SEOUL, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's defense ministry on Monday launched a preparatory team to disband its military intelligence unit tainted with its alleged political interference and create a new one.
The preparatory team will be led by Lt. Gen. Nam Young-sin, who was appointed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in last week as a new commander of the Defense Security Command (DSC).
Moon ordered the disbandment and the new creation of the DSC, which was accused of reviewing the invocation of martial law to quell candlelight rallies that led to the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye.
The DSC was also charged with manipulating public opinion in the cyberspace and illegally surveilling the bereaved families of victims to the Sewol ferry sinking disaster that claimed over 300 lives, mostly high school students on a school trip to the southern resort island of Jeju in April 2014.
Moon ordered DSC members, who were involved in the illegalities, to be returned to their original units. The DSC was composed of personnel from the army, the navy and the air force.
The name of the DSC will be changed into the military security support command, which the defense ministry aims to launch on Sept. 1.
Relevant decrees to dissolve and newly create the military intelligence unit will be submitted to the cabinet meeting on Aug. 14 when the decrees are forecast to be enforced immediately.
The number of the military intelligent unit personnel was expected to be slashed to about 3,000 from the previous 4,200 in accordance with the recommendations from the defense ministry's DSC reform committee.
It would lead to cuts in the number of general-grade posts from nine to six and the number of colonel posts from 50 to 30, respectively.