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.
What Does Denuclearisation Really Mean?
In full view of the international media, the destruction of North Korea’s nuclear testing ground at Punggye-ri went ahead on 24 May. Yet hours later, US President Donald Trump announced […]
Understanding North Korea’s Internal Strategy
In light of the recent, positive developments on the Korean Peninsula (chief among them the apparent 180-degree turnaround by Chairman Kim Jong Un on the issue of denuclearization) it is […]
If Not North Korea, Who Will Be Japan’s Chief Antagonist?
The last year has seen sharp turns in the relationships between North Korea and its neighbors. After tough rhetoric back and forth between the United States and North Korea, we […]
Nordkorea – strategisk hotspot
Kina är delvs bundet av sitt vänskapsavtal med Nordkorea. Den kinesiska regeringen har dock gjort klart att man inte intervenerar om Nordkorea provocerar fram en konflikt, och det är tveksamt att man militärt skulle stödja landet utan en direkt amerikansk invasion av Nordkorea som hotar kinesiska intressen, skriver Niklas Swanström.
It’s Time for the European Union to Talk to North Korea
Brussels has an ostensible policy of “critical engagement” towards North Korea. This approach combines sanctions, humanitarian aid and dialogue. But since 2016 there have been many sanctions and no substantial […]
Taking Back Control: South Korea and the Politics of OPCON Transfer
Summary 1. The Moon government aims to achieve OPCON transfer (wartime control of its armed forces) by 2022, in accordance with a transition plan agreed upon with the United States. […]