South Korea created a new military security command Saturday that replaces a scandal-prone unit.
The military held a launch ceremony for the Defense Security Support Command (DSSC) at its headquarters in Gwacheon, just south of Seoul. It was hosted by Defense Minister Song Young-moon.
The command is tasked with collecting security-related intelligence and countering anti-state activities. Lt. Gen. Nam Young-sin, a former special forces commander, has been named its first leader.
Its predecessor, the Defense Security Command (DSC) born in 1991, was disgracefully disbanded amid fierce public criticism about its past wrongdoings.
The DSC is accused of having plotted the enforcement of a draconian martial law in late 2016, when many South Koreans were protesting against then-President Park Geun-hye.
It was also found to have inspected civilians related to the 2014 ferry disaster and carried out secret online operations to back previous conservative governments.
In a speech, Song said the DSC tainted the military's honor through such "illicit" acts without repenting.
The people even felt a sense of betrayal over the military's intervention into politics, he added.
Nam, the commander, said the new unit will faithfully carry out its mission as the sole security and anti-espionage agency of the military.
President Moon Jae-in ordered the creation of a brand-new command to take over the DSC's role and mission.
The DSSC is composed of around 2,900 personnel, a 30 percent cut from the some 4,200 at the DSC. (Yonhap)