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Report: South Korea Prepared for Possible Govt Collapse in North - 2004-10-05

A South Korean newspaper reports that Seoul has prepared secret plans to deal with the possible collapse of North Korea's government.

The JoongAng Ilbo said the plans, discussed at a South Korean parliamentary hearing Monday, call for South Korea's Unification Minister to take over as ruler of a post-collapse North Korea.

The report says South Korea's military has set up 10 refugee camps for North Korean defectors near the inter-Korean border, while Seoul has designated public facilities nationwide to house more than 200,000 North Koreans.

The plans, made public by an opposition lawmaker after a parliamentary hearing, were said to have been first drawn up around the time of the death of North Korea's founder, Kim il-sung.

South Korea has declined comment on the newspaper report.