Options for the Security of South Korea
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.
KeywordsKorean Peninsula Nuclear Weapon Defence Industry Military Capability Ground Force
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