The ROK Military: Ominous Future Scenarios Make Readiness and Capabilities Vital Policy Priorities



The ROK military faces important and compelling national defense issues because North Korea — one of the most unpredictable and threatening nation-states on earth — sits on its border. In coming years, South Korea must address important issues such as ballistic missile defense (BMD), maintaining and upgrading key systems in its conventional forces, reaching a burden-sharing agreement with its key ally (the United States) when it comes to the cost of American troops being stationed on the Korean Peninsula, and perhaps most importantly, the projected disestablishment of Combined Forces Command and the command and control relationship that will exist with the United States when that occurs. These issues are fiscally expensive and often controversial politically. Thus, South Korea’s military and the challenges that it must face will be very important for security in the region in coming years.


North Korean threat ROK-US alliance South Korean military 


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  1. 6.
    For more analysis on the “Balancer Policy,” see Yōichi Funabashi, The Peninsula Question: A Chronicle of the Second North Korean Nuclear Crisis (Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2007), 252–257.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Bruce E. Bechtol, Jr. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Angelo State UniversityUSA

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