The defense ministry launched a team Monday to prepare for the creation of a new command to supplant the scandal-ridden defense intelligence unit, long dogged by allegations of political interference.
The launch is in line with President Moon Jae-in's order last Friday to dissolve and reorganize the Defense Security Command following revelations that it explored the possibility of imposing martial law to quash anti-government protests last year.
Lt. Gen. Nam Young-sin, the newly appointed commander, leads the 21-member team tasked with crafting legal frameworks and carrying out other preparatory procedures for the new command with a name roughly translated as the "military security support command."
"We will expeditiously carry out the creation work to ensure that we can complete the DSC reform as soon as possible through re-establishing its mission, function and organizational composition and through personnel reform," the ministry said in a press release.
The team consists of four divisions in charge of planning, organizational composition, personnel management and legal affairs.
In line with the recommendations by a reform panel, the number of the defense unit's personnel is expected to be slashed by 30 percent to around 3,000. The drawdown will likely lead to the removal of three general-grade posts and 20 colonel posts in the unit.
The DSC has been the focus of public opprobrium due to political allegations. Most recently, it has been upbraided for its alleged creation of a document over the potential invocation of martial law to quash protests calling for the impeachment of then-President Park Geun-hye.
The document, which many say reeked of the country's past military authoritarianism, entailed detailed emergency procedures, such as censoring the media, seeking support from foreign diplomats here and precluding the parliament from lifting martial law. (Yonhap)