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Moon replaces chief of scandal-ridden defense unit, orders creation of 'new command'

All Headlines 14:21 August 03, 2018

SEOUL, Aug. 3 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in on Friday replaced the commander of the scandal-ridden defense intelligence unit and ordered the creation of a new command "in a break with its past" marred by a slew of political allegations.

Moon's chief press secretary Yoon Young-chan made the announcement as part of efforts to reform the Defense Security Command (DSC).

The president appointed Lt. Gen. Nam Young-sin, the current commander of the Army's Special Warfare Command, to replace Lt. Gen. Lee Suk-koo, who had led the command since September last year.

The order came a day after the defense ministry's reform committee proposed a series of sweeping changes, including slashing the unit's 42,000 personnel by 30 percent and abolishing "all of its institutional underpinnings" to enable a wholesale overhaul.

The DSC has been the focus of public criticism due to allegations of political interference. Most recently, it has been upbraided for its alleged production of a document over the potential imposition of martial law to quash anti-government protests last year.

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 halting the martial law imposition.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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