South Korea promises 'massive punishment' if North Korea 'crosses the line'

South Korea's President Moon Jae In took office hoping to engage diplomatically with North Korea and find peaceful solutions, but as tensions soar between the two Koreas, he's considering his offensive options.

Moon called for South Korea to prepare to “immediately switch to offensive operations” if North Korea makes a “provocation that crosses the line,” according to NK News.

Moon told his top military officers they should "strongly push ahead with a reform of the military structure to meet [the requirements] of modern warfare so that it can immediately switch to offensive operations in case North Korea makes a provocation that crosses the line or attacks a metropolitan area,” NK News notes.

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A soldier stands guard during an anti-terror drill on the sidelines of the Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) military exercises at a subway station in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. North Korea warned the U.S. on Tuesday it will face 'merciless revenge' for ignoring Pyongyangs warnings over annual military drills with South Korea. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Soldiers participate in an anti-terror drill on the sidelines of the Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) military exercises at a subway station in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. North Korea warned the U.S. on Tuesday it will face 'merciless revenge' for ignoring Pyongyangs warnings over annual military drills with South Korea. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Police officers wearing gas masks participate in an anti-terror drill on the sidelines of the Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) military exercises at a subway station in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. North Korea warned the U.S. on Tuesday it will face 'merciless revenge' for ignoring Pyongyangs warnings over annual military drills with South Korea. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A passenger takes a photograph of police officers wearing gas masks during an anti-terror drill on the sidelines of the Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) military exercises at a subway station in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. North Korea warned the U.S. on Tuesday it will face 'merciless revenge' for ignoring Pyongyangs warnings over annual military drills with South Korea. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A soldier stands guard during an anti-terror drill on the sidelines of the Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) military exercises at a subway station in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. North Korea warned the U.S. on Tuesday it will face 'merciless revenge' for ignoring Pyongyangs warnings over annual military drills with South Korea. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Police officers wearing gas masks take part in an anti-terror drill on the sidelines of the Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) military exercises at a subway station in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. North Korea warned the U.S. on Tuesday it will face 'merciless revenge' for ignoring Pyongyangs warnings over annual military drills with South Korea. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A South Korean policeman takes part in an anti-terror drill as part of the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise in Seoul, South Korea August 22, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
Members of Special Weapon and Tactics (SWAT) take part in an anti-terror drill as a part of the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise in Seoul, South Korea, August 22, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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Additionally, South Korea is developing a three-axis system to respond to a North Korean attack which includes pre-emptive strikes on North Korea's missile systems, air and missile defenses, and something called the "Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation system."

Moon has tried to engage closely with North Korea, even going as far as suggesting the country host some of South Korea's 2018 Winter Olympics, but to no avail as of yet.

As a conscript in the South Korean military, Moon witnessed first-hand the brutality of the North Korean regime when its soldiers murdered two US Army officers who were cutting down a tree in the demilitarized boarder zone between the Koreas.

North Korea artilleryStratfor

South Korea is currently building up a "decapitation force" meant to kill Kim Jong Un and other key North Korean leadership while building up missile defenses. Under Moon, the country has also developed an impressive ballistic missile fleet that can drill deep underground to hit high-value targets in bunkers, like Kim. 

South Korean Vice Minister of National Defense Suh Choo Suk told reporters that they hope to have perfected their offensive and defensive plan to win a war against North Korea by the early 2020s.

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