South Korea's military said Wednesday it is redoubling efforts to reform two key units -- the Cyber Command and Defense Security Command -- accused of being as political tools under previous administrations.
The Ministry of National Defense said the Cyber Command will be reorganized to head off the possibility of its involvement in domestic politics.
"Work is under way to review the organization of the Cyber Command," the ministry said in a report to the National Assembly's legislative and judicial committee. The goal is to clarify and redesign the mission and function of the command, it added.
The unit was created in 2010 with a mission to counter North Korean hacking attempts and other cyberattacks.
In its early years, however, some of its troops and agents were allegedly mobilized to help spread online messages supportive of government policies and critical of opposition blocs, especially ahead of the 2012 presidential elections.
The Defense Security Command also faces a set of reform measures. It is tasked with preventing the leakage of military and defense industry information and investigating activities undermining internal security as well as the loyalty of the country's armed forces confronting North Korea's communist army across the border.
There's a widespread suspicion that it illegally collected the personal information of some civilians.
The defense ministry's task force on coming clean about the military's past misdeeds suggested the establishment of a legal system to prevent the command from conducting inspections of civilians.
Defense Minister Song Young-moo also pointed out public mistrust of the command due to its past acts, which can be viewed as an infringement of human rights.
He urged the unit to regard itself as in a "state of a serious crisis" and make this moment a turning point to be reborn as an agency specializing in defense security and counterespionage missions.(Yonhap News)