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The Chosun Ilbo June 8, 2005

Mystery OPLAN Baffles Lawmakers

Amidst the kerfuffle over a Korea-U.S. operational plan for contingencies, the now infamous OPLAN 5029, there was much head-scratching in the National Assembly when during security questions the lesser-spotted “OPLAN 5030” was brought up on Wednesday.

Grand National Party lawmaker Nam Kyung-pil asked Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan if he had heard of OPLAN 5030. The prime minister said he had, but had no detailed report of its contents.

The plan, which has occasionally been reported on abroad, can be found on the military information website GlobalSecurity.org (www.globalsecurity.org). Its goal appears to be to force North Korea to exhaust its restricted military resources, create fissures in its military leadership and promote an environment in which Kim Jong-il’s regime could collapse. Through such measures as surprise military exercises near the Korean Peninsula, North Korea would be forced to go on high alert, exhausting its food, fuel and other resources stored up for a war.

But a Korean military expert said when he asked the U.S. Forces in Korea about OPLAN 5030, he was told that its existence was unconfirmed.

The USFK has all sorts of operational plans involving the Korean Peninsula, such as OPLAN 5026, 5027 and 5029. OPLAN 5026 calls for surgical strikes against strategic sites in North Korea, but avoids full-scale war. OPLAN 5027 is a full-scale war plan premised on a North Korean invasion of South Korea, and includes plans for a counterattack into the North. The abortive OPLAN 5029 is a contingency plan for unforeseen events in North Korea such as a mass defections, or the collapse of the North Korean regime.

Copyright 2005, The Chosun Ilbo