It dictates how to respond case-by-case to such emergencies in North Korea as a civil war, an outflow of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), a mass influx of refugees or a natural disaster, Yonhap said.That kind of division of labor whereby the US grabs the nukes and any other WMDs laying around and the ROK military does everything else probably makes the most sense. The US could be a polarizing force, at least initially, and next-door neighbor China might not be as willing to let a ROK-US force move into its buffer state if it thinks Uncle Sam's forces will be a heavy and lingering presence.
Under the plan, the United States assumes the role of eliminating North Korea's WMDs, including its nuclear weapons, while South Korean troops play a leading role in most other parts, it said.
North Korea has strongly protested at US-South Korean discussions of contingency plans which it denounces as preparations to invade the communist state.Given the two irreversible trajectories of Kim Jong-il's drive to develop nukes and his health prospects, it would be foolish to not be making plans for what to do if a post-KJI North Korea suddenly flew up on the radar.
Such discussions had been suspended under the previous liberal Seoul government which feared such a plan could infringe on its own sovereignty.
Yonhap said the discussions resumed after conservative President Lee Myung-Bak took office last year, with the plan completed recently.