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S. Korea, US to form nuke attack contingency plan
Publication Date : 30-04-2012
The South Korean and US militaries will develop operational scenarios for possible nuclear attacks by North Korea as part of their efforts to improve the ability to respond to weapons of mass destruction, the Ministry of National Defence said Friday.
The scenarios will be discussed at a bilateral table-top exercise later this year aimed at political and military preparations for the North‚Äôs nuclear attacks.
The two sides also agreed to cooperate in conducting research and to hold seminars for high-level decision makers in relation to the issue at the first Korea-US Integrated Defence Dialogue meeting that was concluded on Friday in Washington. The establishment of the Korea-US Integrated Defence Dialogue, or KIDD, was agreed to last year as a high-level communications channel for overseeing the Security Policy Initiative, or SPI, and Strategic Alliance 2015 Working Group, or SA2015WG. The KIDD also encompasses the Extended Deterrence Policy Committee, or EDPC
At the talks Seoul‚Äôs deputy defence minister for policy Lim Kwan-bin and the US‚Äô Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defence nominee James Miller also agreed to periodically compile reports on asymmetrical threats such biological weapons, and to increase cooperation in cyber- and space-related issues.
As part of related measures, the two countries would strengthen the functions and roles played by Korea-US cyber communications channel, and push for sign an agreement concerning space defence issues within the year. In addition, South Korean military officers will receive training in space-related programmes in the US from next year.
Regarding the possibility of North Korea conducting a third nuclear test, Lim said that the two allies were in agreement that such developments were likely.
‚ÄúThere is a high possibility that North Korea will conduct a nuclear test. There are two precedents of nuclear tests being conducted in connection to missile tests,‚ÄĚ Lim said. He added that although Seoul and Washington are not in possession of concrete evidence that a nuclear test is imminent, a nuclear test is considered likely to be used as a means to shore up Kim Jung-un‚Äôs regime after the failed long-range rocket launch on April 13.
‚ÄúThere was no talk about the specifics of the timing of the test. Signs of nuclear tests are monitored on a long-term basis, and (Pyongyang) has shown the possibilities. The timing can‚Äôt be predicted specifically, but it is deemed that it can be carried out at any time.‚ÄĚ
Concerning the threat of ‚Äúspecial military actions‚ÄĚ against the South Korea‚Äôs presidential office and media organisations, Lim said that although nothing has been confirmed Seoul and Washington were in agreement that provocations were highly likely.
On April 23, North Korea‚Äôs state media Korean Central News Agency reported that a ‚Äúrevolutionary military special action‚ÄĚ will take place soon, and that the actions will annihilate the targets in ‚Äúthree to four minutes‚ÄĚ or less.
The targets mentioned by the KCNA include President Lee Myung-bak and a number of local news outlets including the broadcasters KBS, YTN and the daily Donga Ilbo.