Reports that North Korean dictator, Kim Jong il may have suffered a stroke and currently is under care in a hospital have aroused concern among many nations in Asia as to what would happen if he died. US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, is discussing with American military leaders about what might be done if Kim Jong il dies. The United States and South Korean Combined Forces of Command currently have a conceptual contingency plan–code named CONPLAN 5029. The plan supposedly deals with scenarios such as an outflow of thousands of refugees from North Korea or the outbreak of civil war as competing factions in the North Korean army struggle over power.
Gates is concerned about the need to update the plan and is seeking to meet with South Korean officials to discuss future possible actions. There are rumors a new design known as OPLAN 5029 is being prepared. North Korea recently reached an agreement concerning nuclear development with the United States and there is fear if Kim Jong il dies, the next leader might not wish to follow through with the agreement.