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  • Author: Noam Hartoch, Alon Levkowitz
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile tests during the Kim Jong-un era have strengthened the country’s military power, deterring South Korea, Japan and, in particular, the United States. While North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities are rapidly improving, parallel developments aren’t occurring in the traditionally technical air and air defense forces. Plagued with aging airframes, technical problems, parts shortages and budget shortfalls, the North Korean Air Force no longer challenges the South Korean and American air forces. This paper examines the North Korean Air Force, analyzing its organization and deployment, air defense and early warning capabilities, aircraft acquisition, and aircraft production. Shortfalls in each of these areas caused Pyongyang to develop, test, and operate an increasingly sophisticated drone fleet. While North Korea won’t be able to build a state-of-the-art aircraft industry, it will nonetheless find creative ways to strengthen its air force capabilities.
  • Topic: Nuclear Power, Weapons , Drones, Missile Defense, Air Force
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, South Korea, North Korea, Poland, Soviet Union, New Zealand, United States of America
  • Author: Gordon G. Chang
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: China is playing a duplicitous game when it comes to North Korea. It proclaims it is enforcing Security Council resolutions when it is in fact not. The Chinese have overwhelming leverage over the North, but they will not use their power to disarm the Kim Family regime, at least in the absence of intense pressure from the United States. Beijing believes Pyongyang furthers important short-term Chinese objectives, and so views it as a weapon against Washington and others. Beijing’s attempts to punish Seoul over its decision to accept deployment of the THAAD missile defense system reveal true intentions.
  • Topic: Sanctions, Authoritarianism, Weapons , Missile Defense, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: James F. Durand
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: With nearly 900,000 long-term residents, Japan has one of the largest populations of overseas Koreans. Japan is unique in that it is the only country that further classifies its Korean residents by external political affiliation; i.e., those not adopting Japanese nationality are affiliated with the Korean Residents Union of Japan (Mindan) or the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon), organizations that are linked to South and North Korea, respectively. The status of Korean residents in Japan, and both organizations supporting them, is a product of Japan’s complex relationship with the Korean Peninsula during the last century. American concerns about Japan’s Korean residents—both as an occupying power and a treaty ally—add another dimension to what should have been a domestic or bilateral issue between the Government of Japan, its Korean residents, and North or South Korea. Chongryon’s long-term financial, material, and technical support to Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs highlighted the differences between all governments. However, Pyongyang’s admission that it abducted Japanese citizens has brought about significant changes in the Japanese government’s policies toward North Korea and Chongryon. These include the suspension of ferry services between the two countries and limiting remittances to North Korea. As the Trump Administration considers tighter sanctions as part of its North Korean strategy, the history of the Japan’s relations with its proPyongyang residents provides a cautionary tale about the international community’s ability to use sanctions as a means to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile ambitions.
  • Topic: Immigration, Sanctions, Weapons , Ethnicity, Abductions
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: George Hutchinson
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The United States-Republic of Korea Alliance has arrived at a critical juncture. In July 2016, the countries jointly decided to deploy the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) ballistic missile defense system to the Korean Peninsula to defend against North Korea’s accelerating nuclear and ballistic missile programs. China has long opposed an American-led, regional missile defense system, persistently warning South Korea against deploying THAAD. Since the deciding to deploy THAAD, the political landscapes in the U.S. and the ROK have changed dramatically. The new Donald J. Trump administration has signaled a change from the previous administration’s “strategic patience” policy, but details of the new approach have yet to emerge. North Korea, meanwhile, continues to aggressively test ballistic missiles and promote its nuclear weapons program. In South Korea, the impeachment and subsequent removal of Park Geun-hye triggered the need for a snap election, and a left-leaning candidate, Moon Jae-in, is leading in the polls. The election could mark a return of previous liberal administration policies that favored cooperation with North Korea. Additionally, Moon has signaled his opposition to THAAD. Nonetheless, the U.S. began deploying THAAD to South Korea in March 2017. China retaliated, implementing a series of economic, political, and military measures to pressure South Korea. This paper provides background on THAAD, analyzes the decision by Washington and Seoul to deploy the system to Korea, and examines Beijing’s concerns and coercive counterstrategy
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Politics, Military Strategy, Weapons , Missile Defense, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Sam-man Chung
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs threaten South Korea and its neighbors. Pyongyang’s engineers are likely capable of producing a warhead small enough to place it atop a missile. As its ability to engineer warheads for flight and reentry improves, North Korea increasingly endangers the United States. Deterring Pyongyang is extremely difficult given North Korea’s conventional, unconventional, and cyber capabilities. South Korean and American strategists have reponspded by developing a tailored deterrence strategy to address specific threats. At the operational level, this is supported by the Combined Counter-Provocation Plan. Ballistic missile defense, including the ability to detect, defend, disrupt, and destroy North Korea’s missiles, is critical to the success of the tailored deterrence strategy. South Korea opted to develop its Korean Air and Missile Defense and Kill Chain system. These systems are independent of American ballistic missile defense systems. The Korean systerms were conceived and developed amidst plans to transfer Wartime Operational Control from the U.S. to South Korea. Because transfer has been postponted, there is less rationale for maintaing separate systems. Despite the official desire to keep these systems independent, South Korea needs to develop options for enhancing interoperability with American missile defense systems to support the tailored deterrence strategy.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons , Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America