Options for the Security of South Korea

  • Kim Jung-Ik


In the strategic situation after the end of the Cold War in which South Korea does not have a long-term strategic importance to the United States and accordingly the United States will be unlikely send its troops automatically and immediately to South Korea in a crisis, there are options South Korea can choose from with regard to security. First is to increase South Korea’s own military capability. This can be achieved by increasing weapons productivity and investment in sophisticated military technology. The second option available to South Korea is to hold onto the presence of the US military. If current South Korean military capacity is not enough to counter that of North Korea, then South Korea should borrow US military capability to compensate. The third option is to weaken North Korea’s combat capability. This option could be achieved through bilateral talks possibly between China and North Korea, between the United States and North Korea, or between North Korea and Russia. If Russia and China are providing key combat elements to North Korea, South Korea could undermine North Korean military capacity by encouraging China and Russia not to do so. The last option is to hold direct North—South talks and reach a peace agreement. This would be the most desirable solution.


Korean Peninsula Nuclear Weapon Defence Industry Military Capability Ground Force 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 3.
    Janne E. Nolan, Military Industry in Taiwan and South Korea (London: Macmillan, 1986), p. 76.Google Scholar
  2. 34.
    Moon Chungin, ‘The Political Economy of Defense Industrialization in South Korea: Constrains, Opportunities, and Prospects’, The Journal of East Asian Affairs, Summer/Fall 1991, pp. 438–44.Google Scholar
  3. 44.
    Cha Young-Koo, ‘The Future of ROK—US Military Relations’, William J. Taylor, Jr., Cha Young-Koo, and John Q. Blodgett (eds), The Korean Peninsula: Prospects for Arms Reduction Under Global Detente (Boulder: Westview Press, 1990), p. 114.Google Scholar
  4. 47.
    Cha Young-Koo, ‘The Trend of US—ROK Security Relations’, Dora Alves (ed.), Evolving Pacific Basin Strategies, The 1988 Pacific Symposium (Washington, DC: National Defense University Press, 1990), p. 148.Google Scholar
  5. 49.
    Peter Hayes, Pacific Powderkeg: American Nuclear Dilemmas in Korea (Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books, 1991), pp. 34–40.Google Scholar
  6. 55.
    R. Stilwell, ‘Commentary: The United States, Japan and the South Korea’, International Security, Fall 1977, p. 93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kim Jung-Ik 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kim Jung-Ik
    • 1
  1. 1.US Policy Division, Ministry of National DefenseRepublic of Korea ArmyKorea

Personalised recommendations