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South Korea, United States agreed on new operation plan, says report

OPLAN 5015 includes plans for removing North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction, said one military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

By
Elizabeth Shim
South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo said to lawmakers on Wednesday there have been no reviews of the current military strategy that involves both Seoul and Washington despite a recent report of a new plan. File photo by Yonhap
South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo said to lawmakers on Wednesday there have been no reviews of the current military strategy that involves both Seoul and Washington despite a recent report of a new plan. File photo by Yonhap

SEOUL, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- A South Korean military official said Seoul and Washington signed a new Operation Plan into agreement in June, but South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo said to lawmakers on Wednesday no reviews of the U.S.-South Korea plan were made.

A military official, who spoke to South Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilbo on the condition of anonymity, said the new Operation Plan already has been integrated into the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises jointly coordinated between the United States and South Korea and runs from Aug. 17 to 28.

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According to the official, South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Choi Yoon-hee and Commander of the U.N. Command Curtis Scaparrotti signed the new Operation Plan 5015 in June, following the 2010 negotiation of a Strategic Planning Guidance. Military sources told the JoongAng the agreement to transfer wartime control over allied forces to South Korea would be postponed to 2020.

Under the current arrangement, U.S. commanders are in charge of directing both U.S. and South Korean troops in the case of war with North Korea.

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OPLAN 5015 includes plans for removing North Korea's weapons of mass destruction and preparing allied troops for a preemptive strike in the event of a North Korea attack.

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The military official said North Korea's striking power has grown with the development of its nuclear weapons and missiles, and the new plan includes a strategy to neutralize North Korea striking power in the shortest period of time.

North Korea's recent mobilization of its forces after its declaration of a "quasi-state of war" was studied by South Korea's military intelligence, the official said, and the information gathered from recent events have been integrated into OPLAN 5015.

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The report however was not confirmed by Seoul's top defense official.

South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo said to lawmakers on Wednesday there have been no reviews of the current military strategy that involves both Seoul and Washington, Newsis reported.

Han did not provide further details on OPLAN 5015.

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