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CONPLAN 5029 Not to Be Elevated to Status of OPLAN

Posted June. 06, 2005 06:17,   


On June 4, Korea and the US agreed not to elevate the status of OPLAN (Operational Plan) 5029, which is a contingency scenario for the Korean Peninsula such as the collapse of the North Korean regime or a mass exodus of refugees, into an official OPLAN, but they will improve and develop it.

MND (Ministry of National Defense) spokesperson Shin Hyun-don said on June 5, that Minister of Defense Yoon Kwang-ung and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld held a separate defense minister meeting during the fourth Asia Security Conference held in Singapore, on June 4, and agreed to such.

Since late last year, the US has conducted work to promote CONPLAN (Concept Plan) 5029 into an official OPLAN, but the Korean government has strongly opposed it, citing, “Elements that infringe on sovereignty” and the process of making it into OPLAN are now currently halted. Korea proposed to the US, while maintaining it as a CONPLAN, to improve and develop it,

Under the new agreement, both governments plan to hold a ROK-US MC (Military Committee), as early as mid June and will discuss adding joint measures to cope with diverse types of contingencies in the Korean Peninsula into CONPLAN 5029.

Spokesperson Shin explained, “After being reviewed by the MND, the government will give guidelines to the MC, which will be improved and developed by the Joints Chiefs of Staff and the United States Forces in Korea.”

The CONPLAN to be newly revised is reported to carry joint ROK-US measures to respond to contingencies that might occur on the Korean Peninsula such as North Korea’s internal turmoil, collapse of the regime, and mass defections. However, it is also reported that both Korea and the U.S. have agreed not to include the organization of operational units and use of military force plans in the CONPLAN.

At a joint news conference held after the meeting, Secretary Rumsfeld said, “The meeting was very useful. We discussed ways to continuously develop and strengthen the ROK-U.S. alliance.”

Minister Yoon, on the other hand, emphasized, “ROK-U.S. military relations have developed into a higher level by wisely solving last year’s issues such as the realignment of USFK and the relocation of the Yongsan Garrison base. The remaining issues will also be solved smoothly.”

Jong-Koo Yoon jkmas@donga.com