and Counterterrorist Forces
North Korean Maritime Special Operations Forces
Republic of Korea Marine Corps
The ROKMC was created in 1949. The ROKMC is the largest
Special Operation force in South Korea. They
first saw action in the Korean War. One during
the Korean conflict, a squad of ROKMC wiped out an
entire battalion of Communist forces. As a result
to this, they were acclaimed by foreign media and
were dubbed the "Invincible Marines." They and also
saw action during the Vietnam War. In Vietnam they
were stationed in Danang. There they sometimes fought
alongside with the USMC or the Navy SEAL's. Their
most notable operations were "Operation Van Buren"
and the Battle of Hoi An. During "Operation Van Buren,"
a ROKMC platoon of about 13 people wiped out an elite
North Vietnamese Army regiment. There were only 2
Koreans dead and more than 400 NVA soldiers dead.
It was first a gun battle but it broke down into hand
to hand combat. The ROKMC had an overall kill ratio
The Capital Division was formed just before the Vietnam
War. The soldiers were the best of the best of the
Korean Armed Forces. They were handpicked officers,
regulars, medical units, and intelligence officers.
They also had the best equipment. They did this so
they would not do less than a good job in Vietnam.
Their kill ratio was averaged at 17:1 or higher in
Vietnam. After Vietnam, the Capital Division became
a counter-terrorism/ intelligence force. They were
there to guard the free Kimpo from North Korean commandos.
707th Special Mission Unit
The 707th Special Missions Btn is part of the Korean
Army's Special Forces Unit, originally formed in April,
1958. After the Munich Olympic disaster the 707th
was formed and was rapidly expanded into a 200 strong
force in anticipation of the 1988 Olympics. The unit
is split into two companies, each organized around
four 14-man operations teams. Support and demolitions
teams also exist to augment the main teams. They are
headquartered in Songham, southeast of Seoul. Counter-terrorism
training for the 707th is very vigorous. Training
for the SF unit that all operators must be members
of before selection to the 707th is a full year long,
including six months of basic infantry combat skills
and another six months of special warfare training.
All members of the 707th are SCUBA and parachute qualified.
It is reported that members frequently perform daily
calisthenics in the snow and sub-zero temperatures
and will swim in freezing lakes without any thermal
protection. It is also reported that the 707th maintains
a group of combat qualified female operators for use
in situations where a woman would not be suspected
of posing a risk, such as an airline hijacking where
food and medicine might be allowed to be taken on
The 707th uses a wide variety of foreign and locally
produced weapons. Pistols include the Colt .45 and
the Daewoo 9mm, Berretta M9 9mm. The HK MP-5 is now
used as a submachine gun for assaults. Both the Daewoo
K1 and K2 assault rifles are used, albeit modified
for assaults with the addition of forward pistol grips
and in some cases low-light and night vision devices.
Modified M- 60E3's and and K3 Beltfed are used for
machine gun support. For rearguards a Tactical a Benelli
Super-90 shotgun with pistol grips is used For light
sniping the HK PSG-1 and M-24 7.62mm rifles have been
used, heavier sniping needs are cause for the M-40
.50 and RAI .50 caliber weapon to be broken out. The
707th provided security for VIPs and for key facilities
during the 1986 Asian Games and during the 1988 Olympics.
At both events, terrorist attacks were considered
to be a real danger. The 707th's soldiers – distinguished
by their black berets – are assigned urban counterterrorist
missions. They also constitute a quick-reaction unit
for other kinds of emergencies and special-warfare
requirements in wartime. In addition to working with
special Korean counterterrorist police units, the
707th also trains with special units from the United
Kingdom, United States, Israel and Australia.