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[2005/6/8] Defense Minister Rebuffs Military Action Against NK

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Defense Minister Rebuffs Military Action Against NK [Korea Times]

By Jung Sung-ki 
Staff Reporter

Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung said Wednesday that it is impossible for the United States to conduct a preemptive attack against North Korea without the consent of South Korea. 

In an interview with a local radio program, Yoon stressed any military action against the North will be conducted based on an agreement between the two allies, dispelling speculation that Washington has a military concept plan, dubbed ``CONPLAN 8022,’’ for a unilateral attack on the communist country in case of an emergency.

``I haven’t been briefed on CONPLAN 8022 yet and I am not sure about the existence of the contingency plan,’’ Yoon said. 

South Korea and the U.S. agreed last week to ``improve and develop’’ the concept of a U.S.-led military contingency plan in the event of internal turmoil in North Korea, including the collapse of the communist regime. But the allies decided to keep the plan, code-named ``5029,’’ at the theoretical level. 

The two countries will present a developed contingency plan for North Korea in two months through working-level talks, Yoon said. 

The presidential National Security Council demanded the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command scrap a joint military plan, OPLAN 5029-5, last January, saying it could infringe upon the country’s sovereignty and capability to ensure peace on the Korean Peninsula. 

Under the plan, the U.S. military would take command in case of an emergency in North Korea, while South Korea has control of its military in peacetime. The plan calls for military responses to various levels of internal trouble in North Korea, such as regime collapse, the mass influx of North Korean refugees and revolt.

Minister Yoon rejected the notion that the recent deployment of U.S. stealth fighters to South Korea is a part of Washington’s efforts to put pressure on Pyongyang, which has boycotted the six-party talks over its nuclear weapons program. 

``The U.S. has deployed its aircrafts to other parts of the world on a routine basis as part of its military training program. The recent deployment cannot be seen as pressure against the North,’’ Yoon said. 

The U.S. military here said Tuesday that 15 F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighters and about 250 airmen were sent to a U.S. Air Force base in South Korea last week.

Meanwhile, an opposition lawmaker raised a question of OPLAN 5029-5 against the Stalinist North. 

During an interpellation session, Rep. Nam Kyung-pil of the largest opposition Grand National Party said he has received information on the military plan aimed at isolating and subverting the communist regime. 

The plan, initiated by senior Pentagon officials, including Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, includes ways to exhaust the North’s energy sources, Nam said. 

For example, the U.S. could conduct emergency military training, including flying its surveillance aircraft near the skies of North Korea to make the North send up its airplanes and consume it fuel, he said. 

It also specifies plans to distribute false intelligence on military and finance to deal a blow to the regime’s security, he added. 


gallantjung@koreatimes.co.kr 

06-08-2005 19:06

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