U. S. Practices for Nuclear War Against North Korea

November 14, 2004

According to a UPI report on November 7, newly declassified U.S. government documents reveal that since 1998 the U.S. had an active contingency plan to drop as many as 30 nuclear warheads on North Korea.

As part of this plan, known as "scenario 5027," 24 F15-E bombers flew simulation missions at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina to drop mock nuclear bombs on a firing range in Florida between January and June 1998. AWACS and KC-135 mid-air refueling planes also took part in the drills to prepare pilots for missions against North Korea from air bases in the U.S.

The revelation follows claims by South Korea members of parliament that the U.S. drew up plans to launch preemptive strikes on key targets in North Korea in 1994. Labeled "scenario 5026," it identified 756 targets that could be taken out by U.S. B-2 stealth bombers and F-117 stealth fighters in order to disable Pyongyang, especially its suspected nuclear weapons capabilities.

According to the Japanese Kyodo News Agency study of the newly declassified documents, the U.S. now officially admits that it kept nuclear weaponry in South Korea until at least 1998, despite officially claiming it had withdrawn all nuclear warheads in 1991.

Washington had conducted drills on the use of nuclear weapons in South Korea since 1958 and in one case fired a mock nuclear weapon at Kunsan Air Base along the southwestern coast of South Korea in 1991, the reports said.