Experts recommend South Korea and the United States sign a defense pact to thwart China and North Korea


South Korea maintains strong ties with the United States and is strengthening its defenses as a precautionary measure against the nuclear threat posed by neighboring North Korea. Military experts find value in these precautions, but suggest that a more credible approach to deterring both North Korea and China is for South Korea to sign a formal alliance with the United States. ing.

At the May summit, South Korean President Yoon Seok-yul and US President Joe Biden seek new ways of cooperation, including a security and economic alliance between the two countries, including technology and supply chains. Expanded into a comprehensive global alliance. The talks focused on strengthening global security, improving the supply chain, and sharing the latest technologies such as chips, batteries, core minerals, quantum technology, biotechnology, energy and space.

The talks are also Ongoing threat It was raised by North Korean President Kim Jong Un. US representatives reaffirmed their commitment to South Korea and the two countries agreed on the benefits of conducting joint military exercises. If necessary, the United States will make its strategic nuclear weapons available in South Korea as well.

The talks did not form a formal alliance, but the two countries agreed to further investigate the signature of the Korea-US Mutual Defense Procurement (RDP). agreement.. RDP is a memorandum of understanding used by the US Department of Defense and its affiliates to strengthen relations and supply chains and promote co-manufacturing of defense equipment. In this way, RDP eases trade barriers to mutual procurement of export products by signatories.

Since the late 1980s, the United States has encouraged South Korea to participate in signing RDP. But South Korea is sticking to rejecting this idea. Koreans acknowledge that it is worthwhile to gain access to the US market, but fear that opening the market to the US can be a problem. South Korea’s limited technology, small manufacturers, and product pricing are not at the same level as in the United States.

South Korea’s concerns about RDP with the United States today. Not as great as their concerns about North Korea and China. In a meeting with The Epoch Times, Choi Woo-suk, chairman of the Korean Defense Industry Association, said that most of South Korea’s weapons have already been imported from the United States, so if the RDP is signed, there will be “no big blow”. .. “Korea will benefit even more” by signing the United States and entering the world’s largest military market, he said.

Choi explained that if South Korea and the United States join the supply network of the defense industry, the alliance between the two countries will be strengthened. RDP not only improves South Korea’s defense and security, but also provides the defense industry with an opportunity to increase their income and production.

Choi said South Korea’s defense industry has a trade deficit with the United States due to technology lags, and the remedy to deal with this is RDP. The joint research and development made possible by the agreement will help revitalize South Korea’s defense industry and national security. He believes that RDP acts as a bridge between South Korea’s defense industry and developed countries, especially the United States.

According to Choi, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has used government subsidies and labor costs to arm itself with a monopoly structure built for economic gain. As a countermeasure, it would be wise for South Korea and the United States to form an alliance. “Through the Korea-US Defense Alliance, we can secure containment not only for North Korea but also for China (Chinese Communist Party),” he said.

South Korea’s defense industry grows and exports surge

according to Triennale Report Announced by the Korean Defense Technology Institute in late 2021, the country’s defense industry has seen considerable growth in recent years. South Korea’s defense spending totaled $ 45.7 billion, according to a report entitled “Country-Specific Defense Science and Technology Level Assessment.” In 202041% increase from 2011.

Between 2016 and 2020, South Korea’s arms exports increased 210% year-on-year, ranking 9th in the world. It accounts for 2.7% of global arms exports, an increase of 649% compared to 2005.

Korean Defense Agency (KDA) also confirmed that defense exports were only about $ 3 billion annually from 2010 to 2020. Then, in 2021, South Korea’s arms exports reached $ 7 billion, surpassing total imports for the first time.

Epoch Times Photo
Launch of “Skybow 2”, a medium-range ground-based aerial interception missile developed using Korean technology. (Provided by Korea Defense Agency)

According to Choi Woo-suk, the Korean defense industry “is most competitive in price / performance ratio and after-sales service.” He also expects future export prospects to be “very bright.”

South Korea and the United States jointly build a space and missile network

The day after North Korea provocatively launched eight short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) June 5thSouth Korea and the United States have launched a total of eight long-range guided missiles, the Army Tactical Ballistic Missile (ATACMS).

Choi suggested that this recent case provided the necessary justification to advance the South Korean-US alliance. He said that integrating South Korea’s low-altitude defense system with the US high-altitude defense system “creates a complete missile defense system.”

As North Korea’s missiles are becoming more sophisticated, Choi said South Korea should develop its air defense assets further, introduce an advanced command and control system, and upgrade to space and missile defense systems.

South Korea plans to expand the deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missiles and is further developing intermediate precision guided missiles that cover Beijing. Beijing is likely to oppose, but Choi believes South Korea has the right to take these steps, as the CCP has missiles that can reach Seoul. “The pressure of the CCP will not interfere with the defense rights of independent countries,” he said.

Lee Yun Jeong contributed to the article.



Lisabian is a Korean-based writer of The Epoch Times, focusing on Korean society, its culture and international affairs.