Local media reports claim that Seal Team 6, the team which killed bin Laden in May 2011, have been deployed to South Korea where they are participating in the Foal Eagle and Key Resolve exercise taking place in the region.
Although the Pentagon would not confirm the reports, they said that “ground, air, naval and special operations” are carrying out “several joint and combined field training operations” with up to 17,000 troops.
According to South Korean newspaper JoongAng Daily, Seal Team 6 are simulating drills in which they would take out the North Korean leader as well as neutralize weapons of mass destructions, something which was confirmed by the South Korean defense ministry back in March.
However, U.S. Navy Commander Gary Ross denied these claims. Ross, discussing the military exercises in March, said that “There are a variety of Special Operations Forces (SOF) participating in Foal Eagle, as they do in most regional exercises.”
“Foal Eagle is a regularly-scheduled, annual exercise that is the culmination of many months of planning and it is not being conducted in response to the current situation on the peninsula,” he continued.
The reports come amid rising tensions between the U.S. and North Korea and a month after the U.S. placed a THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea.
On Wednesday, Donald Trump warned Kim Jong-un that he was “doing the wrong thing” by threatening the United States, adding that he was deploying an “armada” into the region, although he remained secretive about his broader military strategy.
“We are sending an armada. Very powerful,” Trump said during an interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo. “We have submarines. Very powerful. Far more powerful than the aircraft carrier. That, I can tell you.”