The Washington-Seoul Alliance in the Time of North Korea’s Denuclearization
Following a dangerous escalation of tensions last year, few could have envisaged the rapid turnaround in events witnessed so far amidst a flurry of high-level summit diplomacy. Although the complete denuclearization of North Korea remains a hypothetical scenario for now, its prospect would herald huge implications not only for inter-Korean relations, but also regional security dynamics in Northeast Asia. A key question, therefore, is how a process of denuclearization would impact on the U.S.-ROK alliance – an alliance which in October will commemorate 65 years since the mutual defense treaty was signed between the two sides in 1953.
North Korea’s perceived military threat constitutes a key rationale for American military alliances with South Korea and Japan. The U.S.-ROK alliance is arguably at its strongest when North Korea is deemed to be the greatest threat. Accordingly last year, responding to a succession of missile and nuclear tests, President Moon Jae-in not only sanctioned the largest joint military exercises yet seen between the two allies, but also fast-tracked the installation of the contentious U.S. THAAD anti-missile system, at the expense of South Korea’s relations with China.
Disaster Risk Reduction: A Sustainable Path for Inter-Korea Cooperation
Introduction: Even in its current state of pandemic-induced isolation, North Korea continues to engage the international community on climate adaption and disaster risk reduction. South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s renewed […]
Chun In-bum on Seoul’s Security Policy Amid the Mounting North Korean Missile Threat
Mitch Shin interviews Chun In-bum on Seoul’s Security Policy Amid the Mounting North Korean Missile Threat.
Towards a New Conflict Management System on the Korean Peninsula: A Military Perspective
In this essay, Major General (ret.) Mats Engman assesses the lack of a viable conflict management system on the Korean Peninsula. While the nearly seven decades-old Armistice Agreement and focus […]
Will Pyongyang’s NATO Tirades Pay Dividends?
Introduction: As the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit was being held in Madrid, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK or North Korea) state media outlet Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) […]
Korean Peninsula Tensions Escalate Amid a Return to Old School Policies
Introduction: South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin met his U.S. counterpart Antony Blinken on Monday in Washington, D.C. The meeting came three weeks after a summit meeting in Seoul between […]
North Korea Threats Make Engaging Quad a Risk Worth Taking for South Korea
Introduction: For much of the past decade, South Korea was inclined to play a balancing act between the U.S. and China while keeping its foreign policy energy primarily focused on […]