July 17, 2009 07:36
The U.S. Defense Department is developing a scenario in preparation for a future North Korea, possibly without ailing leader Kim Jong-il, a senior department official indicated Wednesday.
Michael Nacht, the assistant secretary of defense for global strategic affairs, on Wednesday told a hearing on weapons of mass destruction at the House Armed Services Committee that the department is developing a scenario for the future of North Korea.
Nacht said Kim is sick and his youngest son and heir apparent is in an unstable position. Tension with the outside world over the past months is attributable to such domestic factors as well as external problems, he added.
The U.S. administration has so far avoided mentioning Kim's health.
Nacht's mention of a "scenario" shows that the U.S. military is getting a step closer to an operational plan that will go into action in case of a sudden change in North Korea.
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