09 November 2016
South Korea is building a new base on Jeju Island in the Korea Strait, better known for its beach resorts and scenic landscape. This shows its need to strike a balance between its regional and global aspirations.
North Korea’s provocative actions at sea reflects its efforts to develop a capacity to launch nuclear armed ballistic missiles from its submarines. This has alarmed its southern neighbour; and there is talk in Seoul of the need to develop an enhanced capacity to track North Korean submarines. This is to enable Seoul to deal with them pre-emptively should the need arise and, in some circles even for the country to develop its own countervailing nuclear capabilities.
But below the surface, a much quieter, less dramatic naval transformation in the Korean peninsula is going on which will in due course have its effect on the already complicated security dynamics of North East Asia. This little noticed shift is in the steady development and expansion of South Korea’s blue-water capability.
… Geoffrey Till is Professor and Visiting Senior Fellow with the Maritime Security Programme, at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 15/11/2016