Saturday, April 16, 2005

Our Common View

Although this article highlights an apparent disagreement between the United States and South Korea over updates to Op Plan 5029 in case we need to invade North Korea following their collapse, what is really significant is that both Washington and Seoul assume that a collapse is possible and that we'd need to move north in response:

Under a bilateral treaty, the South Korean military comes under U.S. command only in times of war.

Analysts said the U.S. military may have wanted control of South Korean forces to handle massive disruption envisaged by the potential collapse of impoverished North Korea which has been in a standoff with the outside world for more than two years over its nuclear weapons drive.

The goal of the top secret military operation, code-named 5029, would be to secure North Korea’s nuclear weapons sites and materials, they said.

We want to go north. And South Korea would too:

South Korea’s own secret plans on how to react to a sudden collapse of the North were revealed in October.

Under the plan revealed in a newspaper report, South Korea would move swiftly to take control of its communist neighbor, installing a top Seoul official as governor and opening camps for 200,000 refugees.

I find our common ground far more significant than the question of who commands South Korean forces moving north.