19 December 2017
As US President Donald Trump departed from Northeast Asia last month, he appeared to set the stage for a significant uptick in sales of US military hardware. Both in Tokyo and Seoul, Trump’s emphasis on bilateral trade agreements has apparently spawned one solution to the current trade imbalance, which is to sell lots of advanced weapons to both countries.
The question of what funding is available, among other things in Seoul and Tokyo, is also very relevant. Dr Swee Lean Collin Koh, a research fellow with the Maritime Security Program at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore says “the strategic motivations of Japan and ROK [Republic of Korea/South Korea] to beef up their defenses are there, and both countries have evinced interest and demonstrated some will to proceed with those plans.”
“We see that evident in Seoul’s potential quest for nuclear-powered attack submarines and advanced C4ISR capabilities from the US. And most recently, besides seeking US Aegis Ashore and possibly even THAAD, Tokyo is eyeing long-range offensive strike missiles, one of which being the US-made JASSM-ER,” said Koh. “These are highly sophisticated, and by that virtue, extremely expensive weapons. Not just the systems themselves, but also the costs associated with long-term supporting infrastructure, training and associated elements of the sales package.”
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 20/12/2017