중앙데일리

Seoul proposes discussing collapse plan with U.S.

May 01,2005
A U.S. official said yesterday that South Korea has proposed to continue updating a joint military plan that would be implemented in the event North Korea suddenly collapsed.
Lee Jong-seok, a senior South Korean official on the National Security Council, made the proposal during a visit to Washington at the end of last month, according to the Pentagon source.
“He said that with the agreement of both nations, the plan should be maintained and developed,” the official said.
The source added that Richard Lawless, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific Affairs, promised to give an answer to the proposal as soon as possible.
The Roh administration said previously it terminated the plan― code-named Operations Plan 5029 ― in January because of concerns it could violate Korea’s sovereignty.
Under the plan, an American four-star general would have operational control of military forces ― including South Korean ― if North Korea collapsed.
The contingency plan was first devised in 1999 by Seoul and Washington. Last year, both countries considered developing the plan beyond a “concept” stage.
Concept plans lay out only broad instructions for both militaries at an operational level. Operational plans, however, detail the function of military units above the battalion level.
“Nowadays, the trend is that there is virtually no difference between a concept plan and an operational plan,” the official said.
Some analysts argue that Seoul’s reluctance to develop the concept plan on an operational level is because the government might have its own contingency plan for a sudden North Korean collapse.
Seoul views the North as unrecovered territory and believes its military should lead the operations to secure the country if the communist regime disintegrates.
But Washington has different ideas, as one of its priorities is to enter North Korea quickly and prevent the transfer of nuclear weapons or material that makes the manufacture of such weapons possible.


by Kang Chan-ho


dictionary dictionary | 프린트 메일로보내기 내블로그에 저장