Preparing for a North Korean Refugee Crisis
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Should a catastrophe occur in North Korea, millions of North Korean refugees would scatter throughout Northeast Asia. As a consequence, an operational plan that addresses a North Korean refugee crisis must be in place. While some would argue that a refugee crisis is largely a South Korean problem, it is a global problem that requires a coordinated international response. As lead executive agent for the United Nations in maintaining the armistice, the United States is the necessary leader in preparing for this potential disaster. Therefore, this paper recommends that the United Nations Command, with a resident Multinational Interagency Group, be the lead organization to coordinate a response. It stresses the need for early coordination amongst all participating nations, militaries and civilian agencies, and development of an operational level framework to mitigate the challenges of being overwhelmed when the crisis is at hand. It attempts to provide military planners with a view of what this mission would entail, the complicating factors surrounding it, and an appropriate command structure to facilitate a response.
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