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The ExOps briefing screen displaying the "Song Initiative"
|Place: North Korea, South Korea, People's Republic of China|
|Outcome: General Song is verified|
President Kim is saved
Factional split within Russian Mafia
Increased black market trade in North Korea
| Allied Nations
| South Korea
||People's Republic of China||Russian Mafia||North Korea|
| Gen. Djordjevich (before capture of Ace of Clubs)
Gen. Djordjevich (after capture of Ace of Clubs)
| Mitchell Buford
| Col. Peng
| Sergei Voronov † (before arms deal)
Misha (after the arms deal)
| Gen. Song|
Sergei Voronov † (after the arms deal)
|Large amount of AN soldiers, Australian Royal Navy, military jeeps, APCs, tanks, helicopters, gunships, jet fighters/bombers and planes||Large amount of ROKA soldiers, ROKA 707th Commando Unit, military jeeps, APCs, helicopters and gunships
CIA supplied weaponry, vehicles and jet fighters/bombers
|Very large amount of PLA soldiers, military jeeps, APCs, tanks, helicopters, gunships and artillery||Small amount of Mafia thugs, enforcers, technicals and helicopters (early)
Large amount of mafia thugs, enforcers, technicals and helicopters
|Very large amount of KPA soldiers, Deck of 52, military jeeps, APCs, tanks, helicopters, gunships, jet fighters and nuclear ICBMs|
|Low - medium.
DMZ heavily bombarded.
|Heavy military loss.
Tens of thousands of civilians killed
|Heavy military loss.
Various forward bases destroyed.
Dandong-Sinuiju bridge destroyed.
|Low - medium.
Sergei killed and Headquarters heavily damaged.
Multiple officers killed.
|Very heavy military loss.|
General Song killed/captured.
Deck of 52 killed/captured.
Many civilians killed.
- "North Korea is a quagmire, the Allies are stuck in it, and it's all because of this man here."
- — Fiona Taylor
The "Song Initiative" refers to a major crisis in North Korea during the events of Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction. It serves as the story to the game and explains the events leading up to the mercenary's mission to North Korea, the capture of eponymous General Song, and the take down of the Deck of 52, a group of people related to General Song during the coup d'état to overthrow the current government under the rule of his father, President Kim.
The crisis began in 2009, the aging President Kim, unlike his predecessors, was tired of always fighting with the south and wanted to extend an olive branch of peace to their Southern companion and begin a new government of peace and democracy. All seemed well and negotiations were going smoothly, however, not all were happy with the peace signings, and some such as the President's own son, Choi Song, believed North Korea to be greatly superior to South Korea and didn't have to be on equal terms with them, instead he wanted to overthrow them, and expand North Korea, creating a dictatorial, imperialist empire. Song would soon bring his beliefs to fruition and show the whole world how powerful he could become. Halfway during a signing ceremony used as a place to celebrate the peace signings, which housed both North and South political figures, Song himself, backed up by a large group of insurgents stormed the ceremony and wiped out the political leaders of both parties under an endless shower of gunfire, President Kim himself was reportedly killed personally by Song without any emotion or hesitation.
Song, now the new ruler and dictator of North Korea and general of the Korean People's Army (KPA), expelled all foreign aid workers and embassy personal and severed all communications with the outside world; North Korea had "gone dark". All worldwide diplomats and all foreign press were blocked off and not allowed entry while AN weapons inspectors were denied entry too. Absolutely no information was being printed about the issue and eventually people just forgot about it and headlines turned to different matters, until one stormy night.
The pressure builds
Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) intercepted a freighter caught in the middle of a storm and quickly set off to rescue the crew. However once the RAN got close they realized the crew had hastily attempted to scuttle their ship and made a quick getaway, suspicions arouse and the RAN investigated the ship and ignored the escaping crew. After the RAN discovered the ship was of North Korean origin they quickly set up an inspection which ended in what they feared the most, the Australian sailors had found large nuclear stockpiles of weapons located on deck and in the cargo bay of the ship and manifests detailing their origin of a company in Indonesia which was widely known as a front for terrorists. This new major discovery sent the chilling proof that sent shockwaves through the entire Allied Nations. Chinese intelligence shortly released a report detailing that they had estimated by this time that Song could have developed missiles more advanced and numbers to be even more than initially suspected and had apparently developed I.C.B.M (Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile) technology capable of delivering their nuclear stockpile anywhere in the world.
As soon as the news was released the Allied Nations created a massive multinational coalition, crossed the DMZ, and invaded North Korea North Korea, capturing and dismantling any warheads they could find and effectively deposing the North Korean government under Song with the capture of the capital city of Pyongyang.
The initial invasion was a complete success. The Korean People's Army, though massive and rigorously trained, had not fought in a war since 1953 and were unprepared for all-out war with the the well-armed, experienced, and technologically superior AN forces. The KPA was forced to yield control of many cities and industrial centers, and the nuclear power facility at Yongbyon was lost to the invaders. The AN had thought they had won, but weapons inspectors had found secret documents detailing that General Song was building 30 more warheads at another, undisclosed location and they would be ready to launch in just three weeks.
Up to that moment, it had seemed that victory was at hand. The North Korean military had largely been routed and Song's government was forced to flee the capital, giving many hope that the war would soon be over and Korea could finally be reunified under the South Koreans. The discovery of the additional nuclear weapons caused considerable alarm, and coalition governments were hard-pressed to avert panic among their citizens. The AN now had an urgent agenda; find and capture General Song before those missiles were launch-ready and the General was at the helm of a new nuclear superpower.
The AN searched North Korea for two weeks of fruitless searching and eventually grew so desperate they went on air and held a press conference. They devised a group of "most wanted" people who were involved somehow in the coup or with General Song and comprise it into a list of 52 playing cards; the Deck of 52. The deck contained all of Song's business men, high ranking military personal, the scientists responsible for the nuclear weapons and Song's personal bodyguards and advisors, with General Song himself being the Ace of Spades. An AN spokesman appeared on GSRN and announced that General Song had been marked as an "open bounty", worth $50,000,000 dead... and $100,000,000 alive.
Other nation involvement
The Song Initiative opened up many opportunities for other nations from around the world. Although the AN was comprised of many nations, some operated independently and had their own agendas.
China, ironically North Korea's only real friend and ally on the world stage since the breakup of the Soviet Union, turned on them as they realized the North Korean forces were mostly deployed towards border of the the two warring countries, the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). China pounced at the chance to take North Korea for themselves and sent in large waves of People's Liberation Army (PLA) regiments, backed by an impressive array of powerful armored vehicles and artillery. Taking advantage of a crumbling North Korean government and a weakened Korean People's Army, the PLA marched their way into North Korea under the command of the serious and determined Colonel Peng.
The Republic of Korea, popularly known as South Korea, was driven by a strong sense of purpose, seeing the war and the invasion as a chance to finally reunify their country under their government. Though technologically superior, the Republic of Korea Army (ROKA) had less manpower and fewer heavy weapons compared to the KPA. To counter this the CIA formed an "alliance" with the ROKA, forming the South Korean Union (SKU), led by Seoul Company (Asian slang for the CIA) man Agent Mitchell Buford, who had been working in South Korea for 30 years and was not about to allow North Korea to be lost to the Chinese after all he had done to reunify the peninsula under Seoul.
These armies were all involved in hard fighting and needed the equipment to combat each other, and the North Koreans desperately needed ordnance and weapons to battle the invaders. Upon hearing of this, the Russian Mafia decided to join the fray, setting up shop in West Pyongyang and in the now mostly deserted and destroyed Yongbyon. The Russian mobsters quickly established a "discreet supply business", supplying vehicles, weapons and even arranging air and artillery strikes for whoever paid enough for their services. The Russian Mafia was indifferent as to the war at large and who ultimately took control of North Korea. Their goal was simply to infiltrate the conflict and make as big a profit as they possibly could.
Lastly, the titanic bounty placed on General Song attracted the attention of private military company Executive Operations (ExOps), who then contacted the ANs Major Steven Howard for work to which he agreed, without any approval from his commander. Deciding to keep a low profile in the conflict, ExOps sent in a single mercenary via C-17 cargo plane en route to the most dangerous place on Earth.
Song initiative brief
"You are a professional warrior, about to drop into a landscape rife with chaos. You know this because they only call people like you in when things get really hairy. This might be the job that does you in... or the job that sets you up for life.
The conflict began not too long ago... the leader of North Korea, the aging President Choi Kim, had extended an olive branch to South Korea, embracing their "Sunshine Policy" and reviving hopes of peaceful reunification. In return, South Korea agreed to pump money into North Korea on the condition that they dismantle their military. President Choi Kim became a populist figure among the youth of South Korea, and brought a new sense of hope and pride to the people.
No one was aware of the hidden darkness waiting to shatter the peace. Choi Kim's son, General Choi Song, wasn't satisfied with negotiations and peace treaties. He believed his father had lost sight of North Korea's destiny. In the midst of a signing ceremony celebrating a road map to the reunification of Korea, General Song staged a coup. Backed by an army of insurgents, he stormed the ceremony and wiped out the North and South political leaders in a shower of gunfire. Without hesitation, he even snuffed the life of his own father.
The new ruler expelled all foreign embassy personnel and aid workers. The country "went dark" as the emerging dictator Choi Song cut off all communication with the outside world. Diplomatic overtures failed. Song barred entry to foreign press and weapon inspectors. Eventually the world's headlines turned to other crises. But rumours ran through the network of mercs, and each one hinted the worst. Then the worst came.
When the Royal Australian Navy showed up to rescue the crew of a North Korean freighter floundering in a storm, they discovered the sailors making a hasty effort to scuttle the ship. Their suspicions aroused, the Aussie sailors searched the boat and found nuclear weapons in the cargo bay, bound for an Indonesian company known as a front for terrorists. The undeniable link between General Song, nuclear weapons, and terrorists sent shock ways through the Allied Nations. Within hours of the discovery, Chinese intelligence released a report revealing that North Korea's missile capability was much more advanced than suspected—the North Koreans now had intercontinental missiles powerful enough to hit targets on all seven continents.
An Allied Nations-initiated Task Force was hastily formed, consisting of troops from around the globe. They invaded North Korea, smashed through a division of North Korean regulars and captured the launch sites in Yongbyon. But their victory was short-lived. A.N. weapons inspectors found documents at the sites revealing that North Korea was building 30 nuclear warheads at another—still unknown—launch site. Even worse, the evidence made it clear that the missile would be ready to launch in just three weeks. The distant threat of an enemy that could end my days from across the world was much worse.
The A.N. forces now had a new, urgent agenda: find and capture Song before those missiles were launch-ready and the General was at the helm of a new nuclear superpower. After a week or two of fruitless searching, the A.N. press conferences took on an air of desperation. They distributed a "most wanted" list in the form of a "Deck of 52" playing cards. Song, of course, was the Ace of Spades. His top military and scientific advisors filled out the rest of the deck, along with a smattering of criminals that he'd hired to help out. An A.N. spokesman appeared on Global Satellite Reporting Network [GSRN] and announced an "open bounty" on General Song. The price? One hundred million dollars.
Fiona Taylor, the Executive Operations technical officer, called and gave the situations report. That was just hours ago. And now here you are on a cargo plane headed for the Demilitarized Zone, about to catch your last bit of shuteye before making a drop into the most dangerous place on Earth..."