has become more complex and changeable with the interweaving of North Korea’s nuclear test, missile test launch and other issues. When the international community focuses on North Korea’s nuclear facilities and “wushuiduan” missiles, it should not be ignored that another factor also plays an important role in the situation on the peninsula, that is, the special operations forces of both sides.

in fact, in the whole history of the confrontation between the north and the south of the Korean Peninsula, the special forces have always been the core force of the direct confrontation between the two Koreas. Many special operations carried out by the two sides have had a significant impact on the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

in the two large-scale military exercises codenamed “key decision” and “vulture” jointly held by the United States and South Korea not long ago, there were special operations to deal with North Korea’s raid on South Korean cities and submarine based maritime infiltration.

although the war between the DPRK and the ROK was extinguished with the conclusion of the Panmunjom agreement in July 1953, the “covert war” led by the special forces of the two countries has never stopped.

in order to obtain each other’s important military intelligence, the DPRK and the ROK have been using special forces to infiltrate each other. In contrast, the infiltration of North Korean special forces is more frequent and often attracts the attention of the outside world. They mainly infiltrate by land and sea.

the land infiltration of Korean special forces mainly depends on excavating tunnels across the military demarcation line. According to South Korea’s “Chosun Ilbo” reported on April 18 this year, South Korean tunnel experts Li Zongchang and Jin Zhenzhe said, “the tunnel of North Korea’s invasion of South Korea has extended to the vicinity of Seoul Station. Through this tunnel, more than 1000 personnel of North Korean special forces can reach Seoul in only one hour”. Previously, they found 4 short-term tunnels and 13 long-term tunnels in North Korea.

the maritime penetration of the Korean special forces mainly depends on micro submarines. However, due to the complex seabed conditions, accidents often occur when the North Korean micro submarine performs special missions. The Jiangling submarine grounding incident in September 1996 is a representative. It should have been a secret infiltration operation. As a result, 26 North Korean special forces personnel who landed were rounded up by 40000 South Korean military and police. Finally, 11 committed suicide, 13 were killed, one was captured, and only one returned to North Korea.

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in the “key decision-2013” joint exercise held by South Korea and the United States this year, include the large-scale urban defense operations carried out by the South Korean military and police forces in Seoul, as well as the exercise subjects of joint anti submarine interception of underwater submarine infiltration by the South Korean and American naval forces at sea, which is just to deal with the infiltration of North Korean special forces.

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the infiltration organization of South Korea is relatively secret and almost unknown to the outside world, but the scale is not inferior to North Korea and the price is not small. On September 21, 2003, South Korea’s “Chosun Ilbo”, “Korea Times” and other media reported that the South Korean military admitted for the first time that more than 13000 “North faction task forces” trained to sneak into North Korea from 1951 to 1994, of which 7800 were dead or missing.

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compared with quiet infiltration and reverse osmosis, the assassination and retaliation carried out by the Korean special forces are much more bloody and intense. On January 17, 1968, a 31 member special unit of the 124th North Korean army, dressed in South Korean military uniforms, quietly crossed the “demilitarized zone” at the border between North and South Korea to carry out the secret mission of assassinating South Korean President Park Chung Hee entrusted by the reconnaissance Bureau of the Korean people’s army.

after several days of trekking, this team successfully sneaked into Seoul on the night of the 20th and approached the presidential palace of South Korea in Tsing wa Tai. However, the operation was detected by the vigilant South Korean military and police. The two sides launched a fierce battle in Seoul. When the North Korean special forces were closest to the presidential palace, the distance was only 800 meters. Finally, most of the team were killed the next day, one was arrested, and only one escaped and returned to North Korea.

the direct response of the South Korean government to the “qingwatai attack” is to “treat him in his own way”. In April of that year, the South Korean army immediately established a 31 person special air force aimed at assassinating Kim Il. This small unit, code named “684 army”, is composed of idle personnel recruited from the society.

but with the development of North South dialogue, this task was finally cancelled by the South Korean government. However, these special combat team members were in danger of being abandoned by the government. When there was no way out, the 684th unit, which should have rushed to Pyongyang, rushed to qingwatai and finally fell at the gunpoint of their own people. In 2003, a South Korean film called “Shiwei island” revealed the whole process of this tragic event, which caused great repercussions among the South Korean people.

the current president of South Korea Park Kyung hye is the daughter of President Park Chung Hee who was almost attacked that year. On January 21 this year, on the 45th Anniversary of the qingwatai attack, the defense command of the South Korean capital mobilized 4000 military and police forces to hold exercises in the center of Seoul. The background is that the North Korean special forces infiltrated Seoul again, and the South Korean military made an emergency response. It can be seen that the shadow of the Cheong wa Tai attack has been hanging over the hearts of South Korean leaders and people.

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in recent years, with the change of the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the continuous improvement of the informatization level of the military of North and South Korea, the battlefield of special operations of both sides has also extended from the ground and sea to cyberspace.

in 1998, the North Korean military established a cyber warfare force codenamed “unit 121”, which is led by the command automation Bureau of the general staff of the people’s army and the reconnaissance Bureau of the people’s Armed Forces Department. It is specially responsible for collecting the intelligence of the US, Japan and South Korea and carrying out cyber attack and defense operations.

since then, the force has launched several campaignsInfluential cyber attacks. In July 2009, the 121st force paralyzed major government websites such as the South Korean presidential palace, Congress, the national conditions academy and the Ministry of defense, as well as the home pages of the American Stock Exchange and the White House through the “distributed denial of service attack”, which was called “7.7 cyber terrorist attack” by the South Korean media. Therefore, in the “B-branch freedom guard” joint exercise held by the United States and South Korea that year, a special simulation was set up to simulate the attack of North Korean cyber warfare forces on the internal network of the United States and South Korea army.

on March 26, 2010, after the “Cheonan incident”, the 121st unit used a large number of Korean people’s online accounts in its hands to post intensively on major websites and forums in South Korea, and launched a large-scale online psychological war. The South Korean government later had to admit that this new form of special operations carried out by North Korea using cyber warfare forces has low risk and low cost, but the effect is much greater than that of traditional special operations, sinking a ship and assassinating several personnel.

the South Korean army has taken positive measures to deal with this. Yonhap reported in April this year that the South Korean military will integrate the functions related to cyber warfare scattered in multiple departments such as the cyber command and the Joint Staff Headquarters into the new “cyber policy management section” of the Ministry of national defense, so as to uniformly formulate the policies and plans of cyber warfare. At the same time, the South Korean army is also expanding its cyber warfare personnel to enhance its cyber warfare capability.

it should be said that the special war between the DPRK and the ROK is not only a special product of the North-South confrontation on the Korean Peninsula, but also a mirror of the situation on the Korean Peninsula. In recent years, although the situation on the Korean Peninsula is often suddenly tense due to some sensitive issues, the special operations between the DPRK and the ROK are undergoing changes from fierce to moderate. Because the long-term confrontation has made both sides realize that the only way to solve the Korean Peninsula issue is to replace confrontation with dialogue.